If there are supplies at my local Sprint store, I'll be the owner of a new Palm Pre on tomorrow morning. With Sprint pricing it at $199 (after a $100 mail-in rebate and a renewing of contract for two years), it's a decision that I didn't even have to think about. I buy a new cell phone about every 3 years, so cost of the upgrade isn't much of a financial decision for me. It becomes even less of one when you consider that I can sell my previous Treo on eBay for a few dollars.
The Palm Pre is being billed as the best competitor to the Apple iPhone. Almost everyone agrees that Apple iPhone is the best cell phone you can buy today... so that begs the obvious question, "Why not just get an Apple iPhone?" For me, some of it is design, and some of it is price.
- The iPhone is only available on AT&T - My wife is on Sprint (as well as myself) and the free network to network calling saves me money. And while the Palm Pre is only on Sprint, Palm has a history of working with other networks. There are rumors of a Pre being on Verizon by the end of the year... and
- The iPhone's plans are expensive - Also, I've been with Sprint so long that I get every add-on they offer for around $50 month. The equivalent AT&T plan is $90. Cnet's Rick Broida also says that the iPhone plans are too expensive. That $90 gets you nights and weekends starting at 9PM instead of 7PM. That's big because I have some friends who I can call on the east coast from 10PM-11PM. I'm sure that calling them at midnight would be pushing it.
- The iPhone lacks a keyboard - I will never be able to touch type on a glass screen. I've never seen anyone type with one-hand on the iPhone either. This aspect alone represents a major for me to not go with an iPhone.
Here are some of the features that makes the Palm Pre exciting:
The Apple iPhone has some of those features plus many additional ones... and two days after the Pre comes out Apple is expected to announce a big update to the iPhone. However, it still comes down to price and my complaint there isn't as much with Apple as much as it is about AT&T (well and Apple's exclusive agreement with them).
I'm not the only one who is enthralled by what the Palm Pre represents. Many of the biggest names in technology agree that for the first time since it came out, the iPhone has a competitor:
- Associate Press: Dazzling Palm Software beats the iPhone - Title says it all.
- PC Magazine - Palm Pre Feature Face-Off - "The Palm Pre is the sexiest handset since the iPhone"”and it also marks the dawn of a major new smartphone platform."
- PC World: Palm Pre Review - "the Palm Pre made a solid impression on me. Its eye-catching design and smooth operation make this smartphone the most exciting device I've seen in a while."
- USA Today: Pre could pilot Palm to smartphone glory again - "The first Palm Pre will certainly give the iPhone and other rivals a run for their money."
- Gizmodo: Palm Pre Review - "Impressive start to an OS that should form the base of some quality phones in the future"
- SlashGear: Palm Pre Review - "[Palm has] delivered a smartphone not only capable but honestly impressive and distinctive... we'd readily recommend the Palm Pre."
- CNET: Palm Pre Review - "Palm has developed a solid OS that not only rivals the competition but also sets a new standard in the way smartphones handle tasks and manage information."
- Palm InfoCenter: Palm Pre Review - Can't get much more biased, but "The Palm Pre delivers on Palm's promise of a bringing a next generation differentiated product to market. WebOS is a powerful and compelling new mobile platform. Despite being a 1.0 product, the Pre is pleasantly functional and it users in new level of simplicity and ease of use. Coupled with the attractive hardware design and charming display, this adds up to a distinctively agreeable experience for mobile phone users. Palm has a lot ridding on the Pre and it now appears to be fully back in the game with a superb combination of software and hardware."
- Information Week: Video Palm Pre Review - I hate websites that include video without some kind of translation - especially when I'm trying to pull out a "quotebite". And now I'm just sad to learn that I didn't coin the word "quotebite."
- Engadget: Palm Pre Review - "Some of the ideas and concepts at play in webOS are truly revolutionary for the mobile space, breaking down lots of the walls that separate the experience of using a dedicated PC versus using a handheld device... To put it simply, the Pre is a great phone, and we don't feel any hesitation saying that... Just like the iPhone's notches up the ladder, and the G1's contributions, the Pre moves the game forward in a very real way."
- WSJ.com: Palm Pre Takes On iPhone - "All in all, I believe the Pre is a smart, sophisticated product that will have particular appeal for those who want a physical keyboard. It is thoughtfully designed, works well and could give the iPhone and BlackBerry strong competition..."
- New York Times: Palm Pre Review - "... Especially when you consider that Verizon Wireless has announced that it will carry the Pre 'in the next six months or so.' Can you imagine how great that will be? One of the world's best phones [Palm Pre] on the nation's best cell network [Verizon]?"
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