More keyboard contempt
One last dig at the Pre's keyboard. Having a physical keyboard prevents apps that require it from being rotated into landscape mode. Neither the Pre's Memos nor Mail apps can rotate. That's not a problem for Memos, but it would be good to be able to rotate some email messages to be able to more easily read those with images or in HTML. Not possible. You can't type sideways.
The soft keyboard on the iPhone may take some getting used to, but you'll soon be typing away at a decent clip - if not at BlackBerry speeds. However, with predictive spelling and the ability for the keyboard to change contents contextually - adding a ".com" key in a URL context, for example - and to grow in width when the phone is rotated, the iPhone's keyboard easily trashes the Pre's Lilliputian loser.
Keyboard advantage: iPhone 3GS
The iPhone 3GS keyboard with magnifying-glass cursor placement is easier to use than the Pre's hardware model
Display: The iPhone's display is only slightly larger than that of the Pre - 3.5 vs 3.1 inches (89 vs. 79 mm) - but that slight difference certainly makes it appear bigger, especially when viewing videos. That said, both displays have a resolution of 320 by 480, so a web page's displayed area, for example, remains the same when viewed full-screen.
Display brightness is essentially equal between the two devices, as is their susceptibility to glare. The Pre's display tries to defeat glare by being ever-so-slightly rounded, but not enough to provide any perceptible benefit.
But the Pre's display is susceptible to two things that the iPhone's isn't: scratches and finger oil. The Pre's display is ineffectively protected by clear plastic, which on one of my test Pre units developed a small scratch even though I babied it shamelessly.
The iPhone's display is effectively protected by glass - you have to work hard to scratch it. The iPhone's display also has an oleophobic coating that does an effective job of keeping it relatively oil-free even after being avidly fingered for hours.
Oh, and you'll notice that a paragraph or so ago I said "one of my test Pre units." Now is as good a time as any to mention that the first Pre that Palm sent me to test was a lemon, with an off-color display that discolored video and photo playback, shaky Wi-Fi connectivity, and shot-by-shot color-cast inconsistencies that bedeviled its built-in three-megapixel camera. Sigh...
Let's hope that Palm gets its quality-control act together before you buy one. If you buy one.
Display advantage: iPhone 3GS
USB drive: When you hook up a Pre to your computer using the supplied USB cable, you're presented with three choices: Media Sync, USB Drive, or Just Charge. The former fools iTunes running on your Mac or PC into thinking that your Pre is an iPod and allows you to use iTunes to load tunes and video (DRMed iTunes tunes are, of course, verboten). Just Charge is rather self-explanatory.
But that middle choice, USB Drive, is a reminder of something that iPods have that the iPhone doesn't: the ability to act as a USB drive. Not only is this a convenient way to carry files between, for example, home and office, but in the Pre's case, it's also an easy way to load songs and videos (see "Video playback," below).
USB drive advantage: Pre
Battery: Although I didn't run any well-defined benchmark testing, the Pre's battery seemed to poop out under heavy use just a little bit sooner than the iPhone 3GS's, perhaps because it runs background apps.
The one big plus in the battery column for the Pre, however, is that its battery is user-replaceable. Yes, the back cover is a complete pain in the butt to remove, but I'll gladly deal with a broken fingernail in exchange for the ability to replace a battery myself.
Battery advantage: Pre
Next page: Hardware and Software
In less than a year no one will remember what a Pre is!
The iPhone however will be the dominant mobile computing platform for years to come.
What a stupid article.
Another poor man's iPhone...yawn
I think this article just makes me glad I've been using an iphone all the way through from the first one to the 3GS. Basides the multi-tasking, there's nothing the pre offers which would make me drop the iphone, and the person reviewing clearly doesn't use an iPhone daily (or else he doesn't know the OS very well). The pre looks fugly too, they need to make it look prettier.
I find it amusing how people are still going on about Android dominating the industry. It hasn't and it most likely won't. The time for it to dominate is past, public opinion is apathetic and it was a missed opportunity for Google. The HTC rubbish phones it was introduced in were tantamount to a poor man's iPhone, and apart from a couple of nice innovations such as multi-tasking, the Pre falls into that same category. Who will buy a product that looks and feels cheap and confusing outside of the IT industry?
Re apps, the exponential growth in apps, s because of the exponential growth of iPhone ownership. The installed units needs to be there to justify people developing for a platform. Seeing as how Pre piggy backs on the achievements of Apple (iTunes) rather than have its own infrastructure, I can't really see it having a viable app store, at least when compared to iTunes and at best there'll be something comparable to The google one or the blackberry one i.e. a decent facebook app and that's about it.
Blah Blah blah
iPhone this.. iPhone that.... It seems that the iPhone fan boys just get their shorts all in a bunch whenever anyone doesn't just accept the iPhone as the secret of the universe, by default. The simple fact is that anyone who doesn't want AT&T as their vendor or anyone who wants features the iPhone doesn't support, will not get an iPhone. The rest who have more money than sense will buy an iPhone. I recently talked to an AT&T store employee about why she switched from the iPhone to a Blackberry. Quite simply because the iPhones short comings were things she simply couldn't get past. Not everyone will just because fruit flavored fanboys love their fruit flavored kit. Some aren't going to drink the coolaid and have an Apple love fest with you. Get over it. It's just a phone. Not the second coming of Christ.
Capacitive screens and overheating
If you're looking for a smartphone with a resistive screen, you're I supect you're going to be SOL, pretty much all the new ones are going capacitive these days. I think there are some WinMo ones that are still going resistive, but as a concept it seems to be dying.
Regarding the heat issues, Several of my colleagues have 3Gs's (I'm still stuck on my "ancient" 2G) , and are reporting no heat problems whatsoever. I can't help but think that this is either being blown out of all proportion, or that the've had a bad batch of batteries somewhere. DOes anyone have any hard numbers for how many people are reporting this?
You missed an important category
You missed the "Fire hazard" category.
As there have been reports of iPhone 3GS becoming too hot to hold and getting so hot they actually glow with the heat I think it's safe to say the Pre wins this one, and frankly it's such an important category in general it's enough to swing a win to the Pre overall.
What use is a phone if it risks setting on fire as the iPhone 3GS does?