Palm Pre Plus for AT&T Review
Packing on the latest build of the platform, webOS version 1.4.2, the experience still proves to be refreshing thanks to its stellar visual implementation and functionality of having to juggle multiple apps at once. Although it may still not be accompanied with the mind bending peppy speeds witnessed on some of the high-end Android offerings out there, the decent speed of navigating on the platform is still a pleasure without much required wait. As we mentioned earlier, this version lacks the Mobile HotSpot feature, which might be missed by some, but it's definitely not a deal breaker.
When it first rolled onto the scenes, the Palm Pre proved to be a hit in the web browsing department where it clearly catapulted itself into the spotlight – challenging the iPhone's Safari. The experience is still up there thanks to its ability to load pages swiftly, perfectly render images & text, utilize zoom gestures, and smooth scrolling. However, it's still missing a long press feature that could make opening links in another card easier – which can be accomplished by holding down the function button on the QWERTY while pressing a link. By no means does it ruin the overall experience, but over time we'd like to see some additional new implementations to complete it.
Both the music and video apps are still more than adequate for general use. Music playback was decent to say the least as it'll be more than enough when you're trying to listen to some tunes through the built-in speaker, but it's still accompanied with some high pitched tones when set to the loudest volume which can seem too straining. The Palm Pre Plus fared well in playing videos without any lag associated with it.
Nothing too out of the ordinary with the camera application as you're greeted to a bare bones interface, but you'll be able to take both photos and videos quickly. You can clearly get a vibe on how far webOS has evolved since its first arrival as you're now given the option to upload content directly to popular sites like YouTube and Facebook. The rapid nature of the Palm Pre Plus continues as you can continually take images in succession with little pause in between. Image quality from the 3-megapixel camera is acceptable as there are good details in the shots with realistic colors. Capturing images in low lit conditions results plenty of grain and noise, as the camera's flash did very little in doing anything to the shots.
With a set video capturing resolution of 640x480 pixels, recorded videos on the Palm Pre Plus were more than joyful with a constant 29fps rate. There is enough detail in the video to make it stand out while recorded sounds re also on-par with its performance. Additionally, you can edit videos directly on the handset before shuttering them away to one of the supported services it offers.
When conversing on the phone, callers stated that our voices sounded normal without much distortion. However, the same cannot be said about our side as we found a lot of static sound that was clearly audible while voices sounding a bit robotic at the same time. The experience was even worse when we switched to the speaker phone due to the fact that voices coming from it sounded extremely squeaky and made it difficult in hearing our callers.
The Palm Pre Plus was able to retain a solid connection to AT&T's network without any dropped calls during our testing. When compared to the iPhone 3GS, the amount of bars remained the same on both devices.
Heavy users will obviously require recharging the Palm Pre Plus whenever they get a chance, but light users can expect to last an entire working day before requiring a connection. After setting the display to its middle brightness setting, we were able to go approximately 15 hours on normal usage before we started to get a notification to connect it to a power source – more than enough for the average user. Palm has the phone rated for 5 hours of talk and 350 hours of standby time.
The obvious things come to mind as we know that this is almost the same device that was unveiled well over a year ago – which is undoubtedly in the later stages of its product cycle. Sure we've seen some improvements with webOS that showcase the commitment in balancing the platform, and it's evident that all the steps have been gradual – but consumers are surely expecting to see a major overhaul some time soon. You really can't help comparing it to Verizon's version, which trumps AT&T's one, because it offers free Mobile HotSpot on-board and has a better price. Unfortunately, AT&T's product doesn't provide anything refreshingly new for its webOS starved customers. And with the steep $149.99 price tag associated with it, there are few reasonably strong points in going with this device – even with the inclusion of the Touchstone charging dock for free. When that limited promotion ends, consumers will easily see the value with Verizon's version and gravitate towards it – that's unless AT&T decides to match it in every way.
- Bright & crisp display
- Clean looking design
- Multi-tasking friendly webOS
- Omission of Mobile HotSpot
- Cramped QWERTY
- Squeaky quality with the speaker phone
1. testman22 (Posts: 336; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
Why would anyone choose this over the verizon version, when verizon has a FREE mobile hotspot, and att isn't even offering that feature???
3. bucky (Posts: 1222; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
id take a gsm phone over a cdma anyday (even if its a completely shittier phone)
5. Jyakotu (Posts: 813; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)
Maybe there are those who don't want to switch carriers.? Maybe there are those who actually want a GSM Palm Pre instead of a CDMA Palm Pre.? There are reasons why a person would choose the AT&T version over the Verizon one, but you're not that open minded it seems.
6. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 787; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)
Or maybe his open mind has led him to the conclusion that the Verizon Pre is a better deal.
8. Jyakotu (Posts: 813; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)
Even if the Verizon Palm Pree is a better deal, there are users who would rather stick to AT&T as their carrier and/or want a GSM Palm Pre Plus.
10. phonedemocracy (Posts: 98; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
Having an open mind would include the choice to switch carriers if needed. This might be the stupidest thread I've seen today. We are all less intelligent because of it.
11. networkdood (Posts: 5489; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
rather have the GSM version - nice looking phone....for a woman.
13. Jyakotu (Posts: 813; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)
No, not always the case. What if AT&T is better than Verizon in your particular area. Why switch.?
14. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)
But what if both carriers work...then what's the better deal?
2. Ebonyks (Posts: 20; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)
"However, it's still missing a long press feature that could make opening links in another card easier – which can be accomplished by holding down the function button on the QWERTY while pressing a link. By no means does it ruin the overall experience, but over time we'd like to see some additional new implementations to complete it." For those who don't mind adding preware on their phone, there's a simple patch that lets you open up another card with a new url by simply placing one finger on the gesture area and then tapping the link.
4. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 787; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)
What is with that awful background AT&T is using?
7. michael95gt (Posts: 34; Member since: 19 Jul 2009)
Picked one up this afternoon, pretty cool so far. DontHateOnS60, that background isn't on the phone. Must be user added or a preproduction deal.
9. tuck78 (Posts: 2; Member since: 29 Mar 2010)
I picked this up on Sunday. Seems pretty good so far. The battery seems to drain quickly. However, I have been playing with the phone constantly because its my new toy. Also, my last phone was a Nokia E71 with an incredible battery, so I might just be jaded. The keyboard keys could be slightly bigger or raised a bit more but I imagine it just takes some getting use to. The gesture pad/area takes some getting used to as well.
12. networkdood (Posts: 5489; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
When I purchased my TILT back in 2008, I was going through the battery just as you have been. I have a friend with the SPRINT version and she loves it. Looks like a nice phone - enjoy it!!