I love my Prē, but it feels defective

I love my Prē, but it feels defective

Summary: I've been using the Palm Prē for about a week now, and it's the best mobile device I've ever used. The UI is great, you can have multiple apps open and switch between them with ease.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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I've been using the Palm Prē for about a week now, and it's the best mobile device I've ever used. The UI is great, you can have multiple apps open and switch between them with ease. The camera is 3 megapixels and it snaps faster than any point & shoot camera I've ever used. It takes great photos.

Apps are still newborn, but they show promise; downloading, installing, and running them proves to be a simple task. The phone part of the device works fine, even though I don't use it very much. Global search is sweet; just start typing and it finds contacts, web bookmarks, and even lets you ping Wikipedia or Twitter with your search query. Battery life: not terrible.

But my newfangled phone has a few issues that make it feel cheap and fragile. For instance, the alarm is defective because the phone shuts off randomly when not being used for a few hours. So setting an alarm only works if your phone is plugged in. Wake up (late) in the morning, turn on your phone and realize that the battery isn't dead, but the phone just wanted to take a nap with you.

It also shuts down sometimes when I close the keyboard. Very annoying, and powering the phone back up takes up to 2 minutes sometimes! Unacceptable.

Another issue is the wiggle. Check out the video at the top of this post to see what's going on there. I talked with a few other Prē owners and they've experienced the same thing. There is a fix, but I shouldn't have to use a hot glue gun to fix my phone.

I am willing to deal with these defects for a certain amount of time, but one day I think it's gonna make me want to throw the phone off the Golden Gate Bridge. I hope that Palm is aware of these issues and will fix it with future releases. In the meantime, I hope they take good care of their customers who have defective phones.

Update: When I hit "publish" on this blog post, my Prē shut down with full battery life.

Topic: Hardware

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22 comments
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  • Just throw it in the trash

    Get an Android device. The Pre will never have the following, will never have a competitive app marketplace, and will be run out of the market by Android anyways.

    And by your own post, it's a piece of junk.
    trance2tec
    • HTC Ion rocks

      I actually love my Android phone, but I am stuck on Sprint for two more
      years now. Maybe Android will hop over to sprint?
      Andrew Mager
      • HTC Hero

        My stepson works for Sprint. He says they will be getting an HTC Hero (?) that will sport the Android OS.

        On a side note, I love Sprint! I live in a small town and have very little issues! I want a Pre, but have to wait! Unless you want to send me yours!!! :)
        sleach
  • You DO have a defective one.

    I use my Pre to post all kinds of content to the web and have not experienced the shutdown issue then or when I shut the keyboard (there is a work-around for that but I haven't needed it). Also, I do not have the alarm issue either and I have used my Pre as my only alarm clock since taking delivery on June 8th. I suggest you exchange yours sooner rather than later.
    (before your next Pre post would be best :) )

    Also, I have read the posts and my slider does not have an issue either. Maybe I just don't handle my phone like a monkey, I don't know. (not to imply you do).

    At night before bed I place my Pre on the nightstand and do NOT have it plugged in or sitting on the charger so it's not 'kept awake' by any outside source. I have two alarms, one for 6am weekdays and one for 7am weekends and they never fail to wake me.

    Hope your replacement treats you well.

    Sean Brown (@tialoc)
    tialoc
    • Thanks

      I might take it in the to the store soon. Thanks for your comments!!
      Andrew Mager
    • you indeed HAVE a defective phone

      My Pre does none of these things. I had a Pre
      that did not function quite right and brought it
      back to Sprint, they immediately gave me a new
      Pre with no questions asked.

      Also, isn't it beyond dangerous to make a post
      like this without researching other message
      boards for answers to your Pre? With all the
      iPhone fanboys around you are just asking for
      insults from the mass idiots. I feel like your
      post has just hit the Pre right in the gut and
      given the iPhone peeps something to swell their
      heads even more.
      mclieberman
    • Your issues are not unique to the Pre...

      I have a xv6800 (aka Mogul) from HTC that runs on WinMo6.1 and after the recent software update from 6.0 to 6.1 my calendar alerts stopped waking my device, the alarm clock never goes off - ever and my email connection schedule has stopped working (it now checks all the time instead of every 4 hours between 9a & Midnight).

      Yes, I'm considering the Pre & a switch to Sprint, but only if VZW doesn't get the iPhone 3Gs (or better!!).
      NavyStore
  • I love ZDNet but it feels defective

    Tech bloggers who get obviously defective devices but instead of notifying the retailer and getting a working device, like a normal person, they decide to blog about glue gun fixes??? WTF?
    Are you serious? Your first inclination when you discovered you got a bum Pre was to ignore the fact it shuts off due to the well known battery size problem (that is easily found via google) and to blog about how you're willing to deal with defects? Sorry but this is the most ignorant anti-"tech savvy" blog I've seen on here to date. If you bought a new camera that turned off arbitrarily you wouldn't take it back to the retailer or call customer support?????????????

    "I talked with a few other Pr? owners and they?ve experienced the same thing. There is a fix, but I shouldn?t have to use a hot glue gun to fix my phone."

    WTF? Call Sprint tech guy and get a r e p l a c e m e n t like other people who have been unlucky enough to receive problem devices.
    snafu_77
    • Hardware defects

      It's happening to a lot of people, not just me. I am just exposing my issue and hoping Sprint will respond.

      These days I'd rather write a blog post than call a company directly. Who wants to talk to a customer service rep anyway???
      Andrew Mager
      • Somebody who wants their problem solved.

        "Who wants to talk to a customer service rep anyway???"

        Somebody who wants their problem solved.

        Whining in a blog doesn't fix problems.
        CobraA1
      • I want to talk to a customer service rep

        if the phone I just paid $300 for is falling apart. I know it has happened to many people. I read the Pre forums at everythingpre, precentral etc and I know about the battery size issue that you are experiencing. It just troubles me that you have not also found out that the people with these problems are getting NEW phones if they merely go back to the store and tell the Sprint folks what's going on.
        Do you want to keep the defective phone or do you want one that works as intended?
        Sprint is actually trying to overhaul their customer service and you are now what they call a "Premier" customer. You get full rebates on new phones after a year, special discounts and other stuff including better customer service. How are you going to take advantage of any of that without calling them or walking into a store, or at least going to a customer support chat session on mysprint.com?

        I just think you really have not tried the logical route to resolution of your Pre problems. You can have a new working device by merely going to a Sprint store. Your phone data is backed up to Palm's servers already. Backup your files on the device that you don't want to lose in USB mode and go down to Sprint and get a working phone. Jeeez.

        Honestly, I'd be pissed if my Pre was like yours. So pissed that I woulda had a new one the same day I discovered the problems. I guess I just don't see why you refuse to get a new one. You can actually call your local store and tell them your problem, make sure they have a new one to swap out and go solve your problem ASAP - no calls to the Phillipines involved.
        snafu_77
        • Today

          I am gonna go at lunch time today and try to get a new one.
          Andrew Mager
          • Thank you.

            Please post back with how they treat you. I'd like to know what I'm in for if problems come up and I need to swap mine out.
            snafu_77
          • Battery

            They gave me a new battery.
            Andrew Mager
      • Now THAT'S a weak response

        [i]These days I'd rather write a blog post than
        call a company directly. Who wants to talk to a
        customer service rep anyway???[/i]

        (Sigh) Then you should get what you deserve.
        Don't expect a sympathetic ear in the meantime.
        You bought the phone and you get its warranty.
        Instead of whining about it in a blog--even if
        it's something that could justify your
        existence here on ZDNET--abide by the
        stipulations within the warranty like
        [i]everyone else[/i] and get the proper fix
        that's due you.
        flatliner
    • That's what I don't like about most ZDNet bloggers

      That's what I don't like about most ZDNet bloggers. Most of them are quick-fix personalities that care more about "cool" web apps and social networking than about long term solutions that actually help productivity.

      No, being able to talk constantly to other people like a teenager on a phone is [b]NOT[/b] being more productive.
      CobraA1
    • You read my mind, TMFreeman

      This blogger is deserving of the rank 'Douchenozzle First Class' for this bit of whiny b*tchiness. Don't put yourself out or anything, Sally. If this lazy as*munch had just gone back to the store first, we would not have been exposed to his drivel. Hey Mager, aren't you supposed to at least have a rudimentary understanding of when a product isn't 'right'? Fortunately, I have a feeling your run here at ZDNet will not be a long one. They should bring back George Ou; I didn't agree with him often, but at least he wasn't a total f*cktard.
      heres_johnny
  • Palm Builds Shoddy Pres

    I would skip this first generation of the Pre. I have read other stories about the cheap feel and shoddy manufacturing of these phones. Looks like Palm cut corners in the manufacturing, and it shows.
    jpr75_z
    • iPhones are also having issues...

      There are some Pre owners who are having issues. Experience seems to be that Sprint resolves the issues quickly and without difficulty. Most devices of this complexity and nature will have some defects upon release, including the mighty iPhone. Doesn't mean they are shoddy products, nor that Palm cut corners in manufacturing. My Pre does just fine thank you, and it is functionally way better than my iPod Touch.

      http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/06/overheating-iphones/
      Aragorn_z
  • First HP, now Palm

    Watch out if your company makes shoddy products or has shoddy service.

    You columnists really are living the dream. I can't count how many times I've wanted to stick it to some company that has done me wrong, but you guys really can hit them where it hurts.
    urbandk