The Cell Phone Quest – Part 2

I do have to admit, I am biased going into this discovery process.  Since it is my desire to move back to Sprint from Verizon, I am leaning towards Sprint phones.  Emotionally, the phone I am leaning toward the most at the moment, is the Palm Pre.  Seems fitting then that this phone would be first to be reviewed and it’s the Pre’s race to loose.  Just being honest.

The Pre is the newest phone from Palm.  If you have followed the phone market at all (and why in the heck would you?) you’d know that Palm has fallen off the edge in recent years.  A company that was once the dominate leader in the smart phone space has gotten behind and become irrelevant.  Most in the industry feel this is Palm’s last shot.  They have made it a good one.

I like the Pre for several reasons.  It’s smaller and fits better in your pocket better than an iPhone or some of the larger Blackberry devices.  It comes will all the features I am looking for (touch browser, corporate email, GPS, song and podcast capable, etc) and a promising new operating system called the WebOS.  The plans are also cheaper with more minutes at Sprint. 

It does however, come with some serious drawbacks.  The battery life is terrible (it can only get better with future updates).  The phone itself is $199 after rebates.  I would have liked to have seen it come in at $99 and compete with the iPhone on price.  There are limited applications available (iPhone had the same problem when it was first launched) and no promise of more coming.  Since launch two weeks ago, it has already had 3 updates (this is good and bad) and the reviews on usability have been mixed.  The case is not as nice as some others and the keyboard is very small.  It scores better than my current phone, but the iPhone is yet to come.

Here is how it scores:

PhoneMoto Q Palm Pre 
Service ProviderVerizon Sprint 
Full ScreenNo – 2.1 in 320 x 2402Yes – 3.1 in 480 x 3201
Corporate EmailYes1Yes1
Touch BrowserNo2Yes1
Qwerty KeyboardYes1Yes1
Storage64 MB28GB1
SD Card SupportYes1No2
Bluetooth1.2 with A2DP22/1 + EDR with A2DP1
CameraYes – 1.3 megapixels2Yes – 3.2 megapixels1
Music Player / PodcastsYes1Yes1
Battery LifeLi-ion 18 – 24 hours1Li-ion 4 – 6 hours2
Removal BatteryYes1Yes1
Turn by Turn GPSNo2Yes1
OSWindows Mobile 52WebOS1
TetheringYes with additional data plan2Maybe2
Headphone Jack2.5mm23.5mm1
NetworkCDMA – EVDO Rev023G EVDO RevA1
Charger TypeMini USB1Mini USB1
Score 30 23
Cost for PhoneFree $199.00 
Monthly Cost$80.00 $70.00 
DataUnlimited included 
Text$10.00 included 
2 year Contract$2,160.00 $1,680.00 
Total$2,160.00 $1,879.00 
Number of Minutes450 450 
Employee Discount12% 7% 

Remember, I search so you don’t have to!