Palm Pre and Apple iPhone 3GS: side by side
iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre is both similar and very different at the same time. Both devices have a contemporary, user-friendly interface with large icons easily tapped with the fingertips and a similarly placed “home” button. Both phones also have a multi-touch user interface. The Pre has a “gesture” area below the touchscreen that can be used as a “back” button, something the iPhone lacks. With the Pre, you can use the gesture area to return to a previous screen, where on the
On both platforms, pressing and holding app icons enables customized arrangement of them. Moving an icon to the edge of the display will bring the next screen into view and you can then drop the app into position. On both devices, there are a limited number of screens. With the 3.0 update, the iPhone gives you 11 of them to load up with apps. On the Pre, you only have 3, but the Pre allows for dynamically scrolling up and down to access additional apps where the iPhone screens are static.
Both the iPhone and Pre have universal search for finding just about anything on your phone, apps included. On the Pre, universal search is more significant to the user experience than the iPhone. Since the Pre is designed to give the user constant access to information on the web, entering terms into search not only displays matches found on the phone itself, but also matches found on the web.
When tapping on an application on the Pre, the app will open and when you are finished with it, just swipe upward to activate the “card view.” Card view is one of the stark differences between the Pre and iPhone and is possible on the Pre due to its multitasking ability. The iPhone 3GS (and any iPhone, for that matter) lacks true multitasking. If you need to get into another app or look up something on the web, you must first press the “home” button to return to the springboard, then select the app you want. The Pre allows you to run several apps at once and move back and forth between them. Closing an app on the Pre is as simple as swiping it up and off the screen.
Notifications on the Pre and iPhone 3GS are handled very differently. Apple has finally implemented push notification for the iPhone that allows developers to send sound, text and badge notifications to a user’s iPhone. This is an important business tool for developers of iPhone apps and is a benefit to the user experience. The downside to these notifications on the iPhone is that they can be interruptive and distracting while using an app, for instance.
On the Pre, notifications mean something very different. The idea of the Pre user experience is giving the user new information – like a new email, calendar event or text message - without interrupting a train of thought or the task at hand. In this way, a Pre user always knows what’s going on but can decide if the notification requires an immediate response.
Phonebook and Organizer
The Pre and iPhone 3GS have phonebooks and organizers with very user-friendly interfaces. It is simple to add new contacts to both phonebooks and with just a tap you can engage a phone call and send an email or text message right from the contact screen. There are some key differences in how contacts on each platform are implemented and synced. The Pre relies on Synergy to pull in your address book from Outlook, Google and Facebook. If you have a big phonebook, scrolling through them on the Pre can be laborious, so the best way to look someone up is with universal search.
Synergy also does a great job of sorting your contacts automatically to avoid repetition when you have the same entries in different locations. When viewing a contact on the Pre, you can see where it is synced from in the upper right corner – whether it’s from Google, Facebook, Outlook, or even Exchange. This feature is also handy when creating a new phonebook entry because you can specify which service you want the contact to sync with on your Pre. Another unique feature to the Pre is a “reminder” field in the extra fields section in contacts. Whenever you enter any information in the reminder field, this information will be displayed when the person calls or texts you.
The iPhone 3GS can sync contacts from MobileMe (requiring a yearly fee), Microsoft Exchange, Google, and Yahoo. The iPhone 3GS lacks the duplicate contact safeguard that the Pre’s Synergy features. You sync with one contacts source on the iPhone instead of the multiple sources on the Pre.
PIM functionality on the Pre has both strengths and weaknesses. It has one of the better Calendar apps available on a smartphone. Synergy brings in calendar events from multiple sources, each one represented by a different color. Periods of free time between events are displayed in a collapsible view so you can see more on the Pre’s small screen. The Pre has a day, week, and month view, but no list view. You can also filter your calendar view and display just one set of events at a time, all other calendar sources displayed as grayed-out areas.
The calendar on the iPhone displays list, day, and month views. Like the Pre, multiple calendar sources can be displayed on the iPhone. The iPhone’s calendar is easy to use but is definitely no-frills.
With the Pre, you can create notes with the Memos app. The iPhone 3GS has a similar Notes app and both of them offer no category organization, which is a disappointment. The Pre offers a nice native Tasks app that supports multiple task lists and due dates. The iPhone, however, has no task app and users must rely on downloading 3rd party solutions.
1. panacea224 (Posts: 19; Member since: 20 Dec 2008)
Great comparison Phone Arena. They're both impressive devices with their own stark drawbacks. If I had to pick one I would go with the Pre.
10. durkadurkha (Posts: 10; Member since: 10 Jul 2009)
Agreed, the only thing I would have liked to see are the pictures cropped with a side by side so we could compare a little easier than downloading them to my CPU and the doing it myself- but other than that it makes me wonder why they gave the PRE a 9.9 an 8.5 when they conclude the phones are so close to each other
15. Kedar (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Jul 2009)
I think it's because they compare each phone to others in the same carrier. So, I think the Palm Pre is compared to other Sprint phones... ... whilst the Iphone is compared to other AT&T phones. Here's what PhoneArena says in their "How Do We Rate?" page: "Carrier: If a phone is offered by a carrier, it is only compared to the rest of the devices that fall in the same class and are offered by the same wireless provider. This means that you shouldn’t compare the rating of a Verizon Wireless cell phone with the one of a phone from Sprint’s or T-Mobile’s lineup, for example."
2. Kiltlifter (Posts: 742; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
sorry... but i am a die hard WM fan... the Pre is a nice addition to the competition, but I like my Vogue too much. Palm's webOS (Nova) is a nice step in the right direction for them, I hope they do well and regain some of the market share they once dominated. I am an apple hater so I will never have an iPhone, therefore I will not comment further about it.
4. jovel16 (Posts: 53; Member since: 05 Oct 2008)
Yeah, no one can compare to HTC's TouchFLO 3D. Don't have to worry about running a separate app to look at stocks or the weather.
8. SellPhones82 (Posts: 569; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
The home screen is the main thing WinMo people miss if they have switched to the Pre. The nice part is one is already in the works for the Pre and I hope to load it next week once the beta is launch. http://apps.forwebos.com/ahs/
12. durkadurkha (Posts: 10; Member since: 10 Jul 2009)
Have you ever used an iPhone? the UI is at least 9-10 times more responsive than any WM phone, the copy and paste works better AND quality of the graphics make the iPhone feel like you are moving the page across a layer of air, TouchFlo is slow and buggy- it lags 1/2 the time on my co-workers Fuze. Touchflo is just a front to how horribly unintuitive actual WM is!
26. Kiltlifter (Posts: 742; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
well the Fuze isn't quite the touch pro... it is like vzw's pro, i.e. it sucks.. The sprint and alltel pro are nice. But like I said, i truly despise all apple products, call it a personal bias, which is why i don't comment on them, apple would have to pay me to use an ipod, or an iphone, like in the area of a few thousand dollars a month, even then, i would still buy windows products.
31. shgam2 (Posts: 42; Member since: 08 Sep 2009)
It's true, I used to have a HTC Diamond and my bro had Apple iPhone 2G. iPhone's touch response is soooo much better and my phone was a lot more laggy. The only thing that I liked about my phone was that the picture quality was better. Oh also I like the HTC Touch Flo 3D. It just looks very neat. What I like about the iPhone is that it has millions of apps available and its touch response. There is no phone that can beat iPhone in those areas. The thing about the apps is tho, tons of apps exist because there are tons of users of iPhone so if some other phone takes over the market, this is definitely going to change.
3. stuntz (Posts: 178; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
why doesnt phone arena say who they like better? well lets see they rated the Pre a 9.9/10 and the iPhone 3GS a 8.5/10... hmm who do you think they like better...
5. MTLance (unregistered)
You can't say which one is better because they both have pros and cons so it is up to the user decide in the end. But since there is no Pre in my country that I am living in I choose iPhone even though I'm a Apple hater and I kinda like it tbh because of WiFi and on normal phones it is only bluetooth. I really like the web browsing experience on iPhone even though I haven't played with other phones yet but the touch screen experience is really good, meh I hate interacting with plastic keys. Apple did a great job with iPhone 3GS staying ahead of competition otherwise I would be very pissed for paying so much for my brand new iPhone 3GS 32GB Black.
16. Kedar (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Jul 2009)
This is why Pre got a 9.9 and Iphone 8.5. Here's what PhoneArena says in their "How Do We Rate?" page: "Carrier: If a phone is offered by a carrier, it is only compared to the rest of the devices that fall in the same class and are offered by the same wireless provider. This means that you shouldn’t compare the rating of a Verizon Wireless cell phone with the one of a phone from Sprint’s or T-Mobile’s lineup, for example."
6. friscochris (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 Jul 2009)
Dang,... I write a big write up in the comment section giving a consumers opinion and they erase it... Thanks Phone Arena, thats the last time I visit here.... Summary of what I said... get the iPhone, the pre is still in beta.
7. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
We sorry for this, it has been deleted by mistake, we'll try to restore it ASAP.
9. artz1986 (Posts: 453; Member since: 11 Mar 2009)
lol..... Dang.....I came by Phone Arena's office to drop off a 'thank you for doing a great job' cake, but I forgot to actually bring the cake and turned back home, but I must have dropped my wallet at PhoneArena's door step. Dam, I had like a $1Million in that wallet, that's the last time I visit there....... Summary, phone arena owes me a money.
13. durkadurkha (Posts: 10; Member since: 10 Jul 2009)
I saw you drop your wallet, I tried chasing you but I got distracted on my iPhone reading about the Pre.
21. matistight (Posts: 440; Member since: 13 May 2009)
i am so sorry you looked at the pre. you should stay home and get some rest because seeing the pre is like seeing everyone blow up into pieces
11. sonisoe (Posts: 411; Member since: 06 May 2009)
i hate head-to-head articles on best devices..the conclusion is always "no winner... each has strengths and weaknesses....its up to the consumer..."... take a stand... pre is easily the winner as a couple of features far outweigh what it trails from the iphone, that is synergy and multi-tasking....both are smooth in terms of swiping and zipping, web experience is equally good if pre is not better, pre's battery is expected more but its replaceable so we can bring a spare, camera shots are also equal despite pre hhaving a built-in flash... all in all both have similar features as laid out above except pre has synergy and great multi-tasking capability...
17. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
I don't think Pre is the obvious winner at all. I think that the Pre's operating system is the obvious winner, but when you put everything together, its down to a matter of opinion. The Pre's build quality is not as good as the iPhone. I don't consider excellent quallity as having the hinges of your phone's keyboard moveable. The camera is in no way equal (Were you serious? I think you should look at the pictures again. Plus the iphone has stuff like touch to focus and video capture with touch to focus and editing capabilities). The youtube application is tons better than the Pre's. The one for iphone has all the stuff the Pre has and more like subscriptions, viewing comments, adding comments, uploading your own videos, etc. And the itunes store has a whole lot more to offer. Music, podcasts (most if not all are free), music videos, TV shows, movies, rentals, audiobooks, etc. The Amazon store will never be as good as the iTunes store. And its good to have the #1 music retailer in the U.S. (itunes) on your phone. And don't forget about memory. Download all the movies, funny clips, and tv shows from the internet and you probably won't have to worry about running out of space. Plus that means even more space for applications. Some people even have a large collection of music and the 32 gig of space allows for even more songs. And the 3GS is faster than the Pre in web browsing. I could write about lots more but I don't want this to be an advertisement because that's what it is starting to sound like. But I really think that the Pre has a lot of good stuff going for it like multitasking and synergy like you said. Plus the integration of contacts and messaging is probably #1 on any smartphone right now. (I thought the calendar was the best too until I found out a few weeks ago that my iPhone also supports multiple calendars as well). But there are a lot of faults as well. I really don't like the keyboard. I've seen some Pres in person and I was so surprised to see how small and cramped it was. And some users even say that the keys feel plasticy and fake. Also, how are you suppose to browse through the internet when in landscape mode? I mean I guess some people can use the keyboard sideways but I don't think that everyone else is that talented. And I also read that if you have many friends that you don't talk to on Facebook, they are still synced to your phone without the ability to delete them, which kind of sucks if you have like 800 friends on Facebook. But that's probably okay since you users usually search for contacts instead of scrolling for them. But anyways the thing that would make me choose the iPhone over the Pre anyday is the applications. I don't think Palm will ever have as many applications as the iphone. There are just too many iphone 2Gs, iphone 3Gs, iphone 3GSs, ipod touchs, ipod touchs 2nd Generations, and probably a new ipod touch this september. If I was a developer, I would easily choose the making applications for the iPhone OS than the Pre OS just because I can expect a lot more sales and a lot more advertisement. Its kind of common sense. And for example, the article said that the iPhone has no true tasks application. But I downloaded one for $2.99 and I have to say it does a lot more than the task application for the Pre. *And the article forgot to mention how the iphone's universal search works a little bit better because it can search content of written notes and also email subjects, To, and From. And it also didn't mention how Pre's memo application can only be shown in icons. So if you had like 200 memos, that's how you would see all of them. All that was said is "memos on the pre are colorful"
32. shgam2 (Posts: 42; Member since: 08 Sep 2009)
yea I thought the article sounded a bit biased. The thing about apps is that pre is a developer's favorite device since it's made in such that it's the easiest device to develop apps for. Heard they made some app and took them a day for iPhone and 3-4 hours for Pre but sure, iPhone's got MILLIONS of apps so thats hard to beat :) The thing I'm dissappointed about Pre is the battery. I heard that Pre doesn't even last a day in general.
14. Bawt (Posts: 17; Member since: 22 Dec 2008)
I love the Pre, it's very sexy and "fresh." I'm sick of my iPhone 3GS already after owning a 3G and first gen. I was going to buy a Pre but the lack of being able to sync it to iTunes hits me hard. I need my movies for the plane rides! Also, after owning an iPhone for years I have because completely dependent on apps and games to play with, something the Pre will lack for quite some time. Lastly, I hate how the Pre's screen is glass. I cannot stand my products having nicks and scratches! Oh well, good try Palm, like your work.
18. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Yeah I kind of agree. One of the coolest things about the Pre is that its new, fresh, and does something that most phones don't. I am also getting a little bit too use to my iphone 3G. I decided not to get the 3GS mainly because it looked exactly like the 3G. And there are some things that I like too much on my 3G and some things that I really don't like about the Pre that's keeping me satisfied with this phone. But anyways my iphone is the first phone that I've kept for over a year and it will probably be the first phone that I will have for two years, so I guess Apple is doing something right.
22. matistight (Posts: 440; Member since: 13 May 2009)
Bawt, i bet you were either really high when you said you liked the pre or really drunk. You should go to rehab and then rethink your decision. Good day.
20. Striker13084 (Posts: 128; Member since: 30 Mar 2009)
what was the omnia tomuch compitition for them to compare to?
24. wHiTeSoL (Posts: 4; Member since: 29 Jul 2009)
@ whoever mentioned apps. I have one question for you. How many apps are there for the Pre? Last count was 30,000+ and that was years ago, well before the pre was announced. I hate it when apple fan boys yell and scream that the iphone has all these apps and the palm has none. Do your homework before saying something.
25. behold--me (Posts: 650; Member since: 22 Jun 2009)
wel actually the iphone has thousands. a sheet somewhere on this site (who knows where) shows that there were about 18 apps for the pre at launch. then 30 a week or two later. i don't think that the pre has that many. the iphone stil has its developers makin apps all the time but dammit i dont think that the pre has as many. "maybe u should do ur homework before sayin somethin"
27. wHiTeSoL (Posts: 4; Member since: 29 Jul 2009)
Correction. There were only a few apps in the store at launch. Every app that worked on palm garnet also works on webos. And like I said earlier, last count there were over 30,000 plus
28. NDPTAL85 (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Aug 2009)
So you're counting all of the extremely old looking apps that ran on the previous Palm OS as apps for the Pre? Thats stretching it a LOT. The classic environment on the Pre is extremely unstable and provides for a horrible UI mismatch between the two different OS's.
29. 505alltheway3 (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Aug 2009)
the iphone will eventually be w/ a legit carrier soon fcc is making the iphone go to all carriers eventually. at&t sucks all they have is an iphone their coverage is horrible and if you all saw pc worlds article on speeds between the 2 the pre won 2 out of 3 for quickness. Once sprint gets an iphone i will think about it until then i will enjoy my pre. At&t bought cingular and they think they are special do your homework and you will see yourself in the united states verizon or sprint are the best and sprint makes it affordable.
30. Vandro (Posts: 17; Member since: 12 Aug 2009)
It's just a dual Apple tax, people. Palm grabbed an ex-CTO from Apple and popped out a mirror copy of the first-gen iPhone, hardware-wise, but thrown into a slder the feels like a cheap Chinese knock-off with the worst keyboard to ever grace a smartphone. They do everything to repeat Apple's first gen mistakes, but deliver nothing new. WebOS has a glorified task launcher. That's it. The iPhone is an iPod that can make calls on a ludicrously expensive data plan to counteract its "subsidy." Only Apple, it seems, could give people a phone lacking in basic features available on almost every other smartphone, and some feature phones, and they will buy it like gangbusters. Can it tether? Send MMS? Transfer files over Bluetooth? Multitask? Both phones lose. WinMo and Android beat WebOS and iPhone OS, easily. Open-source beats gimick any day.