13 Impressions of the Pre 3

So, I got a brand new AT&T Pre 3 last week (unboxing here.) After a week with the device, I wrote some of my impressions of the device. Full article is here and it's more of a picture heavy post, but here are the summarized 12 impressions I came up with. I also reviewed webOS on a previous forum post.

  1. Build quality: The Pre 3 is solidly built, no oreo issues. Slider mechanism is definitely solid and actually requires two hands to pull out. It's definitely a thick even in comparison to the devices back when it was announced and even thicker to modern standards. Soft-touch back material smudges extremely easily.
  2. Display: It's the largest screen webOS device and as a result that presents some problems with apps. More on that below. The screen is gorgeous, even though it's a plain screen not using any fancy display tech like AMOLED or SLCH. Viewing angles are great, especially in comparison to the Veer (as seen in the pic below.) The screen uses Gorilla Glass, chemically hardened glass that prevents scratching, and as a result there are no scratches on the Pre 3 whatsoeverScreen_medium
  3. The Slightly Annoying Curled Display: Unlike the Veer’s glass panel that goes straight to the edge and meets almost seamlessly with the body, the Pre 3 has a curl to it. It’s only perceptable, when dust gets into that trench. When that happens, it immediately gets annoying. It’s nicely stylized, but annoying when dust enters and seems to be more form over function.
  4. Battery Life: 22 hours to go from fully charged to 0%.
  5. Touchstone: The Pre 3 gets hot when you charge it via the Pre 3. Really hot. So much that after half-an-hour out of concern of the device, I removed it from the Touchstone and waited for it to cool down. The Touchstone itself gets hot, but not unbearably. Also, you need to actually line it up on the Touchstone, can't be as nonchalant and just place it on there or not it won't charge.
  6. Exhibition Mode: I rather like Exhibition Mode because it puts the phone to use when you aren’t and can’t really use it, since it’s charging.
  7. Camera: Wrote more about it on the post, but the camera is just ok, even if it's the first and only webOS device with autofocus. Close-up/macro shots are just a joke and take several attempts to get it right. Even the iPod touch's 0.7 megapixel camera is better at it. The upside, however, is the Pre 3 takes pictures almost instanteoustly, almost like a burst mode, like everyother webOS device.
  8. WiFi: Unscientifically and based on personal obersrvations, the Pre 3 has worse WiFi reception then the HP Veer. The Veer would have a signal, where the Pre 3 was trying to connect. The screenshots, below, were taken side-by-side at the exact same location.
  9. Apps: As the Pre 3 has a screen-size significantly larger than other webOS smartphones before it, certain apps seem to have just been stretched out to accommodate the new screen size. For instance the numberpad on the lockscreen, has just been stretched out.
  10. Apps/the annoying black bar: To accommodate the larger screen, webOS scales up UI elements 1.5x. As a result, this leaves a black bar 38 pixels tall across the bottom of the screen on third party apps, like Noted! (a Simplenote client.) When you are looking at the screen head-on it’s not very visible. But, when you look at it from angle it is much more noticeable and annoying. (Picture in article.)
  11. Touch-to-Share: I use Touch-to-Share to transfer long articles I find via my Twitter feed. Really do wish this feature worked with photos.
  12. Annoying Lock Screen: With webOS, as with many other mobile operating systems, you have the ability to lock the device with a Simple PIN after an allotted amount of inactivity. The annoyance with the lock screen is after you enter the passcode it doesn’t automatically unlock, like on iOS. Instead you have to press done first. It just seems counterintuitive.
  13. Minor Bug: The Voice Dial app for some reason always moves back to the last spot on the first launcher page, even after moving it to other pages, multiple times. I also noticed this bug on the Veer running webOS 2.1.2.
Conclusion: Screw the Veer, this should have been the first phone sold on AT&T and MAYBE webOS would still be standing, but that’s just a dream and fantasy of this writer. The Pre 3 is the perfect webOS device, that would have been able to garner the attention of the consumer.