Palm Pre Plus Review
reviewed Sprint’s Palm Pre last year, we were impressed with its overall design and usability, as it featured Palm’s new webOS interface. Now it is Verizon’s turn with the Palm Pre Plus, where the “Plus” basically means it has twice the internal memory for user storage and 512MB of RAM for better multitasking. But other than that, the device remains mostly unchanged. The issue for Palm has to do with timing, as the world of Android has started a large following on Verizon, due to the Motorola DROID and HTC DROID ERIS. Because of this, the Pre Plus isn’t as hot of a device as it would have been last year. This by no means takes away from its features and software, but it will simply have a challenging time breaking into the smartphone crowd, where Windows Mobile and Android currently dominate.
Included in the retail package is the Palm Pre Plus phone, 1150mAh battery, wall charger with detachable microUSB cable, 3.5mm earbuds, carrying pouch, and user guide.
The Palm Pre Plus is very comfortable to hold in your hand, as its corners are smooth and curved, unlike the rectangle shape of the Motorola DROID with its more square-cut corners. The overall plastic construction of the Pre Plus is smooth and pleasing to the touch, with the soft-touch coating on the back that we’re always glad to see, though the heavier metal construction of the Motorola DROID feels more durable, almost like it could withstand a beating.
You can compare the Palm Pre Plus with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The front display remains at 3.1-inch diagonal with 320x480 resolution and 16.7 million color support. Images look good with bright and saturated colors, even in direct sunlight. We like that the display blends in well with the surrounding black bezel, instead of looking like a separate piece. Using the capacitive touch-sensitive display on the Palm Pre Plus is a joy, as it supports multitouch in several apps (such as the web browser and photo viewer) and has a gesture-based area located at the bottom. All of this works well together, including the small wave-effect light that flows with your finger’s movement.
The 4-row QWERTY keyboard is by no means the best keyboard that we’ve used on a phone, nor is it the worst. The buttons are large enough to use with your finger-tips or nails, but people with larger hands will have the most difficulty getting used to it. The buttons are raised from the surrounding plastic with a rubbery feel to them, but don’t provide much feedback when pressed. After a day of use though, we did become better at using the keyboard and had fewer mistakes. As a whole, we can say the QWERTY keyboard is more than usable, considering the compact dimensions of the Palm Pre Plus.
Keyboard backlight -
The Palm Pre Plus features a 4-row QWERTY keyboard
Along the side of the device are the volume rocker, power/lock button, 3.5mm headset jack, microUSB port, and a sliding lever that acts to silence the phone’s ringer and alerts. Located on the back is the 3MP camera with LED flash and speaker. The battery cover includes the ability to work with the optional touchstone charging dock (sold separately). There is also 16GB of internal memory available to the user, which is twice the amount of the original Pam Pre.
1. TheEclectic (Posts: 77; Member since: 23 Sep 2009)
I guess I'm a little perplexed. Didn't the original Pre with half the internal memory and RAM get a 9.9? I guess PhoneArena realized that giving a rating of 9.9 to a phone basically gives the message that 'this is the greatest phone of all time and no other phone will ever compare.'
3. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
i agree with theeclectic. phone arena can rationalize it all they want, but this phone has increesed memory and RAM, better keyboard feedback, no intrusive track ball, and has the mobile hotspot feature (which no device out there has). Cell phone technology is not that much far in advance to warrant a drop from 9.9 to 8.5. If the phone was exactly the same- fine, but palm addressed most of the major gripes people had with the old device. PA needs to get it together when it comes to its rating system
9. jacobsladder (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 Nov 2009)
Phonearena's ratings highly inconsistent, and that last paragraph does little to disguise it. What has been released since the launch of the original Pre that's comparable? The iPhone 3GS, HTC Hero, Motorola Droid, and most recently, the Nexus One. None of those devices garnered marks high enough scores to rival that of the Pre, so how exactly did it lose its edge? Something clearly doesn't add up. I'd have more respect for PA if they just admitted that they went a little overboard with their original rating, or come clean with us and admit that someone greased their pockets for a really high rating.
4. ace1122 (Posts: 237; Member since: 23 Mar 2009)
I think PA is right on the money with its rating system and i dont think there is anyway AT&T can possibly say they have the best line up of smartphones anymore. The best they have is the iPhone and many will argue that its not even a true smartphone.
7. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
Right on the money? The ratings have no parity from phone to phone! They went from a 9.9 to an 8.5 from pre to pre plus. PHONE ARENA, why did storm 1 get a 6 and the storm 2 got a 9????? I don't undertand where they get these numbers from
5. tonyc_42 (Posts: 61; Member since: 18 Aug 2009)
"Would like to see free Google Maps Navigation replace VZ Navigator" Seems like more of an opinion than a true con of a device.
6. Osukaru (Posts: 68; Member since: 02 Jul 2008)
"Would like to see free Google Maps Navigation replace VZ Navigator" ERM THIS IS ONLY FOR ANDROID PHONES!
8. rjt185 (Posts: 257; Member since: 11 Jun 2009)
How many "amazing phones" came out between the Pre and Pre Plus to warrant the "downgrade"?
14. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)
Motrola droid which as they say turned Android from being out there to being in the spotlight
10. nyc_rock (Posts: 7; Member since: 04 Feb 2010)
I can understand you pre-owners being a bit po'd about PA rating but come on. Its been a year and Palm has done nothing to upgrade this device. It really shows the limit of what a small company with limmited capital can do. Since the pre came out, Android has raised the bar on hardware by leaps and bounds. The HD2 on Winmo has also been released. Bottom line, screen resolution is lacking, still no video recording or BT voice dialing and other than the incremental memory increase, hardware is basically unchanged. I think the rating is fair.
11. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
nyc rock- i'm not even a pre owner, but my only complaint is that the Phone arena ratings have no consistency. If you disagree then just look at the score difference from the storm 1 to storm 2. All blackberry did was improve the touch screen and add wifi- and the storm 2 went UP by 3 points! Palm improved the keyboard, improved the look by removing the button on front, improved space, speed, and included the touchstone back cover. Not to mention its now on verizon so it has improved call quality. Somehow with minimal changes, the storm was able to GAIN 3 WHOLE POINTS- while the pre went down by 1.5. Makes no sense at all
12. giblues (unregistered)
not sure about the palm pre but i just got my pixie and it has the free google maps and places you right where your at and moves down the road with you .... maybe we talking apples and oranges not sure... i'm certainly a rookie at this phone stuff. when i went to google maps and directions i asked my location and it put a blue dot exactly where i was showing the road i was on ...... as i moved the dot moved no matter where i was zoomed. realy i need no more than that i dont need to see the stop sign in front of me , lol , i am suppose to watch the road
13. BC (unregistered)
Web os rocks -but With no promised Flash 10.1 this phone is dead. Even the promised 2.0 is mia. PS: I disagree about camera. Its better than other 5's & 8's On a 2 yr. -at their mercy for updates! BC