The latest release of the Palm Pre seems to have addressed all the issues that the users of the original model were facing. The new model includes quite a number of hardware tweaks and more aesthetic improvements as well.
The initial buyers were facing a number of hassles, but Palm has not dragged their feet in getting improved versions out. The latest batch, manufactured in July, appear to be much better than their predecessors. These new phones can be identified by their ‘sunset’ packaging.
First off, one of the major problems with the Palm Pre was the spidery cracks that appeared on the surface of the screen. That is not to say that it is quite impossible that a few customers were being a little rough with the device, but that cannot be the case will all the customers. Evidently a large proportion of the customers were dismayed to find small fissures on their shiny new phones. As of now, there seems to be no cracks on the new phones.
The second most common problem was when the phone shut down or reset every time the flap was closed a little too enthusiastically. While the battery was packed into the phone, there was a fraction of a second when a gap was sometimes created between the connectors due to the force generated when the keyboard was slid into place. This had the effect of shutting off the phone entirely or resetting it. The fault lay in the battery compartment, and the issue was resolved through the strategic installation of a small piece of foam. There are new phones that don’t have this bit of foam as well, but the batteries fit very snugly into the compartment so presumably the fix is alright.
There was a strange hardware issue that kept arising with the older Palm Pres, where the screen rotated instead of flowing down smoothly and vertically on top of the keyboard. It was dubbed the ‘Oreo effect’ because of the way the screen twisted, and was disconcerting to say the least. Unfortunately, this particular problem does not appear to be addressed as some of the new owners have reported facing the same problem again. Also it is difficult to determine how exactly a fix could have been made as the whole phone would have to be taken apart and examined.
In the area of aesthetic improvements, the centre button has been changed to silver from the original pearl, achieving a more refined and finished presentation. The sheath which comes with the mobile handset has now got the Palm logo embossed on the front. Although it isn’t particularly necessary, anyone who has shelled out top dollar for the phone probably wants to be able to show it off with some amount of élan. The batteries also seem to be different, although exactly how it affects performance is as yet unclear.
Read more about the problems faced with the old phone, and the possible fixes with the new one here, on the PreThinking website.