I received my Palm Pre as a part of cnet's Palm Pre Test Drive on Sprint's Now Network. I am very excited to be participating in this test drive! Since I started using my first smart phone, a Motorola Q, I've wanted a phone that can serve as an extension of my office, especially for email an web browsing. I learned quickly that with a 'mobile' browser', my Q was only good for email, scheduling and games. As soon as my contract expired, I got a Tmobile G1 phone and was later ecstatic to have the opportunity to try out a Palm Pre, and how well it can integrate with my increasingly digital life.
When I received my Pre, it came in a very well designed package. It was fun to unpack it (mostly due to my excitement I'm sure), and it seems that as much thought went into its design as its accessories and packaging.
The Pre came with headphones with a microphone (more common today), a micro-usb cable, a power attachment for the USB cable to plug into , and a sueded case for the phone. As I began to handle and use the pre, I noticed it's shiny exterior seemed to pick up fingerprints rather easily. It was then that I realized the simple brilliance of the case; it not only protects the pre, but buffs the finger prints off each time you use it! My experience so far has been this type of forethought has gone into much of the Pre's design.
When I tried to power on the phone, it wouldn't, and I found I had to charge it some before it would power on. The setup was fairly straight forward and intuitive. I chose my language (English/Spanish), Agreed to the terms of Sprint and Palm, and then the phone automatically activiated. Since I was a new Sprint customer, receiving a new phone number, the phone came ready to be activated and it was instantaneous. As I understand it, for existing customers or when phone numbers are ported to a new phone, there may be some other steps you need to go through.
I was then prompted to create a 'Palm Profile'. I hope to write about what this means to me later... it wasn't clear to me why I needed a palm profile, but it told me it would be critical for some Palm services. There was no fee associated with this, so I signed up for Palm Services. I then continued to agree to Google Location Services (for maps and similar programs the GPS uses), and was asked if I wanted to enable 'Auto Locate'. I choose "No", as I've heard on many GPS enabled phones this can be a battery killer. I was told that I would be asked every time the GPS was needed for location services, and that was a-ok with me!
It then gave a gesture lesson for the "Gesture Bar" on the phone. I really like the idea of this, we'll see how it pans out. Essentially, instead of having a 'back' button on the phone, to go back through menus you have advanced through. The "Gesture Bar" is just below the screen of the phone, and lights up in the direction you swipe. I'm looking forward to this feature.
Then, as the phone finished it's installation in the background, it played a video highlighting some of the features of the phone and how it's used. This was a good example of one of the advances in technology the Pre brings that happens behind the scenes - "Multi-tasking". The ability to run background processes, something which I understand most other smart phones are unable to do. This video, not only demonstrated some great features of the phone and showed off the great video capabilities of the phone, but I think I also learned more about how to use it.
As I tinkered with the phone and explored it, I found that it was very easy and natural to navigate. The screens and icons are also beautiful. I think I'm going to enjoy using this.
Next up, I will discuss my setup of my Pre - setting up email, background, ring tones and things to get me up and running!