Probably the most important thing to me in any sort of smart phone is connectivity. And not just having a signal, but being able to easily connect to my different mail accounts, and NOT have to worry about my contacts. In the past, trying to manage porting my contacts over from phone to phone every 2 years, all while MS Outlook was becoming my de facto source of my contacts. When I got my first smart phone, a Windows based Motorola Q, my contacts were pulled in directly from my MS Exchange account and I believed I would never have to worry about this again. It wasn't quite that simple with my Google G1 phone, which didn't have easy/out of the box integration with outlook. I'm happy to report, setting my my accounts with my Pre was mostly effortless and I have access to everything I need... it is good.
My first item was to set up my Gmail account, which I use for all of my personal correspondence. Setting up Gmail was easy, and I would expect it to be the same experience for standard free accounts like yahoo, hotmail, and such. All I needed to do was enter my email address and password and I was up and running! When I went in later to view the configuration, it had automatically configured the all of server and port settings. It also automatically pulled in my contact and calendar items as well, which I'll show later.
Riding the success of that setup (I'm easy to please), I attempted to set up my work exchange email. I first entered my work (exchange) email address and password, and when the Pre couldn't figure out how to configure it, I was given a list of options for setup (Pop, IMAP or EAS). I chose Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) and entered the requested information.. I entered my domain (after the '@' symbol), my user name (which often doesn't match your email name) and password. This is where I hit my only hiccup, and I expect that this is issue is more closely tied to how your company's exchange system is configured rather than the Pre's ability to connect. Fortunately, I have run into this problem in the past, and tried removing my domain name from the domain field, and voila! Success! I can now send and receive my work email through exchange! This makes the Pre HIGHLY successful in my book to accomplish this so easily!
Next up... using Gmail and Exchange mail on the same phone!