Favorite quotation: Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes, that way when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes. - Jack Handey

Friday, June 19, 2009

I am trying out the iPhone 3GS. I currently have both the Palm Pre and the iPhone 3GS. I bought the Pre when it came out then I bought the iPhone when it came out. I'm going to return whichever one is crappier and keep the better one at the end of my 2-week test, that ends on July 4, upon which date I will declare independence from one of these two cellphone companies: Sprint, or AT&T.

For round one of Fone Wars, I tested the speed of downloading an image while getting 4-5 bars of 3G service. In this test, the Palm Pre running on the Sprint EVDO network kicked the iPhone 3GS's ass severely:
in this YouTube video

Other notes:
I really like the Palm Pre's ubiquitous back gesture, and multi-tasking. Also its screen has much better color representation; looks like the gamut is as good as my MacBook Pro's screen. Meanwhile the iPhone 3GS screen does not look as good as the iPhone 3G or iPod Touch (2nd gen) screens... it just has faded-looking colors and the text and edges aren't as sharp and nice as I've come to expect. The touch sensitivity and scrolling works much better on the iPhone however, and scrolling through long lists of e-mails or contacts is much smoother as well -- the Pre can be kind of jerky when scrolling a long list of e-mail, and its responsiveness to touches and drags sometimes seems somewhat laggy or like you have to press twice (generally though, the Pre's interface is quite nice, it's just that Apple's is VERY polished and ULTRA smooth).

I found myself wishing that the iPhone had the pop-up notifications and ability to change settings (like turning WiFi on or off, changing app preferences) without leaving the current app. I must say that once you get used to the Pre's multi-tasking and quick menus, the iPhone seems rather limited on a functional level.

Keyboard wise they are both crappy. The Pre's is too small; the iPhone's is non-physical. They both have advantages & disadvantages. The Pre's cannot be used in landscape mode -- a major downfall. The iPhone's is just kind of tricky to get used to; I'm still adjusting.

Call quality is good on the iPhone 3GS, better than I expected having used AT&T phones before. But the Pre still seems to have a richer sound quality to the calls, whereas the iPhone's is a bit tinny. But neither is bad enough to make your decision based just on that.

iPhone has Voice Memos... that's a major plus for me. I also like the Compass and all the apps, especially MIDI and music apps. Although I'm sure apps will be forthcoming for Pre, I just don't know how many music-type apps will be, since I presume that the musicians of this planet primarily use Apple. I certainly do.

The Pre's auto-rotation feature definitely needs bug-fixing (as of 1.0.2.. haven't thoroughly used 1.0.3 yet). It often gets stuck and you have to jank with it a bit to get it to rotate the right way.

For Navigation, Sprint Navigation definitely wins... it's much better than iPhone's, though not as good as a TomTom. It's very good though.

They seem about the same for battery life... the Pre had gotten a bad rap but once you change the settings to turn off the GPS, instant messaging apps, turn off Background Data Collection (which basically lets Google constantly spy on you, YAY), check your e-mail once per hour instead of every second, sync to the cloud less often, etc... then Pre's battery lasts just fine.

The iPhone has much more memory .. one major advantage.

Hmm But once again, if they can't clear up the actual service... AT&T right now seems pretty darn bad in comparison with Sprint for 3G speed of data, and coverage. If I can't even get a signal INSIDE THE APPLE STORE ITSELF, something is really, really wrong.

To be fair, the AT&T tech support guy did tell me that they are working on getting new towers put in near where I work, but that does not explain the dog-slow 3G speeds I experienced at my house.



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