Comments on: Palm Pre Demo Units Now Arriving in Sprint Stores

Pre demo units omgSeveral online forums are chiming in with some interesting new Pre developments. Posters have confirmed various reports that Pre 'Advocate demonstration units' are currently arriving in Sprint stores nationwide. PreCentral has an update on this story as well.

IntoMobile are also reporting that the demonstrator Pre are under "strict lockdown" but are arriving in the finalized retail packaging. The units are not meant for public display but appear to be destined for use by specially trained Sprint employees. This, combined with the Pre video training podcasts that have trickled out over the past week, shows that Sprint is taking this handset launch very seriously.

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The image is silly given it's already 'out here' uncensored

SeldomVisitor @ 5/15/2009 9:38:20 AM # Q
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I want full web pages, not mobile pages

jtlapp @ 5/15/2009 10:33:52 AM # Q
If the rumor about the Pre showing sites' mobile web pages rather than the regular web pages is true, this had better be configurable. Otherwise I won't be getting a Pre. I've been holding out for the Pre instead of getting an iPhone, but if they don't get browsing right, I'll have to move on.
RE: I want full web pages, not mobile pages
SeldomVisitor @ 5/15/2009 10:47:34 AM # Q
Id that rumor is true (and I certainly have never heard/read that one) then it is undoubtedly totally configurable based on the browser roots of the Pre.

RE: I want full web pages, not mobile pages
hkklife @ 5/15/2009 11:28:46 AM # Q
When the Palm rep at CES pulled up PIC per our request after a bit of prodding (it was not bookmarked and was seemingly not on their list of "approved" sites to visit) it displayed the "full" version of the site. We saw no formatting or rendering hiccups other than obviously requiring a bit of zooming to read the text.

I think a lot of this misinformation is from ill-informed or FUD-spreading sales reps. Again, that's one of the things I'd worry about the LEAST. That said, I would urge everyone to buy a Seidio high-capacity battery and/or a least a spare stock battery for their new Pre because I am predicting absolutely ATROCIOUS battery life.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: I want full web pages, not mobile pages
timepilot84 @ 5/15/2009 3:14:37 PM # Q
Whether or not a mobile site is displayed is wholly the web servers fault. The Pre only displays what it's sent. If a web site operator chooses to send a mobile version of a web page to a phone based on the browser id, then it's 100% the fault of the web server. This happens to me ALL THE TIME on my iPhone 3G, so don't think that having an iPhone will exempt you from this.
RE: I want full web pages, not mobile pages
jtlapp @ 5/15/2009 3:26:20 PM # Q
Actually, it isn't entirely the web server's responsibility. The browser tells the web server what it is, and the web server chooses its output accordingly. It may be that many web servers simply output mobile if they find the word "palm" anywhere in the media type. To get around this unfortunate problem, Palm would have to report a previously unseen media type and may have to leave out its name or otherwise change the name's appearance (e.g. "P*a*l*m").

This is Palm's problem to solve. The world won't be changing it's web sites just for the Pre, at least not in the near future.

RE: I want full web pages, not mobile pages
palmato @ 5/16/2009 5:47:20 AM # Q
Actually there's not much palm can do. While there's no strict standard for the user-agent header (that's how it's called) it's considered good practice to include the device name and model so that websites can adapt the output accordingly, if they wish to do so. Sonyericsson for instance shows the model number: this makes it possible to generate images that fit the different screen sizes.

In the case of the pre, websites will have to adapt and discriminate between the palm pre (on webkit), palm treo's (on blazer) and windows mobile palm (likely to be the equivalent to the blazer version).

Hey Admin: Why do we have to keep two profiles?

RE: I want full web pages, not mobile pages
jtlapp @ 5/16/2009 7:49:03 PM # Q
palmato wrote, "[...] websites will have to adapt and discriminate between the palm pre (on webkit), palm treo's (on blazer) and windows mobile palm [...]"

If Palm's expecting web sites to change their behavior just to make the Pre presentation look good, Palm's in trouble. The Pre isn't going to compete well with an iPhone if it displays mobile pages. Mobile pages are frustratingly unusable and look horrid on high-res screens.

Palm will have to break media type conventions to get around web site stereotypes about Palm devices.

RE: I want full web pages, not mobile pages
mfzap @ 5/19/2009 5:59:25 AM # Q
jtlapp, out of curiosity, what is it you have against mobile sites? Presumably the company provides it because they perceive it to be better than having you use the main site. Can you give examples of mobile sites that are unusable and display badly as you say? I work in the industry and it's very interesting to me what you have to say.
RE: I want full web pages, not mobile pages
timepilot84 @ 5/19/2009 4:51:33 PM # Q
The sending of alternate web pages based on user-agent isn't automatic. Those pages have to be created somehow, and the server has to be configured to send out the pages or redirect the user to the mobile site once the user-agent is gleaned. I think it would be a huge mistake for Palm to hide the user-agent for Webkit on the Pre, because a lot of the time, this is used to send apropos javascript functions. I don't think it's Palm's responsibility to dupe poorly managed web sites to give us what we assume is going to be the best experience. If you go to a site that has a horrible mobile implementation (many of the mobile sites are just as good as the full sites, IMO, but they have far fewer ads) then try the link to the main site, and if there is none, complain to the webmaster. That's the only way things will change.

I think a lot of people on this board don't realize that the mobile implementation for most websites nowadays aren't craptacular WAP sites, meant to be viewed on a 176x240 screen. A lot of the sites I go to are tailored specifically for the iPhone, and probably will look fine on the Pre as is. These are good, well thought out sites, not crappy kludges.

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No reason for bad battery life

jtlapp @ 5/15/2009 5:03:11 PM # Q
hkklife said, "I am predicting absolutely ATROCIOUS battery life."

I'm not aware of any reason that Pre battery life would necessarily be worse than iPhone's.

Multitasking does not have to be a drain on battery life, as Apple claims it must. If the OS is done right, applications will suspend themselves while waiting input or other interruption. Properly written applications need not run continuously in the background. Poorly written applications could end up draining the battery, but that's nothing new.

RE: No reason for bad battery life
hkklife @ 5/15/2009 8:56:13 PM # Q
I have used CDMA Centros extensively with the exact same battery used in the Pre (1150mAh). Heck, I've run down the 1600mAh stock battery on my 755p in one business day.

Assuming the Pre's GPS & wi-fi functions remain off for fairness' sake, that poor battery still has to contend weith a physically larger LCD with more pixels (320x480 vs. 320x320) to push around. Add to that a much faster CPU in the Pre (rumored to be 500Mhz), more RAM (256mb) & NAND flash (8GB) to keep powered and the rigors of a multi-tasking, multi-threading OS with more eye candy, animations & transitions.

I'd like to remain optimistic about the power-thriftiness of TI's new chipset and whatever intelligent power management Palm has baked into WebOS but there's only so much you can squeeze out of a feeble little battery with that kind of hardware to power. I'm not sure what the battery hit is (if any) comes with EVDO Rev. A vs. Rev. 0 and Pre's BT 2.1 EDR vs. BT 1.2 on the Centro. And you know that with the temptation provided by GPS & wi-fi, those will get turned on sooner or later.

So I'm going to unfortunately stick to my prediction of great pain on the battery life front for Pre users. Hopefully I'll have to eat my words come June but I am assuming the worst right now...
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

Battery Life & Processor
2klbs @ 5/15/2009 11:22:54 PM # Q
I must say I'm getting more excited as the silly-season of the last month of Q2 draws closer, but I have concerns over battery life too. Given the stress I put on my 755p with a "rump-shaker" 3200 mAh by the end of a busy day, I have hard time seeing how a multi-media-centric Cloud-push & pull device with multitasking, plus BT plus WiFi, will fare.

That said, I recalled this from the previous Pre-silly-season in January that holds some hope for emulation of push email a-la-blackberry. Albeit the BB is sans beautiful display and WiFi, perhaps the Palm server-based aggregate web-app/Synergy pushes will help a bit.

Perhaps they're modeling a protocol where the aggregated contact/PIM info from distributed sources are compiled on a profile (perhaps on a "Synergy server"), and only pushed when it detects changes? Pure speculation, but how else to squeeze life out of that hard working processor and battery, even with well-written Pre applications?

Sexy stuff on the processor -
End of Contract with Sprint- to become a "Pre-vert" or go Android?

RE: No reason for bad battery life
hkklife @ 5/16/2009 8:53:47 AM # Q
Yup, you hit the nail on the head. Mind you I didn't even mention the rigors of data going to & from the Cloud on the Pre in my comments above. I was just focusing mainly on the known aspects of the hardware & the OS as potentially battery-draining. Throw in Cloud data access, possibly daily backups and any kind of media streaming and that battery will be brutalized.

Hopefully Palm has seen fit to come up with something clever software-wise like Asus' Super Hybrid Engine that can dynamically throttle the CPU up or down in conjunction with a Speedstep-like feature on the CPU's side. If not, then I hope someone can come up with a over/under clocking utility ASAP for WebOS devices.

Keeping in mind that I use a dumbphone for 95%+ of all my telephone calls and just my Treo for mobile PDA/web/e-mail access, I regularly go through a 2200mAh Seidio extended battery on my 755p. And I had the same 3200mAh Seidio battery as you do on my 700p back when I tried to make do with one converged device. It was astonishing how heavy duty use would burn through that thing, and that was using all of the usual tricks like keeping BT & IR off and screen brightness at 50% or lower.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: No reason for bad battery life
LiveFaith @ 5/16/2009 10:39:52 AM # M Q
Geesh, lighten up on the battery Khris! Your 10-12 hours per workday playing on with a Centro could be expected to yield bad results. :-D

RE: No reason for bad battery life
SeldomVisitor @ 5/16/2009 10:56:23 AM # Q
> ...Your 10-12 hours per workday playing on

Ah...think I should get my daughter a Centro? Her usage is about that.

[and v...e...r...r...r...y interesting that you KNOW about palying on]

RE: No reason for bad battery life
DarthRepublican @ 5/16/2009 6:10:37 PM # M Q
I get kick out of seeing people complain about battery life. I have a T-Mobile G1, with truly terrible battery life. Nevertheless, I still get a day's worth of charge out of it through careful management and having trained the battery by letting it drain completely from time to time. I also use a nifty little program called Locale which starts shutting off services (wifi, GPS, Bluetooth) and lowering brightness as the battery reaches pre-determined levels. And since it is location-based, it can shut off wifi
RE: No reason for bad battery life
DarthRepublican @ 5/16/2009 6:20:12 PM # M Q
Grrr. Hit the wrong button and posted too early.

Anyway, as I was writing; with Locale on my G1, I can set it to say always shut off wifi if I'm in an area where there is no wifi. This helps keep my G1's overstressed little battery alive longer. Once the Pre comes out, it will almost certainly need a utility like this one for battery management and location-based services.

Ultimately however there is no substitute for carrying a second battery. It is after all removable. So my two cents on this subject is to quit whining, screw the rump-shakers, and just get a second battery.

RE: No reason for bad battery life
LiveFaith @ 5/16/2009 7:40:46 PM # M Q
Just drop it, OK. :-o
RE: No reason for bad battery life
SeldomVisitor @ 5/17/2009 4:04:21 AM # Q
Carrying a second battery is totally ridiculous.

One would rather carry a separate dumb phone and a PDA.

RE: No reason for bad battery life
zuhmir @ 5/17/2009 5:59:19 AM # Q
It charges from USB... you can charge it at home, at work and even in the car using a 5$ adapter for the car lighter.
Unless you're going on a mountain trek I wouldn't worry about the battery... and even then you can charge it using an AA to USB adapter and charge it from AA batteries.
RE: No reason for bad battery life
LiveFaith @ 5/17/2009 9:23:23 AM # M Q
Hey, that gives me an idea. Why not just use say ... 2 AAA batteries and just pop em' in and out whenever you need em'? Maybe like a 60 second window for changing batts b4 a reset.
RE: No reason for bad battery life
cstamper @ 5/18/2009 5:20:34 AM # Q
we can all rest assured that it won't be any worse than the iPhone (3g).

Actually, I don't think it's possible to get any worse. :-P

RE: No reason for bad battery life
twrock @ 5/18/2009 7:25:11 AM # Q
LiveFaith wrote:
Hey, that gives me an idea. Why not just use say ... 2 AAA batteries and just pop em' in and out whenever you need em'? Maybe like a 60 second window for changing batts b4 a reset.

How about four triple-A's? That'd be double the power!

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

Comparison to G1
2klbs @ 5/18/2009 10:48:24 AM # Q
@ DR:

I'm interested to hear your opinion of the G1 "fit and finish" and quality/usability of its keyboard? Particularly the ruggedness of slider mechanism, the keyboard "feel".

After the increased functionality provided by the pending "Cupcake" OS update, what are the reasons you will consider picking up a Pre on Sprint?

End of Contract with Sprint- to become a "Pre-vert" or go Android?

RE: No reason for bad battery life
DarthRepublican @ 5/18/2009 7:16:18 PM # Q
Hey 2klbs,

I actually blogged my opinions on the G1, comparing it to my Treo 680 months ago. This post for example compares the keyboards on the two phones (spoiler alert, I prefer the 680's keyboard despite its smaller size):

(There are three posts like this one, you can get to them by clicking on the "Treo vs G1" label at the bottom of the post.) I also did the obligatory stack a bunch of phones/PDAs on top of each other thing:

As far as "fit and finish," the G1 is good, not great. The battery cover is hard to remove and tends to bend and flex over time, causing the device to creak. The slider is excellent. I've been using it for seven months and it is still going strong.

I haven't gotten the Cupcake update yet. Even though it's been out for months, T-Mobile has repeatedly delayed rolling it out on their network. It isn't expected until June. This really puts Palm's inability to put out updates for its phones into perspective. In the United States, the handset makers really are under the thumb of the carriers which dictate what features a phone is allowed to have and when and how it can be updated.

As it is now, my G1 has to be reset about once a month because it slows down and starts acting buggy. Sometimes notifications disappear, sometimes the GPS stops working, sometimes it just starts getting slow but it's always something. It's an improvement on my old Treo which was even more unstable but not enough of an improvement that I'm not going to look at alternatives like the Pre. Android OS is very impressive and has oodles of geek cool but it also suffers from the version 1.0 bugs that every OS seems to have.

It also helps that I have a lot of old PalmOS software. So much that I still carry around a Palm TX for its PDA functions which are superior to the G1's. As a result, I find the idea of running PalmOS apps in Classic on the Pre appealing. I don't really expect to switch to Sprint to get the Pre simply because Sprint's voice coverage has been pretty bad in the Chicago area recently. But I will be eying the launch closely and I will try to find a Sprint store where I can play with it. I expect to wait a year for an unlocked GSM model to come out. By then I will have a better idea of the platform's capabilities and will be able to see how Palm responsive is about fixing the inevitable bugs that crop up.

So for me the list of pros for the Pre would be:

* One hand typing with the slider keyboard.
* Universal Search
* Compatibility with PalmOS apps.
* Slick interface

The cons would be:

* Palm's shaky track record in recent years.
* Gestures might require a lot of bare-handed use during cold Chicago winters.
* Will HTML/CSS/Javascript SDK be powerful enough to create killer apps for the platform?
* Sprint

The list of Pros for Android would be:

* Google integration -- If your life is built around Google apps, look no further Android is perfect for you. You may never have to enter anything other than your Google ID into your phone. If you've ever bought anything with Google Checkout, your Android phone even has your credit card number. (Not literally of course but Google Checkout does have your credit card number and uses it for your Android Market and Amazon MP3 Store purchases.)
* Android applications -- The iPhone may have more developers but Android has a vibrant developer community as well and they are doing some wonderful stuff. ShopSavvy and SkyMap are brilliant applications.

And the cons:

* Stability/speed issues -- How many of these issues will be fixed by Cupcake, I don't know but right now my G1 needs to be reset at least once a week.
* Hardware limitations -- My G1 only has about 70MB of on board storage for applications, not much more than what my Treo 680 has. And it can't store apps on my 8GB microSD card.
* T-Mobile
Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1

RE: No reason for bad battery life
2klbs @ 5/19/2009 11:44:45 AM # Q
Thanks DR,

I spent most the evening reading your comparisons and cross referencing on Android Community- good stuff. I'll follow up with few questions later. I'll likely be deciding between the G1 and the Pre after the initial reviews come in, although now the G1 v.2 has my curiosity piqued after Cupcake gets a few more real-life reviews.

I was typing last night to pick a fight on the battery life question when "24" showed the implications of having a spare too far out of reach, then I laughed so hard I had to to stop and call it a night.

End of Contract with Sprint- to become a "Pre-vert" or go Android?

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