Despite hochgelobtem operating system Palm the breakthrough on the Smartphone market has failed so far. Time will tell whether this will change after the acquisition by HP. Whether the flagship Palm Pre plus the competition can technically already offer Paroli, clarifies the duration test.
- Palm Pre plus in the endurance test
- Pros & cons of Palm pre plus
- Interview with Helge Alter Palm Germany
Palm pre plus
At first it was just a rumor, end of April there was certainty finally: computer manufacturer HP has taken over the shipwrecked PDA specialist Palm, after the latter the breakthrough in the Smartphone world to date did not succeed. And, although the feedback developed operating system for the Palm even Web OS with its well thought out and user-friendly operating concept was always positive. But is feeling rather second-rate and the high demands not just expectant housing criticized, in which the pre Palm and, the pre tested here in continuous use plus has was also common.
The criticism is entitled: Palms Smartphone creaks quite heavily after prolonged use. Extend the keyboard work anything but smooth, also the two parts of the housing not smoothly blend together, so that the components due to the gap have some game and a little wiggle.
This is but certainly also a piece far in nature of the slider design, but still: the Palm brand stands for high quality products, and so would like to not only connect editor Bernd Theiss “already taking in the hand feel, that I bought myself a premium product”. This good feeling can the Palm Pre plus not convey: the mentioned workmanship joined a not very pleasant-to-wide housing material; After all, the back with matte soft-touch surface is covered, which provides support and immune against finger fat is what gives the Palm Pre plus a slightly fancier appearance than is the case with its predecessor Palm Pre wrapped completely in shiny plastic.
In terms of handling and form factor, the housing can collect but also points. With its rounded edges, it sits comfortably in the hand and can be operated with one hand easily. The pre is slim plus certainly, 17 mm are not height to see clearly in the Pocket. The shirt pocket it didn’t worn with 137 grams weight. For connect editor Markus Eckstein, an avowed fan of mechanical Schreibtastaturen, the unit as a whole had “also can be something greater then even more space for a larger keyboard, there would have been”.
Although the pushers are somewhat small, messages can be with a little practice and patience still quite well and fast typing. But what is annoying: when operating the top dial row one – encounters especially when you have slightly wider finger – thumb often at the top of the display housing. Processed, the keyboard is in turn very exemplary: buttons sit firmly and stably in the housing, are rubberized, cleanly separated and have a crisp sear. Who is diligently writing messages, will know to appreciate the quick entry way of the umlauts ä, ö and ü. These are the respective vowels and so – as also the numeric keypad – about the short detour to the left function key down reach.
So much for looking from the outside, so switch on and get started? Slowly, slowly–first you have to create a Palm profile, required in the case of cases to remote wipe of the Palm pre plus. Also to the unusual control system, you must first approach and now makes with the tutorial to the introduction.
Learning processes and AHA-moments
The pre plus invisible to the eye and not only about the capacitive screen, but above all about the gesture control on the including the touch field is operated. To the user simply wipes with your finger over the almost finger sensor; a discreet LED running light visually represents the detected input. With a movement from right to left you get back a step to the parent menu level respectively. In the opposite direction enters a step about the browser forward. That sounds logical and goes a short time intuitively and easily by hand. Very consistent, Palm the operating concept at all levels continues, which is why the elegant combination of touch screen and touch panel quickly really makes fun.
Also the very precise responsive screen helps distributed to 44 x 66 mm (3.1 inch) 320 x 480 pixels, allowing so a sufficiently clear representation of the content. Differently than about when Android smartphones the startup screen Web OS with shortcuts or widgets can be designed freely – Palm this pursued a different philosophy. Applications working in the background, further are distributed in miniature format on the home screen, that is more or less the multitasking view. The Quick Launch bar with four direct links to freely selectable by the user applications can be found at the bottom of the screen. The law placed outside the main menu icon is fixed and immovable and opens a three-part window with all applications and options.
Software update only cosmetic
Within the main menu is changed by left-right wiping between views; the arrangement of the programs can be individually adjusted by loosening the symbols by short stay with your finger off the grid and moves to the desired position. To an active application in the background move but not completed are, a short press of the touch field, where the gesture control takes place is sufficient. To close a program, the thumbnail is simply thrown per swipe finger upwards out of the screen. This is initially unfamiliar but very effective, and underlines the unique control concept of Web OS.
Overall, navigating through the menus works out liquid, processor and user interface are well matched. Only the opening of programmes takes felt a moment too long. in two or three seconds startup time you feel slightly slowed. The current operating system version 1.4.5 came the end of July over air, signed by Palm not exactly named vulnerabilities and brought only marginal improvements in the Web browser when compared to Web OS 1.4.1.
Here also some functional extensions may have been’s. For example, a folder function to organize applications in such. Because who equips to its Smartphone with additional software, quickly lose track. Like, we’d have seen even an alarm clock which works when phone switched off, or in the Palm world is the ability to sync the pre plus from house – where locally with Outlook possible to retrofit features via the Web shop.
Palms app catalog is now approximately 3,000 applications from a wide variety of categories. You can download many free of charge which is usually to gadgets. The useful tools cost usually several euro – because the shops from Apple and Google are not only better equipped, but also considerably cheaper on average.
Vice versa makes Palm school with his ordinary PIM functionality and convinces in daily use with added value. Contact and calendar data from multiple sources – Gmail, Facebook, Yahoo and even Microsoft Exchange – can be easily summed up and the phone book and calendar of the Palm plus sync with pre, Palm is called the “synergy”.
Also chic: Who is organizing his schedule around with Gmail, which also the personal Google calendar for better separation of private and professional events directly from the Smartphone stand available. The address book sorted contacts not only by first or last name, but upon request also by company. In addition to the classic entries for postal and E-Mail addresses, contact management offers more fields about for notes, nicknames, or name of the partner and children.
The management of information with a chic memo and a clear task management is completed. A suggestion for future updates would be the possibility to manage contacts in different groups or to enter annual events in the Palm calendar to commemorate due invoices, for example, in a timely manner.
What you get quickly used in everyday life and what you no longer want to miss is the universal search feature: applications or contacts faster wants to find who on his Smartphone, which can just tap out the letters from the State the keyboard, while the Palm Pre plus immediately hit shows. Is only one character is typed, followed by a collection of all applications installed with the appropriate letter, the phone book is browsed from the second letter. The search on the device memory without success, is the Smartphone proposes a Web search in Google, Google maps, Wikipedia, and Twitter.
On the World Wide Web at home
Really fun is also when retrieving mobile data, whether Web pages or emails. Surfing on the Internet goes pretty fast hotspot nearby thanks to wireless LAN vonstaten, open-air HSDPA provides ideal cover in the 3G-Betrieb with 3.6 Mbit/s gross for decent download speeds. Establishes the connection through the GSM-networks surfing pleasure despite data Accelerator EDGE suffers but noticeably. With multi-touch and double tip gestures, you can safely move on the Web pages and remains the situation – alone not supporting Flash occasionally rips holes in the representation.
That the email client in addition to the mostly privately used IMAP and POP3 mailboxes supported Exchange connectivity needed for business mail traffic, is now standard. Palm white here to please with a very neat and quick to overlooking processing of each mail account. Also set equal mailboxes manages intuitively thanks to step by-step guide.
The energy management of the pre is however problematic plus – Palm also has found yet no royal road to combine the benefits of touch screens with a long battery life. Especially in Wi-FI mode, the Smartphone neatly wastes energy: force a day retrieving E-mail, occasional surfing on YouTube and a scarce dozen regular to quickly calls in the knee the battery – at the end of the day, the socket is required.
The sound quality during a call on the other hand is very satisfactory, especially when the conversation partner – so in transmission direction. Also in talks during car rides in the underground Stuttgart rail network all in the green zone has moved. Surf via UMTS was usually also in the underground of the Swabian metropolis no problem.
The potential is there
Mixed feelings remain at the end of the test phase. The Palm Pre plus lives first and foremost by the flair of its innovative user interface and can convince in continuous operation as a whole, with his second-rate housing the large players since about Apple iPhone, called Motorola milestone or HTC desire, but not at eye level encounter. So can the talented and potent Web OS successfully establish themselves on the already hard-fought Smartphonemarkt and survive, HP and Palm strongly invest in the development of hardware, and Spice up the Web store in the same breath – does not necessarily need tens of thousands of applications, but what with real added value to fair prices.
· handy design is well balanced in the hand
· the clean processed QWERTY keyboard can comfortably write messages
· Touch screen responds immediately to finger touches
· very good sound quality during a call
· innovative operating concept with touch panel for gesture control
· User interface with well thought-out and above all also consistently attached by front panel
· very well suited for mobile Internet, email management and as a multimedia device for pictures, music and videos
- Battery are fast running out after a day of intensive
- Palms app catalog is still very manageable with around 3,000 apps compared to the competition
- The slider design is not optimal; When heavy-handed push apart the components of Terminal
- Case appearance is not the high standards of the unit
Who would like to upgrade the FM radio missing in standard, finds in Palms Web shop app catalog, for example, the free app radio time. An input field stations from all over the world can be selectively find Alternatively users about proposed categories can easily search for matching programs. Only the constant advertising interfere when searching the appropriate offer.
Not only telephone numbers and addresses to be the free information app click Tel locate, through hospitals, restaurants, gyms and even traffic click know Tel. Using the app is free, the operation works intuitively. Thumbs up: looking for a target nearby, tapping the GPS icon is sufficient, the rest does the software the site Tel itself – click locates and displays the desired target in close proximity. Also chic: Thanks to Google-maps a map of the surrounding area is available.
Facebook & others
Whether Facebook, Twitter, the VZ-networks, or even the business platform XING: all major social networks are available for free In the app catalog. However the functionality of Smartphone applications is limited compared to the versions of Web browser on the desktop PC; varying degrees depending on the network. So, you can update status messages and comment. However you have to forgo the popular Java games like Farmville. The applications are as a whole quite clearly designed and can be intuitively and easily operated thanks to touch screen control. In everyday life, the chic NetWorker tools provide for modern Web users real added value.
Train travel is a very plain held app to schedule of travel by train. Just enter departure and arrival station and already are the next connections with travel time and detailed track information displayed. Then also travel date and time, as well as preferred means of transport (approximately no ICE) can be set and take over the planned trip to the Palm calendar. But not before Announces current delays the travel tool, can also buy tickets directly with your Smartphone, as it roughly with the available free in the app catalog app of Deutsche Bahn “DB Navigator” is possible.
Palm touchstone charging dock
The optional charger is very elegant touch tone. Here the Smartphone is simply placed on the base and loaded; the necessary touchstone back cover is at the pre plus already included. During the charging process with the touchstone can be considered such as pictures and videos or also talks about the hands-free function of the phone. (45 euros)
Palm standard battery
Who performed with the Palm Pre plus his daily business and it wants to take any chances, which is in any case to recommend carrying a spare batteries for the energy-hungry Smartphone. (45 euros)
Palm vehicle charger
Especially for field staff and commuters is worth investing in a vehicle charger: the corresponding end just in the cigarette lighter socket in the car plug already that refuels Palm Pre plus new energy. (19 Euro)
Bluetooth headset jawbone Prime
Phone to the ear is taboo in the car. But also at home or shopping it can be sometimes beneficial to have both hands free. Since various headset solutions offered, for example, the Bluetooth headset jawbone Prime. The curved mobile companion is both in serious tones of black, Brown or gray as well in bright yellow, green or violet and doing here with his braided pattern visually. The technique can be seen: the headset picks up the sound of the body using a small rubber nipple on the inside and reduces background noise during a call very to peace making and reliably. (80 euros)
connect: The representative of the Windows Mobile Group was Yes so far. Will use HP’s acquisition of Palm now exclusively on Web OS?
Age: All future Smartphones from HP will be based solely on Web OS. In addition, but also other categories such as tablets or printer will have Web OS as an operating system.
connect: Is through HP Web OS evolve now more towards business units? For example, the local synchronization with Outlook so far from home is possible. Could this change?
Age: Web OS is already prepared superbly for business use. So, it is possible to use parallel multiple Exchange accounts on one device. We are convinced, that the synchronization with the cloud in the enterprise environment will play an increasingly important role and the local matching in the future important loses.
connect: Will there be to the pre plus still a major update? How does your future update policy specifically?
Age: Just last week (KW 36, note’s note) we gave out the beta of Web OS 2.0 to our developers. This is the next major update of Web OS, where we offer a whole range of new products. Multitasking is still clear and fast bundling related cards in stacks. Universal search is called “Just Type” in the future and be extended by many functions. With “Quick Actions” can entered as status updates on social networks, be set up memories and products added to the shopping list. In addition, we open synergy for developers so that their apps on the synchronization can be accessed.
connect: Grows the amount of developers since the takeover by HP?
Age: With the acquisition of Palm by HP, the number of developers has increased by leaps and bounds. This is because a variety of HP employees showed interest in developing for Web OS. Also is currently our second developer contest, the so-called hot apps program, which awarded the developers of the best apps for downloads with a total one million US dollars. A great advantage of the Web OS platform for developers is the quick release and the easy distribution of your applications.