I didn’t review it on the site, but for about the past 9 months I have been using the Palm Pre phone from Bell. I loved that phone quite a bit. It had the form factor I wanted, being a phone with a touch screen and a sliding keyboard, a portrait slider. It also had an innovative operating system, WebOS, that I really enjoy using. I loved using that phone a lot. But, the Palm Pre had one fatal flaw that has proven too be too much. The hardware had absolutely terrible quality. In a little over 9 months of use, I had 3 of them break. On the first unit, the screen actually cracked from bottom to top, and not from being dropped. the headphone jack also stopped working. Thankfully I purchased warranty on my plan, so I was able to take it into bell and get a different Pre. The second one lasted another 3 months, and what happened to that was that the touch screen stopped working entirely, making the phone impossible to use. The third problem, and this happened to me on Monday of this week, was that in the middle of the night the phone rebooted, and never turned back on.
I loved that phone so much, it did absolutely everything I wanted it to do, in the form factor that I wanted. I’m a huge proponent of Palm’s WebOS operating system. I think it’s significantly better than the iPhone OS, or iOS as apple likes to call it, and I believe it has some great potential. When I bought that phone I intended on it being a phone I would use for at least 2 years, maybe even 3. Palm was reliable on keeping the software updated, and adding new features, and while small, there were more and more apps being developed every day.
The Pre was plagued with hardware problems at launch. I had heard about this, but didn’t think it would be nearly as bad as it would be. From what I understand, if you got a good unit, it was solid and never broke. Unfortunately there were far too few of those units that had no problems. My hope with the first two broken units was that I would replace them with hardware that would not break, and unfortunately that did not happen. I wanted to make it work, I wanted to keep using the Palm Pre
But the simple fact is that I cannot keep using a phone that dies on average every 3 months. Especially when it breaks completely and I can’t get a replacement phone immediately. For me my phone is my central communication device. Phone calls, voicemail, email, twitter, Facebook, and pretty much any way possible to communicate with me get funneled through my phone. I’ve become far too dependant on it to have something that breaks all the time. Whether that’s actually a good thing or not is an entire other issue for another time.
Monday afternoon I went to a bell store and purchased a Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant. This phone just came out on Bell, and is a 4” touch screen Android phone. After 4 days of use I can say that I really love this phone. Is it as good as the Pre, I’m not sure yet. There are a few things I miss about the Pre, and some things I really love that the Pre didn’t have. I’m going to be doing a full review of the phone in the coming days. The real test will be about 3 months from now. If it doesn’t break by then, it’ll be a success.