Major Problems with the Palm Pre?

palm_preI’ve kept a keen eye on the Palm Pre smartphone being offered by Sprint, since I have interest in developing and selling applications for that mobile platform. The Pre has been out for about one week now, and from the various forum postings I’ve read it seems to have lots and lots of problems. Some issues are related to the hardware, while others are related to the Sprint Network or WebOS operating system.

In general, I’ve found that most people will post to forums when they have a problem or issue, and not when everything is going well. So, you have to take what you read with a grain of salt. However, there seems to be some overwhelming postings revealing these issues:

  • Overheating issues while charging and while in use
  • Very limited support for Microsoft Exchange Server access
  • Alarms and notifications do not consistently work
  • Pre device prematurely reboots when closing QWERTY keyboard
  • Battery drains rapidly and will not last the entire day
  • The Pre battery can drain completely even if connected to a car charge (when running apps like the GPS Navigation)
  • The screen will prematurely crack under no load
  • Poor reception signal compared to other Sprint phones

I can understand and tolerate the various WebOS issues (since an OS update or patch should fix them), however, the hardware issues are a different story. What’s especially troublesome is the poor reception and cracking screens. This clearly indicates a hardware defect situation, but Sprint and Palm are currently dismissing it.

Of course, we need to acknowledge that the Palm Pre is version 1.0 for both the hardware and OS, and the “early adopters” are willing to put up with these issues (or simply believe they do not exist). I may need to wait until Palm comes out with a higher-quality device before I jump over to Sprint and start developing apps. Let’s hope it won’t take too long and that Palm doesn’t run out of cash!

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