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Summary:

The Palm Pre is the smartphone that has the attention of many who follow the phone game and with good reason.  It is Palm’s attempt to reinvent themselves and the phone certainly breaks new ground based on what Palm showed in Las Vegas earlier this year. […]

palm-pre-browser2The Palm Pre is the smartphone that has the attention of many who follow the phone game and with good reason.  It is Palm’s attempt to reinvent themselves and the phone certainly breaks new ground based on what Palm showed in Las Vegas earlier this year.

We have been impressed with the speed that the Pre makes things happen compared to other smartphones, something that the super fast TI OMAP3430 processor that Palm is using helps happen.  This processor is extremely powerful for a phone and I’ve seen it compared to the Intel Atom.

Ars Technica believes this processor is a big deal too and point out that this powerful processor may extract a toll in the battery life of the Pre.  While this is certainly true I think it’s a bit early to be concerned about poor battery life of the Pre.  Let’s get it to market first and then see how it performs. The Ars article gives a great overview of this TI processor and is worth a read to see just how powerful this thing is for a smartphone.

One other factor that may play a role in this is the small size of the Pre.  There’s not much room to put a very big battery in there so we’ll just have to see.  Of course poor battery life would give users a good excuse to play with that cool wireless charger.  :)

  1. I’ve said this other places, but here’s my opinion of it.

    I agree with most of the article, especially the parts about the radios and the screen being the largest power draw.

    The problem is that he’s clearly trying to write with a slightly negative slant in this article to try and balance out the coverage. He neglects to mention that the OMAP3 chipsets have the most advanced power management architecture of any ARM chip (only a passing reference to CPU power management at all).

    Not to mention when he talks about applications on WebOS being an issue because of the WebKit interpreter, because nobody has seen the SDK, we don’t even know if there will be some sort of compiler so that won’t be necessary. Even if it is, he could just as easily bring up how horrible the old Garnet is with power management (a static clock speed, for one) and how the new Linux based system along with this chip’s power management itself allow for dynamic underclocking.

    Don’t get me wrong, I agree that Synergy itself and making lots of internet connections will be a huge power drain, but it would’ve been just as easy to mention the power management benefits of a very advanced chipset and new operating system based on Linux as well.

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  2. Oh, and the battery is known to be Centro sized, so unfortunately it’ll be around 1200mAh, which is pretty disappointing.

    We’ll have to see what the actual battery life is when they release more details though.

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  3. Based on my experience with Treo’s the battery life won’t suck but will be mediocre compared to Blackberries and iPhones. I think I have heard a 1100 mAh battery, so at least it will be replaceable and some company will probably come out with an extended life stick-out battery.

    One of the big trade-offs with a removable battery is that you waste space in the handset compensating for the removable batter and thus you can’t fit as big of a battery in, or you have a thicker handset.

    If you think palm is going to have some perfectly tweaked OS that has a great battery life consider that Apple has probably been working on the battery life of the iPhone for at least 2 years of release and probably 2-3 years pre-release. The iPhone battery life is good for a smartphone, but it’s taken a lot of trade-offs and tweaking by apple to get there (and if you have every owned a smartphone, you have to charge it at the end of the day, this is a fact of life).

    And once you get a few mis-behaving background apps that fire up the radio every 15 minutes, you can expect abysmal battery life unless Palm enforces some sort of QC on background access to the internet. If you have owned a WinMo phone and had an app like this you know what I am talking about.

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  4. I have a feeling that the Pre is going to be like the Foleo. Remember how Palm acted like the Foleo was ready right now, when it turned out it wasn’t really ready, hence their ability to cancel it when the outcry over it reached epic proportions?

    All of a sudden, we’re going to find out that the Pre was basically just a concept device and that Palm isn’t going to have it out until next year, or they’re going to drop it and throw in the towel.

    Or I’m wrong. I’m just some guy.

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  5. Kevin, Palm had a huge press event at CES to announce this and they realize the Pre makes or breaks them. It’s not vaporware.

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  6. With the current energy crisis, power consumption should be higher on the agenda. If there is one way to conserve energy aswell, it is to standardize the battery, the charger (plug), plus it is time to bundle the best of all smartphones into one. This will reduce R&D expenditures of existing technologies and unnecessary double research and save energy as well.

    The are currently many great smartphones. It is remarkable that the best features that one actually wants, appear to be incorporated into different phones. Each phone itself is therefore great, but after a while it seems just that one little bit is missing, apprently on another brand. Time to put heads together.

    I never understood that each brand had to have their own connectors. therefore one needs to use a seperate charger and seperate equipment compatible for the connection. Let us be realistic and stay with a standard. This is also frustrating about the upcoming USB 3. The connector is yet again slightly different. Yippie for better and perhaps more efficient speeds, but this will inevitably create more computer (toxic) waste, as consumers will want to replace their existing connections.

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  7. Not sure what’s wrong with charging your smartphone nightly. I don’t think it’s that inconvenient, especially if you just have to set it down on something instead of fiddling around with wires. I mean…I set down my phone on the counter every night anyway. I can just as easily set it down on its charger.

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  8. Since the Pre is engineered by the same developers who brought us the Apple iPhone and Danger Hiptop (aka SideKick) this is easily the closest phone to beating Apple’s awesome phone.
    Maybe too close, it is possible Apple will object to their gesture-based interface, which Apple holds the patent too. I don’t think the battery life will be an issue in the long run.

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  9. John in Norway Sunday, February 1, 2009

    I can’t wait for the day when I can just put my phone (and my OQO) down on my bedside table when I lay me down to sleep and they’re both all charged and ready to go in the morning. Unfortunately, due to a snoring other half, I’m never charged or ready to go in the morning unless I get up in the middle of the night and go and sleep with the dog – it is sharing Sunday, isn’t it?

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  10. “…this powerful processor may extract a toll in the battery life of the Pre. While this is certainly true I think it’s a bit early to be concerned about poor battery life of the Pre. Let’s get it to market first and then see how it performs…”

    Surely you jest? There’s already concerns about the battery life on the Pre and your suggestion is to wait to see how bad it is *after it goes to market*?

    With a fan base whose faith in the Company has been seriously eroded by years of neglect and indifference by Palm, the Pre must come to the market as close to a near-flawless device as they can manage. They have no wiggle room here. To release a smartphone with a power source that is already suspect and may not handle the task could prove to be the last nail in the coffin.

    And no consumer, regardless of device used, likes to find they’re the guinea pig to a product that is supposed to be ready for retail. Macoyltes, of course, are the exception here – they’ll buy any old crap from them: it may not work as advertised, but it sure looks cool and eventually someone will file a class action suit forcing a partial repair / apology….

    Palm hasn’t that luxury.

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