Mobile Sands

June 8, 2009

Visiting the Sprint Store to See Palm Pre

Filed under: Smartphones — Tags: , , — AJ @ 1:03 pm

I was among the legions of smartphone enthusiasts who walked into Sprint stores this weekend. The Pre was, as expected, sold out by mid-saturday. I tried a trial unit and I must say, I was not disappointed!

All the cool features that Palm has been touting in its advertising – from multi-touch to the ability to run multiple applications – were there and worked really well.  I really liked the keyboard. It was much better than typing on the iPhone’s screen and felt more responsive than QWERTY keyboards I have used on Blackberry and Motorola Q. Though Palm does not have an large App store, the device comes pre-loaded with several great apps like Pandora, facebook, Google maps, and youtube – all of which worked nicely when I tried them. And the browser renders multimedia-heavy pages beautifully (I tried www.lonelyplanet.com).

Bloomberg estimates that a total of 150,000 Pres were sold this weekend. According to salesperson at the store I visited in Boston, they were allocated 60 devices, and were sold out by 11 AM on saturday. They were expecting 40 more devices on Monday and a similar number on Tuesday. I am 61st on the waiting list at this store and was told to expect a call on Tuesday evening.

While I was waiting for my turn to try out the Pre, I noticed Sprint’s Airave femtocell (displayed in a glass box near checkout) and asked the salesperson what it was and if I needed one. She replied that it was router that expanded wireless coverage but no one who lives in Boston really needs one; maybe in certain high-rises or in far-out suburbs. After taking a dig at T-Mobile’s coverage in the city, she calmly reassured me that “since Sprint uses the same technology as Verizon, our network is as good as theirs.” Ingenius!

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1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for the review. I agree on the importance of the keyboard. I hope Palm succeeds with the Pre and survives until it has a chance to grow through distribution with other carriers. I’m afraid Sprint may not do it justice in spite of having the same technology as Verizon.

    Comment by Paul Tse — June 30, 2009 @ 12:07 am


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