Trying to decide, Palm Pre or iPhone 3gs

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by slipper, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    I've been using an iPhone 2g since it first came out and i gotta say i love the thing to death. It's time to upgrade, so i will either be selling the 2g or keeping it for international travel since its unlocked.

    I was a bit reluctant about the Palm Pre because of previous experiences with Palm OS. I know it uses the new WebOS, but i was thinking "how good it is really going to be compared to the iPhone OS?". Since i checked it out today in person, i gotta say i was really impressed with it.

    A couple of my thoughts...

    - I am planning to get the 450 minute plan. ATT costs $80, Sprint costs $70. Sprint includes unlimited texts and navigation, ATT you need to pay more for text ($5+) and navi ($10). I probably wouldn't use navi much on the Pre, and i definitely wouldn't buy the navi service on ATT so the difference in price for me is $85 for ATT 450 minutes + 200 texts versus $70 for Sprints 450 minutes with unlimited texts. This is probably the biggest decision on why i am considering Sprint over ATT. But most of my friends have iPhones and therefore ATT service. Although i never go over the 450 minutes on ATT because of mobile to mobile, it will be a concern if i am on Sprint.

    - iPhone costs $199, Pre costs $299 + $100 mail in rebate. I can't stand mail in rebates. I just hate them with a passion.

    - Pre can multi task. That is something that has always bothered me with the iPhone.

    - I've been traveling a lot and i like the fact that the iPhone uses a SIM. I assume the iPhone 3gs will eventually be unlocked. No luck with the Palm Pre in this dept. I plan to either keep my old iPhone or unlock a cheap Tmobile phone so although its a +1 to ATT on this, it doesn't really factor too much in my decision.

    - The Palm uses an actual keyboard which i would instinctively say i like better because I never did care for devices with touchscreen buttons. But the Palm Pre's keyboard feels cheap and lacks the positive feel that keyboards usually have, which kinda nulls the reason i like a physical keyboard over the touchscreen keyboard. And now the iPhone has a landscape keyboard. I don't know who has the advantage in this dept.

    - I have had nothing but excellent service from ATT and Apple. But if i go with the Pre i will be venturing into unknown territory.

    - The iPhone has a humongous apps store, but its filled with so much junk that i would never consider downloading. The only things i've downloaded on my iPhone are a few pay games. And i almost never use them. The main reason i have a smartphone is of course for the phone, an address book and calendar, music, and web browsing... not much more. I do use the world clock, stocks, and weather app on the iPhone a lot though, it is available on the Pre?

    - The Pre looks and feels of good quality, but not as good as iPhone. Does anyone know if the Pre's plastic surface scratches easily? I definitely like the iPhones glass screen better than the Pre's plastic surface. Seems like a screen protector on the Pre is an absolute must.

    - I sync my iPhone to my cars stereo. The Palm Pre doesn't have a dock connector, it has a micro USB. Does anyone know if there is a micro USB to female dock connector, and if the Pre would sync to an iPod capable device?

    What are your opinions or insight? So far it seems that the Pre has a lot of significant pluses while the iPhone only has a few insignificant pluses. But i am still leaning towards the iPhone because i am an Apple fanboy and have always used Apple computers. But with that said, please no fanboy comments like "Apple and Steve Jobs are my savior" or "You would never catch me using an Apple product".

    BTW, Does anyone know if the Palm Pre natively syncs to the Apple Address Book, and Calendar?
  2. Que macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2009
    can't be bothered reading all of that.....

    what i will say is that the pre looks ok but does have serious shortcomings, most notably the build quality which would put me off.

    my girlfriend wants to get one when they're released here, i'm looking forward to trying it out.
  3. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    From your post, it really sounds like the iPhone has more pluses for you.

    The only real comment I have to make is that, with the 3GS being so much faster than the 2G and 3G, lack of multitasking is less of a concern to me, though I could hardly be classified as a power user. Switching applications, etc, is far more seamless.

    Pre looks nice, but being so plasticky I'm afraid it would end up all scratched and crippled like my old Samsung. Ew.
  4. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Some notes:

    -Sprint's got the best overall plan for the money, if you want everything.

    -Best Buy and Radio Shack give the rebate instantly.

    -There's no substitute for real multitasking.

    -The iPhone's SIM will never be unlocked.

    -Feel, keyboard, etc are all personal. As for screen protectors, everyone should use them, so glass or not doesn't matter. Ditto for a case on the iPhone, so its looks are moot.
  5. tiguk macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    I think that again is a matter of taste and preference. There's no 'should' about it.

    I would never think of putting a case on my iPhone, or ruin its Oleo-phobic screen by putting a crappy screen protector on.
  6. Que macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2009
    nor me. my phone's insured so wrapping it in cotton wool and taking away from the overall use so that it doesn't scratch will never happen.

    phones are easily replaced.
  7. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I spent 48 hours with the pre
    I spent 2 hours with a 3gs

    The palm pre has an amazing UI .. but it needs more polish. The 3GS is the best phone out right now... period.

    My advice. if you don't need a phone right away I would wait to see what the next android or Palm Phone will be.

    If you need a phone right now right now, get a 3GS.
  8. rburly macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2009
    Excellent post. It's up to the person. Try them both out and see what your preference is.
  9. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Yeah, you're right. Obviously some would rather not cover it up, even at the risk of unnecessary damage.

    Please substitute the more limited "everyone I know uses a screen protector and/or case".

  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    it sounds like the iphone wins. You list a lot of things you like about it, and you're happy with apple/AT&T. The Pre really has two things going for it - multitasking and a $15/mo. cheaper plan. I guess only you can decide how important that money is to you, but it sounds to me like the iphone has more advantages.

    Oh, and I use an invisible shield on the back of my 3GS and nothing on the front. Working great so far. :)
  11. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2007
    Savannah, GA
    Another thing you must also think about it coverage. What is the coverage like where you live, work, travel?
  12. hsk macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I have had both. I have been on Sprint for about 10 years and have been wanting something with a bigger screen. Was hoping the Pre would take care of my iPhone envy. Out of the gate, it was a great device. The concept of webOS is excellent. I admit that multitasking is very nice. The keyboard itself was my biggest worry and i took to it quickly and efficiently. Actually liked it pretty good. Liked the slider - at first. I would also say that it is pretty scratch resistant. And having the Touchstone was great. The downsides were the build quality of the hardware - my slider got looser each week and frankly, the screen was getting smaller (by this I mean that as the newness wore off, that smaller screen became a less desirable). The OS also was a little buggy - the dialer and phone app in particular did not work well enough for me. Finally, the earpiece was awful. Almost unusable due to that fuzzy/static sound unless you turned it down really low. That is a killer for me (and the main reason I don't have a BB Storm right now). I took mine back after 3 weeks.

    I now have a 3GS. For my purposes, it can multitask the way I need it to (if I am in an app and need to go elsewhere, it remembers where I was when I come back to the app again). Copy and paste is much nicer in the 3GS and that extra .4" of screen real estate makes a HUGE difference. I am really liking the 3GS.

    Now that main thing that made this work for me was the ATT network. I have tried them before in the past 6 months with bad results. They have recently upgraded the network here in Austin and it rocks now. Otherwise, I would have still returned the Pre and moved to the new Blackberry Tour later this month.

    Long winded here, but, IMHO, I would wait a bit on the Pre. I think it still needs a little more work but my cell is my business phone not a toy. If Apple would buy Palm and develop webOS for the iPhone = killer device!
  13. techfreak85 macrumors 68040


    Jan 13, 2008
    since this is a mac forum, i would bet most are going to say iPhone.:rolleyes:

    but seriously. get the iPhone.:p
  14. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    In my opinion, WebOS is totally worth dumping iPhone for
    but the Pre is not

    If you really want to switch, wait for a better phone to come out with WebOS on it
  15. slipper thread starter macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    Lots of good points here. Thanks! :)

    Thanks for the tip!

    I did notice that about most sliders. And i gotta admit, considering WebOS is so new it works VERY well. Very innovative such as most Apple products

    Another good point
  16. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Coverage from my provider is the most important thing to me. If the coverage is poor then even having the best phone doesn't matter. AT&T at my house has great coverage verizon is very poor. Just glad The iPhone is on AT&T
  17. thetexan macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2009
    As far as Sprint there are ways to get plans cheaper than $69.99. For example if you say you are a member of a credit union, any credit union, you'll get 10% off your bill. Some credit unions offer 25% off the monthly bill, so instead of $70 you'll pay about $55. Also all of Sprint's plans offer unlimited minutes starting after 7pm where AT&T charges you extra for 7pm nights. Depending on where you work and/or go to school you maybe eligible for discounts from both AT&T and Sprint.

    I had an iPhone 3G and moved to the Pre. My monthly bill went down about $30. I miss some things about my iPhone, but not enough to make me pay $30 more per month. WebOS is a fantastic OS, superior to the iPhone's OS in many ways except perhaps 3d games. I haven't regretted moving from the iPhone to the Pre once yet.

    Edit: Once Sprint begins selling the Pre online, which should be soon, you can access Sprint's hidden page for even cheaper rate plans. Go to and enter "" for the email address and 383 as the ID number.
  18. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Wrong website. I mean as unbiased as some of our members are, if you go to a Palm Pre forum, you probably are not going to find much iPhone love, except MacRumors users trolling.
  19. danpass macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
    if you're set on the Pre for whatever reason wait till next year.

    by that time they built out quite a few, ironed out most OS bugs, etc
  20. hushmartin macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2009
    I've been having the same issue- trying to decide between these two phones. I really love the Pre and I love multitasking. The prices on both are pretty close for me, within 5 to 15 dollars depending on the text package with ATT. Both of these networks work well in my area, so its really just between the phones.

    I _think_ I have decided on the iPhone, but I am going to hold off on deciding anything for another month. If I see a more apps start showing up in the Palm app store, I might think about the Pre some more.

    My main issue is all the iPhone accessories: clock/radio docks, car stereos that sync (really well), etc. I want to get a new stereo for my car that will work well with whatever media-playing phone I get and the iPhone is definitely the best choice for that purpose.

    Something else to consider (and I may be mistaken on this) but my understanding is that the Sprint Navigator only works in areas where you can get signal- so no using it out in BFE. I haven't heard of any plans for a tomtom like app for the Pre, so that makes me less crazy for the Pre.

    Just a few things for you to think about...
  21. LagunaSol macrumors 601


    Apr 3, 2003
    I haven't owned (or used) a Pre. The OS looks beautiful, but I've been reading negative reports about build quality. iPhone gives you double the amount of storage for the same price (16GB vs. 8GB). And I really don't get the "selling point" of a hardware keyboard, particularly one with such tiny keys (fingernail typing? Seriously???) as the Pre that are eternally locked in portrait mode and must be accessed by sliding open the phone. The iPhone's onscreen keyboard has always worked fine with me. I love the way the keyboard can change (automatically) based on the application being used.

    I haven't had much use for multitasking, though I would like to be able to keep Slacker Radio playing while I do other things.

    For me, the only selling point of the Pre would be the lower monthly costs. The advantages of the iPhone to me are clear, and are easily worth the monthly premium.

    That said, I can't wait for the iPhone to appear on other carriers so we can benefit from some pricing wars. AT&T is definitely taking advantage of the exclusivity agreement by sticking it to us consumers ($5/mo for 200 text messages? Really???).
  22. iUser4Lyfe macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2009
    The 3GS is unlockable right now. I have personally unlocked 3.0 on the 3GS and everything works fine except WB. The Pre is a good phone, but its not yet on the iPhone's level. Ive had both sprint and att and the networks cancel each other out IMO.
  23. PhoneI macrumors 68000

    Mar 7, 2008
    Had a Pre for a few days......

    1. The keyboard stinks. I had to use my fingernails. I mean its really bad.
    2. The OS is slow at doing everything.
    3. I found I needed to keep all my cards closed to get acceptable battery life (whats the point of multitasking then)
    4. No apps
    5. Synergy is the most overrated useless thing ever.
    6. Screen was to small for me.
    7. Doesn't have the same solid iphone feel to it. Feels cheap.
    8. Slider got old after a few days. Missed my on screen keyboard.
    9. The Pre copy/paste is terrible. It took Apple 2 years, but they atleast got it right.
    10. Sprint = Bad, Bad, Bad
  24. Denny Crane macrumors member

    Denny Crane

    Jul 8, 2007
    I've had the Pre' as well as the original iPhone, the 3g iPhone

    and the iPhone 3GS..

    There is not comparison. The Pre' felt fragile in my hand...almost like I was holding a plastic Easter Egg.

    The WebOS was nice, but the build quality was subpar. Additionally, Sprint's coverage was poor at my house. Battery life was very bad on the Pre.

    Their unlimited plans blow AT&T's out of the water though.

    I returned the Pre' and bought the 3GS.
  25. MBHockey macrumors 68040


    Oct 4, 2003
    New York
    Agreed. That's just a dumb statement to make.

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