Well, I took the plunge. I was one of the idiots standing out in front of the Sprint Store on Saturday morning waiting to get my hands on the "revolutionary" Palm Pre. My wife and I were quite literally the first two in our town to get our hands on them. I read all the articles, both the good and the bad, checked my local coverage and made my decision from there. My contract with Verizon had just ended and I knew I didn't want a Blackberry. On top of that I've never been a big fan of Verizon's data plans.
The staff at the Sprint Store was great. One of the employees had been trained over the last month to use the phone and was VERY EXCITED about the launch. From outside we could see her bouncing around the store, taking pictures of the staff setting up, even taking a few minutes to do a little dance. At one point, about 5 minutes before they opened the doors, she came outside, grouped us all together, and took a quick picture. She then took the last 5 minutes to show us the features on the phone in person and provide us with some instruction on how to use our phone once we have it. She also volunteered to get together with us after we purchased for a little "How to use your Pre" class if we wanted to. She even volunteered her email address if we had questions down the road. The gentleman that helped us set up our account was very friendly and helpful, despite his store opening 2 hours earlier than normal. We were happy to find out that the Pre did not require any "Pre Specific" plan and that all you had to do was select one of Sprint's standard data plans. We're paying $129.99 a month for Sprint's everything data family plan that covers both phones. A single user can get a Palm Pre for $69.99 a month. He began running down a checklist to setup the phone. I was impressed that the none of the activation had to be done on the internet like the iPhone. All of the questions, profile set up and user agreements were taken care of right on the phone. Our customer service guy couldn't keep up with me. I was finishing his checklist faster than he could check the stuff off (you know how us geeks are). I left the store very excited about my purchase.
Using the phone is actually quite simple. Once you get a few hand gestures down, everything flows quite nicely. Of course it has email, a calendar, memos, etc. The app store is small for now, but it did just hit the market less than a week ago. There are several free apps in the store like Pandora, Fandango, AccuWeather, Tweed (Twitter Client), etc. The copy and paste feature is nice, but so far I haven't found a way to copy and paste from text that isn't "editable" like websites or text messages, only an active text input box. I'm hoping this is just something I'm doing wrong, or else that's a pretty weak copy/paste feature. I LOVE the new Palm Web OS though. Having multiple active apps open at the same time is great. The card view is nice too because it makes it so simple to switch between them quickly and easily. If you want to close an app you just flick it off the screen.
I opted not to buy a Touchstone charger. $70.00 seemed pretty expensive for something that is just, well, a fancy charger. I think in a few months when they don't sell many at that price I may pick one up just for the novelty.
Overall I think I made the right decision to get a Pre. It's fast on the 3G and on WiFi, it's easy to use and the monthly plan I'm on I think is very reasonable. The app store can only get larger and I'm sure there are firmware upgrades on the horizon to make the experience even better. Check one out if you have a chance. You may just like what you see.