Friday, June 25, 2010

The Palm Pre is a piece of unmitigated garbage

Ten months ago, around the end of August, I bought the shiny new Palm Pre that I had been waiting for since its announcement the previous February. For reasons of the onscreen keyboard and that I didn't like the calendar and email apps, I didn't want an iPhone, so this seemed the thing to get. Palm had put a lot of work into the user interface and I had always found their calendar, contacts, etc very usable. So, when I took the wraps off of it and started using it, I was elated. It just worked, and worked well. The OS was, and still is, a great piece of work.

Fast forward to January of this year: My Pre developed spiderweb like cracks emanating from the button in the front. It rendered my touchscreen useless. I sent it away, grumpily paid my $150 insurance deductible, and chalked it up to me having the bad luck to get a dud. My new one came a few days later and after transferring my info to it, I was back in business. For about 2 weeks.

My second Pre's screen had just stopped working. No clue as to why. Didn't drop it, no spider cracks, nothing. So, I called the warranty place and asked for another. Luckily, no deductible this time. It came, I switched, back up and running.

A week or so later, the power button at the top of the thing just broke. I couldn't turn it on or off. Again, I had to call the warranty guys. They sent me my FOURTH Pre in under 2 months. I transferred my data (I was getting really good at this step), and crossed my fingers...

Fast forward to early June. I started to notice that the Pre would just sporadically shut down for no reason. I would close and open it too fast and boom, the thing would just go off. The battery was full, no clue as to why. I started to get a sinking feeling. After a few weeks of hoping this would go away, it started to happen more frequently.

Defeated, I decided to start looking into other phone platforms. I ordered my Nexus One 3 days before the built-in speaker and mic on the phone stopped working for me. Now, I can only make calls when I have the earbuds plugged in. Luckily, my Nexus arrives Monday.

So long, Palm. You gave it a great try, and you largely got it right on the OS. But let's face it - your hardware build quality was complete and total crap. I did my best as a loyal believer and rooter for the underdog, but when the thing doesn't even work, it's time to head for greener pastures. Here's hoping HP has a better fate in store for you.