Today, June 6th, is the big day for the Palm Pre, making it's first debut in stores. As avid iPhone users (and tech geeks) we at iSmashPhone decided to purchase a Palm Pre for review and comparison purposes. Here's what went down.
The mall, and the Sprint Kiosk, both opened at 9:00 AM. We arrived at 9:20 AM. Remember the lines for the iPhone and iPhone 3G outside of Apple and AT&T stores? Here's a reminder. Those kind of lines did not form for the Palm Pre outside of Sprint stores.
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There was 5 people at the kiosk. Perhaps it's a sign of the tough economic times, or maybe it's a sign of people's lack of enthusiasm for Palm products.
We bought the phone, which costs $300. You are given a $100 dollar rebate, so it actually costs $200. However, once you accept the rebate, you cannot return the phone (which is why you shouldn't rush to get your rebate, you have 3 weeks).
So now the activation process began. The clerk began asking questions, and one of them was simply astounding.
The Sprint employee asked for my Gmail email address, AND MY PASSWORD. I couldn't believe it. I had no choice but to give the clerk my password because apparently that's a necessary step in the activation process (gave my gmail account for spam). The password to my main personal email is currently stored in a computer at a Sprint kiosk. That's just great.
Now the activation process began. Long story short, the process failed. We hung around for 1 hour waiting for the Sprint kiosk geniuses to make it work, but they couldn't. We were instructed to go to a Sprint Repair Center 15 miles away. Angrily, we went.
After some time, the people at the Sprint repair center were able to make things work. However, there were issues with getting the EVDO (Sprint's equivalent to 3G) working. After some more time, they were able to get things working.
The problem has nothing to do with the Palm Pre, but rather Sprint's disfunctional activation process. Sprint is also having issues with EVDO. They claim that they'll get it sorted out soon.
This seems rather familiar to the AT&T fail on the iPhone 3G's opening day. So far we like the phone. We'll post a full review after spending some more time with the Pre.
Keep in mind that after activation you will need to install 64 mb update on your Pre in order to activate media features. Unlike iPhone update is delivered over EVDO.