Boy Genius reviews, likes the Palm Pre | webOS Nation

Boy Genius reviews, likes the Palm Pre 49

by Derek Kessler Fri, 29 May 2009 4:26 pm EDT

Boy Genius Report Yeah, we’re jealous. There’s no use hiding it. Boy Genius Report broke just yesterday that they had a Palm Pre and now they've come out with the review: they like it.

Unfortunately, it looks as if the ROM on the device isn't complete -- the music app wasn't working for them, among other things.

Still, overall the story here is a good one, BGR concludes:

“The OS is great. There’s no ifs ands or buts; it’s really refreshing to see something that’s brand new with a UI unlike anything else out there. [...] their hardware has always been second rate at best and it doesn’t seem to be changing now. Couple that with the nation’s underdog carrier at a $299 price-point (before rebate), and we’re not sure how many people are going to be lined up overnight, yet we’re pretty confident once people are able to play a real unit themselves, there will be more than a lot of happy Palm Pre customers.”

On top of all that, we learned that the screen is awesome, second only to the iPhone (which has the advantage of a glass overlay).  The keyboard, not so awesome.  Neither is the build or material quality of the phone itself. The feeling is described as “a little cheap” and apparently the slider mechanism occasionally would catch on itself when closing.

More or less, Boy Genius Report likes their (not quite fully baked) Palm Pre. It’s not a perfect device - no single phone is, but it is a worthy contender in the increasingly crowded smartphone market. And you can have your own in just over a week!

Thanks to everybody that sent this in!


I'll wait for the real review, not the one from a biased Apple fanboi.

It's a pretty weak review. Missing call quality, multitasking, cards, and a lot more.

It's also a pre-production unit and/or has an older OS build.

I'm just going to buy it on day one and try it out.

That's a very weak and biased review.

With a statement like, "it really seems to be constructed with lower-grade materials compared to other flagship phones," how can PreCentral give this review any credibility? Gimme a break.

Boy Genius is genius enough to know the quality of material simply by holding the phone? And PreCentral buys this?

Is a glass overlay really an advantage? Show me the pros and cons. Glass shatters, plastic need not. Plastic can be thicker at lighter weight.

I'm sure they were very impressed with the iPhone 1.0, with its ten hp 2G signal and $500 price tag, because we all know that a $500 phone should have tuetonic quality, not performance quality. Maybe Pre needs some wooden inlays, leather grip surfaces and a brushed titanium back panel. Then maybe they'll like it better.

On a similar theme, no million dollar home will be complete without a genunine iPhone 3G ATT doorstop. Because if you want to compare performance of the phones head-to-head, iPhone will be a much better looking doorstop and Pre will do a much better job streaming video from Sling or Sprint.

Oh, I'm sorry, was that shallow and self serving. You'll have to excuse me, I'm a Man Genius.

All in fun iPhoners, go back to reading your MRI's. I'll be quiet now.

You would think since they are the first to review the phone they would have spent more than 90 minutes playing with it. Nothing about GPS? Hello?

But I guess since they are the first to review it they don't need to actually you know, review it.

I find it funny that even the iPhone fans are giving them shit about such a weak review.

I've lost my respect for Boy Genius with this weak sauce review.

As a Centro user I would be surprise to see that the keyboard is that bad.

The funny thing is, from the side-by-side photos I've seen, the Pre's KB is more spacious than the Centro, even more so than the Treo Pro. BGR should change their name to "applegeniusreports."

It has come to light that this BGR review is a knee-jerk reaction to Palm's refusal to send BGR a production Pre: See mrkalel's comment on the Pre forum

And PreCentral should make this clear up front in the post.

I agree that should update their post and tell BGR editors are apple fanboy. I find it most disgusting that they can't review a product logically. That's why I stop reading their posts long time ago.

Actually, PreCentral just needs to clearly state that this was a review of a pre-production unit. I assumed otherwise until I read BG's comments. Absent this understanding, PreCentral's comment that the Pre is "not quite fully baked" is really misleading. I was mislead, at any rate.

I think the most important thing here is that they thought the OS was solid. Even if the hardware is second-rate (and that's still a big IF at this point), the more important piece from a long-term standpoint is the software. If they nail that on the very first device, then things are looking good as far as I'm concerned.

For real...
OS is the most important thing to me because it's been the weakest thing on the most recent phones. The hardware-development seems to be ahead of OS-development. For example, my Treo 700wx has a keyboard on it, but the OS doesn't take advantage of all those keys. And the OS isn't touch friendly on the 700wx. It shouldn't really need a stylus.

Don't know if anyone noticed this comment:


Hype meets reality.

BG took a lot of flak from BlackBerry fans when he criticized the Storm and its keyboard. They called him all sorts of names, labeled him an Apple Fanboy, said he was being paid by Apple etc. etc. Turns out everything he said about that device was true - and then some.

It's a shame that there are some people here who are so blinded by the Pre-hype that they react in identical fashion.

Let's face it, Palm is no stranger to hardware blunders. In photos, the keyboard looks cramped and a bit too close to that plastic lip, and this appears to be borne out in real life. Get over yourselves.

Well it's simple, for starters few people knew Verizon were releasing a spotty rushed product to the market. Verizon has a history of releasing devices that are plagued with problems, that is mainly due to Verizon crippling their devices. If BGR were being honest they would have first mentioned *they do not have the final release version*, hence the reason some features are not working. The lucky few from the media and the developers who have had the chance to work with the Pre have said otherwise. Lastly, BGR gave the first two iphones passing colors, everyone and their mother knows the first two iphones had serious bugs. Unlike the Storm and the G1, the Pre wasn't just brought out of the woodwork to compete with the iphone, it has been over 2 years in the making.

Burbling on about the Storm and the G1 doesn't add anything to the argument. BG reviewed what he was given, and it had flaws. Get over it.

What a Joke that was, and the Re: they offer

On May 29, 2009 @ 3:49 pm, The Boy Genius Said:


Why is that a joke?

"Read on for the world

I am so sick of the iphone comparisons... the pre is not an iphone by any means, it is a totally unique and different approach to things. It's not an iphone killer, just an alternative choice for somebody in the market for a realy sweeet touchscreen smartphone. Yes the pre has similarities, but dont all standard cell phones and any other electronic devices? This review from boy genius is absolute junk... all fat with no meat in the middle and totally misses the positives that are found in the pre. I am in the market for a new phone and have tried a few... had an omnia which I tweeked every way possible before ultimately bringing it back. I was originaly following android, but the slow evolvement of the os and devices detered me (maybe in the future when not with t mobile). If not for the pre, I would be getting an iphone. I am going with the pre, not because it is better, but because it is something different... and a fresh look... as well as way of doing things. why be a lemming? It will be cool to see how this platform developes and future devices that are built for it... this is one hell of a start for a first go with it!

Man, BG is cool and everything but I don't think you guys you be driving even more traffic to his site for this "review". It's just a preview. Honestly. Why call it a review?

On universal search, BG writes:

"Hey, what about Universal Search? Well, it works ok. We guess. It

They really should update the review with the fact that they have a pre-production model. The hardware is much better on the production model.

That's exactly what all the BlackBerry fanboys said about the Storm. It wasn't true then, it's not true now.

Except that it is. I've used the pre-production model and the final revision. It is much better in that it's weighted different so it's balanced, the keys have a better, more tactile feel, and the build quality of the slider is much improved.

I don't care if you don't believe me - when it comes out go use one yourself. You'll see.

People remember, BGR is an iFanSite. Any review they do is biased that the universe and all things real revolves around mac and the iTool.

If you take his review as word then you are iliterate. Please just go and try the device for yourself or wait for a respective non biased review.

And the Blackberry fanboys said the same thing. Didn't make them right. BGR clearly isn't an iFanSite; saying that it is makes YOU look stupid.

Actually read most of the reviews and think about the tone every time they compare something to their device. HE IS biased, get over it.

truebrit is right, I think many of you are blinded with Pre-love. Is BG biased towards the iPhone? Probably a bit, but that doesn't mean that every word he says is bunk, or that the criticisms he has with the Pre aren't legitimate.

Here's the thing you're all forgetting: Palm has been incredibly controlling with the Pre. Very few leaks, no one allowed to even touch it, etc. Their entire future depends on this device. Do you really think they're going to give a reviewer a pre-production model fraught with problems? Really?? C'mon now, there's no chance.

Firstly, the hardware doesn't change weeks before the release. Heck, the hardware has probably been done for months. As for the software, while it's possible that BG got an early not-ready-for-primetime build, I tend to think that's unlikely. And secondly, the thing is 8 days away from release! The final build of the ROM is done, shipped, finished! Why would BG get an old ROM on a Pre he just received this week?

"As for the software, while it's possible that BG got an early not-ready-for-primetime build, I tend to think that's unlikely"

That doesnt make any sense, there were programs that were not completed on the Pre he reviewed. How can that be a final release version?

I think the point you're missing is that Palm & Sprint did NOT give BGR the unit they were reviewing. They got this unit from some other source, so there's no way of telling from the review just at what stage of development this unit represents. Maybe, after those that will receive units for review from Palm have had a chance to work with them, we'll get a better feel for just what the strengths & weaknesses will be of the actual unit that will go on sale. Those that will be buying them next weekend will also be talking about the good, the bad & the potentially ugly. If you're worried that it won't live up to the hype, don't be there Day 1 to purchase one. Wait & see what people say about the actual unit on sale. It's as simple as that.

Guys/Girls, either these are trolls from BGR or Apple apologist, don't feed them. Everyone knows BGR did not have the final version, some do not know the keyboard keys on the final release are different than the keys on the Pre BGR had.

Troll? I've been a member of TC since the Visor days. How long have you been around, because I've never heard of you. :)

Explain to me again what possible reason Palm has to give BGR an unfinished Pre and risk getting an unfavorable review? Unless BG had this thing for a few months and has been sitting on it, there's no way Palm changed the hardware 2 weeks before release.

Look, by no means am I defending the quality of BG's review - it was incomplete in many ways as others have pointed out. I'm just challenging the numerous folks here who seem personally offended that anyone criticize the Pre. If the Pre that BG has is truly not the official hardware, nor the official software, then my contention is that there's no way he got it from Palm this week. Maybe it's an old, non-legit version illegally obtained from weeks ago - who knows. But many (most?) Sprint stores already have the Pre in stock. It's done and ready for release. They're not still tweaking the final build.

BG could possibly get an "older build" of the phone because Pre doesn't want Apple to get their hands on anything too substantial, like little programming features and such. Since BG is such avid Apple fan boy it would make sense not to give someone a full blown ready to ship model but instead just something to try out.
Seeing as how secretive Palm has been they probably are just trying to keep the final product under wraps as much as possible. I believe I said something to this extend in another post.

Possibly... I have no doubt that Palm doesn't want Apple to find out too much about the Pre, but we're 1 week from the release. At this point what does it matter? Apple will find out what the real deal is in 7 days anyway. Now, if Palm had sent an early model of the Pre for early review back in March, then sure - they would probably have intentionally kept a number of things not working or hidden.

Minsc...let me clear a few things up for you.

The Pre he had was not from Palm. He even posted a comment saying since Sprint/Palm did not send him a review unit that this was the best he could do. Basically one of his "ninjas" stop by for an hour or so with a Pre Beta. They have been out for months but must not work any more which is why they did not make any calls on the review of a phone. The NDA's are still in effect right now which means there are no final builds in the hands of tech bloggers right now. He's selling it like he is the first to review the Pre...imagine all the hits the site will take and how much advertisement revenue that will generate!

Also I think Phenomenon was referring to "Blackberry Users Said That Too" with his comment.

Alright, so it's been a long day and I'm a little cranky. :) My bad if I mis-interpreted BG's comments. I took his statement of, "'s not my fault Sprint/Palm didn't send me a final review unit..." to mean that they DID send him a unit, and if it wasn't the final build then that's Palm's fault, not his. Which, if true, is certainly understandable from his standpoint. Was there another comment or disclosure somewhere in which he admitted that his device was NOT from Palm? If so and I missed it, then my apologies.

If he did get his device from one of his ninjas, then I think we're arguing the same thing. He clearly needs to state that upfront rather than giving everyone the impression that he is doing an "official" review of the Pre.

LOL...I thought the same thing when I read the first comment then thought...with all the hush hush on this phone, why is Palm sending review units that are not final build? Then I read it again and realized he was blaming Palm for making him go to these measures in order to get a unit to review.

Here is the one a little later....

"On May 29, 2009 @ 6:45 pm, The Boy Genius Said:

Does it really matter all that much? There will be plenty of other reviews you can tear apart, this was a review based on a unit we had access to, running whatever it was running, and we did the best we could.

Forgive us if we skirted around some areas of the phone which could have possibly jeopardized our source (phone calling for instance).


That being said I would have no problems with his hands-on preview had he just stated it as such. Why did he not tell anyone until the comments which were from everyone calling him out.

Ultimately, what people need to do is wait till it's out, for crying out loud and not rely on someone that has a beta version of the Pre. I had over a hundred cell phones in the past 15 years and I can not tell you how many times the initial reviews are nothing like mine. Oh, some were right are on the mark, but others were way off. Furthermore, NO phone is going to satisfy everyone.

No worries Dieter- when you get a review model it won't be a beta, which the worthy BGR review phone obviously was.

Well the other thing is why would Palm give one of the VERY few brand new 350,000 units to BG of all places to review. They know that BG isn't pro Palm really so why waste it. Might as well let him be dissapointed with the whole world like he has been with the exception of the iphone.

Giving a "pre-production" model of the phone is easy enough. BG would get a rough idea of how the phone is. The only thing I could probably see agreeing with BG on is the keyboard thing, everyone else has said it was cramped who has played with it. But I have also been a firm believer of giving ever phone some time to get used to the keyboard.

BG has been pretty spot on with all the reviews I have ever read of his. He's a tech enthusiast and calls it likes he sees it - caricaturing him as and Apple fanboy is plain silly. If the Pre's keyboard is lame, you'll have to live with it.

Perhaps people here would like the Pre only to be reviewed by PALM fansites, like this one. Trouble is, you then end up with the kind of nonsense spouted by sites like

I can still remember Kevin's immortal words: "Typing on the BlackBerry Storm is... AWESOME!"

Well, we all know how that turned out.

Do you work for BGR???

No. But I know blind fanaticism when I see it.