If you think about webOS and Android, the Pre and the Droid, and Palm and Google--there aren't too many apparent similarities. Think about it: round vs square, small vs big--it's as if they exist in two separate worlds. But you dig deeper and realize there are some similar underlying aspects. The Pre and the Droid have been easily the two most recognizable phones released this year (non-iPhone, of course) and webOS and Android are the two newest platforms that are actually changing the way we use our phones by bringing in better concepts.

Though they're both trending differently (financially, at least), there's a common will to see them both succeed. Sure it might be for different reasons--Palm, for the underdog, soft-spot-in-our-hearts aspect and Google, for the changing-the-world-we-live-in aspect, but the faith in the common smartphone user exists (okay maybe, we're reaching there).

Nonetheless, there's much to learn about the webOS platform but we'll give this away first: the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi were both splendid devices to use and webOS is such amazing execution of an amazing concept that I was thoroughly impressed with Palm's new direction and wouldn't even mind owning a Pre myself.

Now let's take a closer look at webOS from an Android perspective after the jump!

Hardware

The Pre is an extremely well designed phone. It's a vertical slider, a form factor we lack in Android, that's not too thick and very fun to use. If you haven't had the chance to see it or hold it yet, know that the shape feels incredibly good in your hand and it's easily pocketable because the Pre's footprint is so small. There's definitely a plasticky feel to the device which will definitely turn some users off but it's not too bad. There's also a 'rickety' feel to it, the sliding mechanism definitely isn't as solid as the Droid, which obviously brings concern of usage over time. In fact, compared to the Droid, the Pre is the antithesis. Instead of hard right angles and metal, the Pre uses soft curves and plastic. Instead of a big expansive brick-like device, we get a small pebble-like figure. Both work, and the Pre is excellent but we still prefer the Droid.

The Pixi is another well designed phone, the candybar QWERTY-model with touchscreen is really something we're waiting to see in an Android device because it offers a completely different experience. The Pixi is impossibly thin and small, and has the rounded curves to make the device feel even smaller. The back of the Pixi is covered in a matte finish that can be likened to the T-Mobile G1 or HTC Hero but significantly more 'matte'. Our only gripe with the Pixi's design is that the area where a typical trackball would be is completely empty, which leaves a glaring blank spot on the front face of the phone--like something is missing.

However, what these two webOS devices gain in their small footprint and overall size, they lose in screen size and functionality of the keyboard. As there's a movement toward bigger and larger screens (see: Droid, HD2), the 3.1 inch screen of the Pre barely cuts it and the 2.63 inch screen of the Pixi doesn't clear the bar at all. The screens themselves are sharp enough but the overall size leaves a lot more to be desired, especially when browsing the web on the Pixi.

We know we don't have the greatest of keyboards on the Android platform but the Pre keyboard is our least favorite keyboard on a smartphone. The buttons feel odd, the top row of keys is very close to the bottom edge of the screen, and nail-typing just isn't an adequate solution for us. We think our problems stem from the fact that the Pre keyboard kind of 'dips' into the device, its slight concave shape makes it harder to type on. We hope a vertical slider in the future can fix that keyboard issue.

On the other hand and as odd as it sounds, the Pixi's keyboard, though smaller than the Pre's, was much easier to use. It's easy to pick up, gives a satisfying click, and we can thumb type with no problem. Maybe the fact that the keyboard is on a flat slab helps the performance? Either way, typing on the Pixi gave us no problems but those with extra large thumbs may find it difficult.

Overall, Palm did an incredible job with design in these two devices. They have a relatively uniform, unmistakably Palm look to them and are both very well designed devices. The little touches are Palm's long standing mantra and it's good to know that it's still consistent today (speaker grilles, ringer switch, mirror). And though the Pre's keyboard is a little rough and both the screens are small, we're still walking away with positive feelings about the hardware. We love that the Pre's screen blends in with the black of the front fact, we love the simplicity of the design, and we love, love, love, love the gesture area. Why no one copied/stole/re-invented it yet is beyond us. It makes typically useless area so incredibly useful.

webOS

 

Before we start with the OS, we think its safe to say that webOS just very well may be the prettiest, best looking OS around. The fonts are gorgeous, the cards are elegant, and the icons are sharp--it all fits under one cohesive umbrella of beautiful. Android is certainly 'prettying' up in Android 2.x with better, sharper icons and more elegant screens but it's no where near as consistent as webOS.

Taking a deeper look beyond the surface, our first thought of webOS is that it's stunning that Google didn't go in this direction with Android. The very basis of webOS is the web: HTML, CSS, Javascript are used to develop applications, anyone who knows the web will know webOS, etc. Doesn't Google own the web? Wouldn't you think they would be the ones who would have built a web-based smartphone platform? Doesn't it make too much sense? That new Chrome OS certainly seems like a reset button for Google to design the OS they seem destined to build.

 

The main draw of webOS is easily the multitasking aspect of it. And though Android does multitasking just fine, the implementation of multitasking on webOS is much more elegant. There are 'cards' that show which applications are open and running, to move to the next app just slide to the next card, if you want to close the application, swipe the card away. Simple, effortless and borderline genius. It's an understatement how easy it is to pick up.

But the question is, is this type of in-your-face multitasking necessary, and do I prefer it? I'm going to go with a kind of yes. The ease of multitasking in webOS is really to die for, from not having the option to close apps on Android (unless when using a third party app killer) to simply swiping up makes incredible sense. Considering we're constrained by screen size on a smartphone, 'Cards' is easily the most elegant and fluid solution for multitasking--it extends your small screen into multiple desktops.

I would love for this to become a feature in Android. But that's the keyword: feature. Multitasking on webOS is so in-your-face that it replaces a true homescreen experience, I'm not sure if multitasking alone is worth that. The lack of widgets and a true homescreen experience is something I'd definitely miss if I used a webOS device full time. If I could bring up a 'Cards'-like interface in Android while keeping my homescreen experience with widgets, well hey, let's make it happen Google.

 

Beyond just multitasking, webOS is a smartly designed smartphone OS. Palm definitely put their time into it and there are nice touches sprinkled around to make it such an enjoyable experience. The fact that you can tap the top right corner from anywhere on your phone to bring up your Wi-Fi and bluetooth settings is smart. We have a widget on Android that does this on the homescreen but webOS' implementation takes up no additional screen real estate unless called for. The Browser is sweet. It supports multitouch which makes us even more jealous. We'd rate it slightly better than the Android experience because of multitouch. We also like the Universal Search that comes with the Pre, the option to search other avenues like Twitter, Wikipedia is much appreciated.

The notifications in webOS are also nice, when you get an e-mail, a notification will pop up on the 'bottom line' and give a one-line scroll to let you know what's up. If you get more notifications it'll continue to stack. What's great about this system is that you're notified of exactly what you're getting without being disruptive in any way. Think about it like watching ESPN and having the 'bottom line' scroll and notify you of game scores and stats. You get to continue watching the game but also know what happens outside as well. With webOS, it's interactive, so if you see something of interest, simply tap it and it'll open, if you don't care for it, ignore it or swipe it away--it's like notification with options. It doesn't remove you from your current task to deal with notifications and it doesn't just notify you that you have 2 e-mails, you actually know what those e-mails are. With that said, there should still be a notification light--why not use the already light-able gesture area?

But the biggest downfall of the Pre and the Pixi is its speed. It's just too slow right now. Too much lag, too many hang ups in usage, and just not as pleasant experience as it deserves. Considering it uses the same processor as the Droid and the iPhone 3GS, it brings webOS into question, is webOS the problem? Is it the mulitasking? Is it the pretty fonts? webOS needs to get a speed boost in order to hang with the big boys. Android is no speed demon but it's significantly faster than webOS. Another big minus point for the battery life, it's barely good enough to eek out a day of usage and if you're going heavy, bring an extra battery cause you'll absolutely need it.

Palm Present & Future

We have to commend the Palm team for simply re-inventing themselves while still staying true to their roots. webOS, the Pre, and the Pixi are paving way for a brand new Palm that brings Palm to the new age while acknowledging its past. It's everything new but still familiar. You can tell by the current makeup of Pre/Pixi users. I asked the users of PreCentral.net if they were long-time Palm users or first-time Palm users, and a large portion have used Palm devices since before we even knew what a smartphone was. As different as webOS is from before, it's still Palm and there are still the magnificent little Palm touches.

We'd be remiss to not mention that it's simply amazing how much the platform has changed and transformed since the last Smartphone Round Robin. Remember, we were using the Palm Treo Pro last year that ran Windows Mobile. That felt tired and old and I even made a comparison that Palm was going down the route of game maker Sega. This year? So. Much. Better. The ideas that Palm is bringing to the smartphone scape are fresh and definitely worthy of mimicking.

We don't hand out awards or anoint winners in the Smartphone Round Robin but there's no doubt in my mind that Palm is the runaway winner of Most Improved Platform. Come on, last year's Smartphone Round Robin had a Palm representative in name only (it ran Windows Mobile), this year's webOS devices are absolutely wonderful.

Though the smartphone landscape is getting increasingly crowded and competitive with the biggest companies in the world all wanting a slice of the pie, Palm is in a good place. They have a great, young platform with cool and fresh ideas. They have wonderful devices that have managed to re-capture the old Palm magic. And they have that excitement back again. In one year, Palm has turned themselves into a brand new company, from an aging, floundering company who made boring products to a new age, underdog company who pushes the innovation bar higher. What a year for Palm.

Final Thoughts

It's always odd ending these Round Robin reviews because most of the time, you won't see these devices for another year. So when you use a device that you truly did enjoy, it's a little bittersweet saying goodbye. Last year, I felt sad saying goodbye to the Blackberry Bold, this year it's tough for me to say goodbye to the Palm Pre (heck, I'll even miss the Pixi). I just enjoyed the neat little touches that the OS had and I loved staring at the UI.

Could I use a Pre full-time? Well, not really. The keyboard is too tough for me to type on, the screen is too small to browse on, the lag is too much to deal with it, and the battery life would leave me with an expensive paperweight by the end of the day. But from using the Pre, it definitely makes me excited for what the future Pre 2 (Post?) would be.

To make comparisons, the Pre is in a similar position to the T-Mobile G1 last year. Obviously, the Pre is a much more polished device compared to a T-Mobile G1, but it still is only available on only one US carrier, still limited by some hardware oddities, and still needs improvement in battery life and speed--just like the G1. The T-Mobile G1 and Palm Pre both have some great ideas in their respective platforms and cool touches in their respective hardware but you knew/know better devices were/are coming. So what will come next for Palm? I'm actually excited to find out.

 

Reader comments

webOS Review -- Smartphone Round Robin

25 Comments

I have to say, I've been with the Pre since the very beginning, but that HTC Hero at the Sprint Store seems better and better everyday.

The Pre is gorgeous, webOS trumps Android in my book, simply because of its cohesiveness and sex appeal, but the lousy to decent hardware experience leaves much (some even say too much) to be desired.

....

Truth be told, I'm with the Pre, and can't wait until the Pre2 comes out.

Question, which is Sprint's true flagship device, the Pre of the Hero?

My son has the the Palm Pre and I have the HTC Hero and I can say I like the Hero better. Android is cool, widgets are crazy! Everything that is missing in the Palm Pre the Hero has it!

I've owned the Pre and had 5 of the them, all defective. The Pre is innovative, but the hardware is crappy. The HTC Hero is am amazing device and the product is built well. The widgets are fierce and everything just flows together smooth.

Android & Palm webOS are the two platforms I'm most excited about. I just bought my wife the Pre and I love it. I think your review was pretty much spot on especially the points about the look and feel of webOS and the need of a Homepage. However, I think the keyboard deserves more credit than you give it. I would gladly take it over my iPhone's, and the vertical slider is more comfortable than a horizontal slider like my old HTC Hermes.

I owned 5 Pre's, all defective. It was by far the worst phone I have ever had. Form-factor of the Pre? HAHAHA. Thats a joke. Hold the phone to your head during a call and see if you enjoy the slider wiggling with the slightest movement of your face... its not even wear and tear, that was on day 1 of ownership. I switched to the Hero after threatening Sprint that I was leaving. I will never look back, the Hero fits perfectly in the hand (yes, form factor), and simply works. Yes, you can't do as cool things on it as other Android phones. Yes, it runs on cupcake (1.5). But guess what I will NEVER miss. The phone not opening a program because "too many cards are open" when only the app store and mail were open. That and I don't have to worry about Google losing my contacts like Palm did. I still haven't received a call from Palm about that which I was promised twice by them. It was upgraded to a level 3 support issue or some BS. Palm has no chance in being around in a year unless they do get bought out by a company that can bring in new programers cause the WEBOS platform is BROKEN and no one seems to want to fix it. Their solution is expand to other countries instead of make happy costumers first. You know its a crappy phone when the Carrier just replaces them without too much questioning. I talked to a repair center (some hole in the wall place) he said they replace 2 a day. Way too many for the relatively small town.
I've had the hero for 3 weeks now. Absolutely love it. Sure, Android takes a little bit of time to get used to. It surely isn't as intuitive as WebOS or IPhoneOS, but you know what? I have a phone that works and most importantly, makes phone calls (another thing the Pre didn't do a good job at). My Girlfriend has the Pre, she's had it longer than I had mine. We're in a great 3G area now and she constantly misses calls and texts when I don't on my Hero.
If you are thinking about switching to a Palm Pre, don't. If anything, get the Pixi, sure the no wifi sucks, has a slower processor and smaller screen, but it doesn't have all the hardware issues the Pre has, and when you're disappointed about not having things like voice activated dialing, video recording, or other pretty basic phone features, the Hero will be there to tell you, I told you so.

While your comments are probably justified, that is unless your just a Palm hater. It should be noted that Palm has improved their devices and not as many people are experiencing problems with the phones build. As with any new device there were some problems. I too had to return my first Pre, but my second one has held up fine. I have had it four months and the slider is still tight, no issues. It should also be noted that Web OS 1.3.5 was just released and has helped with battery and speed of the device. While the Pre is not for everyone, your experience is definitely in the minority. I wouldn’t trade my Pre for any device out right now.

I agree with Crawdaddct. I feel for anybody who had such a bad experience, but that's what it is: your experience. Mine and all of my friends who purchased Pre's has been different.

I purchased my Pre an hour into the release day, have beat it to hell, and it still works flawlessly. It did have a habit of lagging during transitions a bit at times as was mentioned in the article, but the latest update that was applied this week has largely fixed that (I might add, without the GPU utilization which hasn't even come yet from my understanding). Battery life (for me) has improved noticeably since that update as well. I've never had a problem with calls dropping/connecting/quality. Ever. People who lost all their contacts after getting a replacement phone should be pissed. There was a simple step that would've prevented it, but it took a week or so for the WebOS community to figure it out (using a fake login, updating to the latest version, then logging in to your real acct). Its a scenario Palm and Sprint should've predicted and prepared for. If you have a google acct, you can set it as your default so that all contacts going forward are are backed up there as well. And as to missing features: voice dialing (which I've never used personally, even when I had it), video recording, etc...the solution was mentioned above. Updates. Palm has already pushed multiple, meaningful updates OTA and the phone has only been out 6mos. It was released in its somewhat unfinished state because the company was in a survival mode. That said, people have been saying they'd fold within the year for about 10 years now. The certainly haven't made perfect devices or OS (no one has), but they did an excellent job with this and are continuing to refine their products.

I know I'm not alone with my QA problems. I never heard back from Palm about my contacts missing. Yes, I know I could use Google Contacts as my primary account, and after I lost all my contacts, thats what I did, but I still lost quite a few important contacts. I'm only a "Palm Hater" because of my personal experience with the Pre. Honestly, without actually owning an Android phone, or taking one for a decent test drive, you don't get to appreciate the true beauty of it. I will never look back at leaving Palm, and from an Android perspective, I do hope Palm gets their head out from their ass and actually provides decent competition. Everything on my Hero works. From Day 1, not from 6 months after. My girlfriend still has her Pre and I am familiar with the 1.3.5 update. If you truly need a smartphone, go elsewhere. Every update Palm releases has a compatibility issue with Microsoft Exchange, and doesn't serve the corporate person very much usefulness. The beauty of the Hero is the Sense Interface. I have a phone that adapts with me. I don't have "Themes" per se like you can do in WebOS (unofficially supported, like everything good in WebOS), but with the Sense UI, I have the ability to change how the phone looks in a matter of seconds. If I want a Scene for traveling, where I have an Updating Clock, Weather, and travel apps (like Sprint Nav and Trapster) and widgets on the front screen, I can. If I want a more business oriented scene with stock quotes, e-mail, two-time zone clock on the front screen, I got that, too. I don't have to seriously overhaul my phone to do so, or worry that the next update may render my phone useless.
Yes, Android 1.5 is "Sophmorish" as stated before. HTC hasn't updated it yet, but will. When they do, it will be much more worth it than the Palm updates as they are going straight to 2.1, skipping 1.6. The reason for my excitement is wireless file transfer through bluetooth to my Mac. As of yet, the Bluetooth on the Pre is still useless. The "Send to Car Kit" feature didn't work when I tried it on the Pre.
For this comment (not by you): Its a New OS, expect its set backs (paraphrased). Palm has been making phones for many years. HTC got their hardware right the first time, no matter which phone you pick of theirs. I have gripes with Motorola way back with the crappy battery life on a simple phone. Moto Droid users should be pissed about their battery doors falling off, but I see Verizon and Motorola have a solution and it isn't going to cost their customers anything (unlike Palm trying to charge me for support for them losing my contacts).

I've had 1 pre and it has worked extremely well in the few months I've had it. I owned an iPhone before that, for 2 years, and was glad to switch because the apps that I wanted, Apple would not approve.

After the switch, I realized how badly Apple needs to reinvent their stagnant software. The WebOS is AMAZINGLY intuitive. The article did not emphasize this enough. Probably because it's difficult to put it into words. Things just flow so well, as a matter of fact, so well that I think Palm realized that the center button really did not have any use after all. It is a bit laggy sometimes but considering this is still 1.x, it's not to bad. Apple is at 3.1.x and their software is just as laggy.

Reception is exceptional.

Data is superior to AT&T's.

Battery life could be improved, but the touchstone is stunning. NO MORE CABLES ! ! ! What a relief not having to deal with cables anymore!

Keyboard works extremely well, especially compared to Apples laggy keyboard. Size is good but obviously this will vary from user to user.

I had a chance to play around with the HTC Hero and can say that the WebOS looks more promising. The difference between the two is a comparison of opposites.

HTC Hero Android, tons of developers, many more apps.
Palm Pre, few developers, few apps.

HTC Hero Android, very sophmorish user interface, a lot of work needed in order to catch up to the iPhone, let alone WebOS. WebOS runs circles around both OS's.
Palm Pre, fine tune their OS to find perfection.

This is not to say that Android is "bad" it just needs to mature a bit to catch up where the WebOS started, which is quite a compliment to the Palm team.

Screen size, well if you go any smaller than the Pre, that would not be good, but it's a good size and fits so easily in a pocket. The Hero, probably wouldn't go any bigger because at that size, it almost feels uncomfortable in the pocket. Of course this will vary from user to user so it's pointless to try to discuss much. Anything between the two would be good. After having used the iPhone for a few years, having the Pre has been a relief.

So the question is, which is easier, make the Android OS as fluid and sophisticated yet simple as the WebOS, or get a lot more developers for Palm Pre?

Regardless of which one comes out ahead, the consumer is going to win for a few reasons. These phones are SO MUCH BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAD A FEW YEARS AGO, and two, we don't have to be under the dictatorship of Apple, deciding which app is going to make it and quite honestly having a stagnant OS which hasn't changed much in the last two years. We have a choice, and Android and WebOS are great options.

Good review and a fair write-up for anyone considering Android or webOS phones really. I just bought a Palm Pre in November, after following all the exciting Android phones coming to market this year. But I have also wanted a Palm Pre and webOS since its launch. I think I would be very happy to have either the HTC Hero or my Pre, although they are very different in user experience.

I'm very very happy to have the Pre and webOS. The phone build quality could be better, and that's what we can really look forward to in Pre2 after Palm fixes some design and build quality issues. Granted, my Pre has been working great with little quality issues. Pre2 potentials will be exciting to many users, and it's only 6 months away hopefully!

Everyday I use webOS and learn more things (homebrew patches and apps and themes) that I can do with it, this OS just amazes even more. The simplicity and intuition of use, yet ability to accomplish so many tasks quickly and smoothly is what makes this OS great. The iPhone OS does appear stagnant and un-exciting by comparison IMO.

I'm still watching all the Android OS development and awesome new phones seemingly coming out every week! Exciting times!

I have had the Pre since july 09. It is the best smartphone I have ever had... But I have not yet tried an Android. I must say that without the homebrew apps, I would be much less excited about the Pre. Realistically, it looks like Android is iterating much more rapidly than the WebOS. Not surprising, but does not bode well for the future of Palm. My next phone may very well turn out to be an Android. But for now, I still like the Pre.

I switched from a family plan on Sprint with 3 Pres to 1 Pre and 2 iPhones. Ive always been a Palm supporter but the market has surpassed Palm in many ways and until they catch up in terms on a thorough SDK, GPU usage, Apps! etc (even though Flash is coming this year, envy!) I simply can't imagine giving up an untethered-jailbroken 3G S. I've never had an iPhone before, but one week with an iPod Touch 3G sold me on the platform. After Sprint breeched contract this month, the move was a no brainer. Backgrounder, ProSwitcher, SBSettings and a few other Cydia apps brings most of my most desired features from WebOS over to a much more mature and diverse platform. Compared to what I've given up, what I've gained is monumental. Everything from Apps to Voice Control is flawless and the virtual keyboard (and I've ALWAYS been a physical kb guy) is better than anything you could imagine until you've used it. I've kept one Pre because the person using it doesnt need or want the depth of iPhone (or even Android for that matter) and it's ease of use and intuitiveness is GREAT for some people. Just not for the smartphone expert user. Palm needs to appeal to the soccer-mom computer illiterate market with their phone. People that don't require 100,000 Apps; just a Phone and a Calender, maybe some Email. etc

You should take just one more look at this phone now that 1.3.5 has been released...it just seriously bumped the overall quality and stability of the phone up a big notch and prepared the phone for some big (e.g. GPU, flash) announcements in 2010...

Great review... I am a Pre Owner and I have been looking forward to reading this match up. I tried, tried and tried to get my bother to buy the Pre, but he got a HTC Hero. Now, as much as I'm disappointed I'm happy for him, mainly cause I like the Hero too. Every time we see each other it seems like we play with each others phones as much as we mess around with our own. I like the physical keyboard but the Hero is the only phone with no physical keyboard that I would switch to.

I would have like to see more on a comparison between synergy and androids version. I find WebOS to work great and link most my contacts on the first try. I haven't been able to truly use Android's.

I do feel that the lack of a home screen and widgets takes away for the WebOS overall appeal, but I dont think Android users (mainly with sencse UI) will like a "feature" like "cards". my brother found the trick of holding the "home" button to bring up last 6 apps used.

Android notifications are good. The pull down is nice. but WebOS does it better. And I tend to find some of the alerts a pain because if you dont get rid of them they hang out at the bottom and take up screen space. So i tend to get rid of them as they pop up.

I also found that the "homebrew"/underground development scene for the Pre has helped out a lot. Small fixes and small grips are fixed with little patches. This is what Open source is all about. I'm not too familiar with Android's but if its anything like WebOS' its worth a try.

Great review. Your impressions and opinions came through, yet it was fair and rational. Many times in reviews like this it's not a "review" as much as a justification for why my phone is better. I think iPhone users fall into this so much - since they had a good experience with their iPhone, nothing is better and they will never entertain the idea that anything ever is.

I have been a Pre owner since July and I've had much the same experience. I regretted getting the Pre when the Droid came out, but for how I use the phone, I don't think there would have been anything I can't do, albeit I would have to do them a bit differently. I think that's what it comes down to - so many people think their phone is the "best", when it's really about what phone and best for you. For the way I use my phone, Palm's synergy and multitasking trump any issues with speed, apps or missing features, which are all important to me, but not as important.

I'm a strong believer in Palm and webOS. Having used the webOS for 6 months, I can say the pros out weight the cons. Yes, the OS is at times painfully sluggish. Yes there are features missing that should have been included, and they will be included with future updates. And yes, the hardware needs better built quality.

Although I am frustrated by the Pre's short comings, I would have been greatly saddened if Palm had delayed the release of this product to address all these problems, and so is true for all of you.

As a new user to WebOS who had never considered palm when purchasing smart phones, I am to the highest degree impress with WebOS and look forward to growing with this platform. What makes WebOS great is not the individual features: multitasking, notifications, universal search, OTA updates, and UI). It's the seamless way which all these features compliment each other that are truly genius.

It's Just gonna get better folks, be patient

Really great article and very fair. And I really hate hearing about people owning 5 Pres. Mine has been rock solid, but obviously that isn't the case for some. Really sorry that you've had such a bad experience.

I think the sad truth is that at launch Palm had to cut corners because they just didn't have the money to create a solid phone. In my opinion, Palm was one step away from closing its doors and the only way to get the Pre out into the world was to create the foundation of a great device for little money.

But I also think that good things are ahead. The latest update apparently deals with speed and functionality. And personally I really REALLY like the small size of the Pre and the keyboard. But if Jon Rubinstein hadn't come on board at Palm, then I would totally be on the Android train, that's for sure.

Right now, Palm is where the G1 was last year. I'm really excited to see what comes of both platforms in the future!

My brother has the new Android phone (he switched in his first month from a Pre). I have had a Pre for nearly 6 months. While he loves the gadgets, he hates the user interface compared to the WebOS.

I really love WebOS. It just plain works... My brother presses 4 buttons to see an incoming message... I look at my notification and click if I want to see it. I can even choose with one click whether to look at the message or the entire list.

I agree with so many other users here: The WebOS is super slick and very useable. The one thing I regret is lack of apps. In fact, my Bible Study tool of choice on my desktop (Logos Bible Study Software) just released a free iPhone app that incorporates all (most) of the books that i have already purchased in the Libronix (Logos) format. That is too cool. And it is free. It is apps like these that will pry my fingers away from the incredible Palm Pre. But, I have a year and a half to hope that WebOS developers will create even more strong apps in every area.

WebOS is the best mobile platform out there. So much better than an iPhone. And a small leap better than Android 2. Now, can it improve itself and increase the apps to be really competitive in a fierce market?

I switched from Windows Mobile to the Pre a few months ago. I really like being able to root my Pre and get into the javascript code and change things. Much more flexible than registry hacks in Windows Mobile. The iPhone seems completely locked in the ability to tweak things. How easy is it to mess around with Android code?

I got a Pre in early December and used it for about 3 weeks. Loved the phone. It was easy to use and very intuitive. Regrettably I had to return it and get a HTC Hero. I like it almost as much as the Pre but I had to make the change due to poor reception with the Pre. I previously owned a Centro and seldom dropped a call at home. The first two weeks I had the Pre I tried to make calls from home during my office day. I almost could not work those two days due to dropping almost every call I tried to make. With the Hero, no problems. So for me, as much as I like the Pre, it was not much good to me if I couldn't make phone calls from home. If the latest update helped reception as some have said I would have kept the Pre but having switched before the update hit I will never know.

I have both right now, I have had the pre for more time, and heard some good things about the hero so got it too and I am extremely disappointed with the hero. It lags too much, I can have 15 windows open on the pre and with the hero, with 3 apps its already extremely slow, camera for video and photos is horribble, pre has an amazing camera for both (get precorder for videos). Multitasking is a lot better on the pre. As far as hardware, I also dont like the plastic pre, but it has survived a couple of falls, while the hero looks more solid, if it took one of the falls my pre has taken, I am sure the screen would crack. More brilliant colors on the pre and it has a physical keyboard. I wanted to fall in love with the hero because of the 16,000 apps and all the features that it has over the pre, but i am tired of all the force closing, how slow it is, bad camera, no flash, no physical keyboard, etc.

Funny, I wonder why I got the "Too Many Cards Open" after opening 2 apps on the Palm Pre. You would benefit from a Task Killer app on the Hero. I kill everything after I use it and only leave open 4 apps, Handcent, Google Voice, Mail and the Task Killer as a reminder to kill tasks every now and then. If the phone starts to run a little sluggish, I just hit the kill selected apps and it solves the problem. The most annoying thing with the pre is that having screen rotation is useless on it for most of the apps as text input is impossible without an onscreen keyboard (yes, I know of the virtual keyboard, which is sluggish as hell!!!).
I've never had an app force close on me, granted I have only had the phone for about a month now. I have downloaded a lot of apps though, the majority being highly recommended apps, which they probably wouldn't be highly rated if they force closed. Sure, the app market could be better (and on 1.6 and above, it is), but I find it just fine since I look up on my computer what would be a good app for such and such and then search for it directly in the market.
Btw, one of the task killers offers hourly kills, just in case you forget to leave things open all the time.
You can't beat the battery life with a Pre either, oh and Sprint Nav doesn't kill the battery on the Hero in 1 1/2 hours, plus if connected to the car charger, the phone actually charges with the Nav open (BIG BONUS)

i used both a hero and pre first the pre then the hero just for fun but ended up missing my pre because of WebOS. So im back with my pre

As a current Android user, longtime Palm fan, and all-round Apple critic, I must say that I am happy we have options. I must give Apple credit for being the first to the consumer smartphone party, by breaking the grip the carriers had on hardware, but I will simply never buy the iPhone. I love my Moment for now, and I can't wait the see what the next generation of Android and webOS devices have to offer