Some of you might remember hearing about Fleur, my Palm Centro also sometimes referred to as my “too smart phone”. On some level, I think Fleur disliked me. On some level, it might have been mutual. I went through two Palm Centro phones in less than six months because they kept breaking. Any by breaking I mean on the verge of exploding–constant resets, improper email syncing, dropped calls, poor sound quality. But I got that all twice, once with each phone. Did I mention that by this time the Centro was discontinued? Talk about doing nothing to increase my confidence.
In the midst of all that, I dropped my phone by accident. I was not particularly upset. My mother was watching the whole incident and observed that I might not have the best relationship with my phone.
She was right.
Fleur was great for what she was, an old school smart phone–pre iPhone if you will. But using the Centro as a smart phone felt a lot like trying to use a butter knife as a screwdriver–it might eventually do the job but it was slow and clunky. By the end, when I was already rather annoyed, all of these little things kept popping up: Why couldn’t Fleur display the time when I was in other applications? Why couldn’t I favorite a tweet or even reply to one? Why could I only go to mobile versions of webpages? Why was the screen so small? Why was the Palm Pre only available from Sprint? Why, when the Palm Pre Plus came out, was it so far from my upgrade date?
But all of that has changed because I got a new phone last month.
Say hello to Maple, my new baby Palm Pre Plus. The name is to honor her Canadian roots (she was shipped to me from Ontario after–and I have to give Verizon props here–I negotiated with a Verizon rep to change my contract renewal date and get a Palm Pre as an upgrade/replacement instead of just having them send me yet another doomed-to-die Palm Centro).
I love everything about Maple. I actually haven’t even changed the default wallpaper because I think it’s so pretty. I like the slide out keyboard. And, much to my surprise, I like the touchscreen because it lets me zoom in on small text (so I can visit any web page I want) and navigate without a stylus. I can even rotate the phone sideways and view things in “wide” screen. The twitter client is a lot better. All of my emails sync like a dream. The time is displayed EVERYWHERE. It’s kind of like having an iPhone but with a real keyboard and an accessible battery.
Like most new devices, there was a learning curve. The synergy syncing is very different from the desktop sync functions of my older Palm devices and took some getting used to. I also find it strange to basically have a tiny computer that happens to be a phone. Battery life, of course, is a relative term with all of the juice it requires to do cool things. The shutdown procedure takes three discrete steps and then it’s really off, no accessing the non-phone functions–does that mean I’m supposed to just leave it on all the time? I’m not sure. (Do YOU know the answer?)
But all in all, I couldn’t be happier.