Newer Palm Pres Feature Quietly Improved Hardware, Happier Customers

PreThinking compared brand-new Palm Pres with Pres from the original launch, and found a few nice hardware improvements. The tweaks address some of the Pre's minor problems, including a tendency to shut down when closed and the dreaded "Oreo effect."

A quick list of differences: On an Pre, a vigorous closing of the slider would sometimes result in the phone resetting due to a momentary gap between the connectors. The newer Pres have a little piece of foam in there to stop it from happening. The newer Pre models also have a different model of battery (no word on whether there's any performance difference), a different finish on the center button (pearl-colored to silver), and the Palm logo is now embossed on the included carrying pouch.

Whether Palm has addressed the hardware problems is much more difficult to discern. After surveying 20 users of the new Pres, PreThinking noted that none have complained of the Oreo effect (where the two halves of the phone rotate in an unnatural and heartbreaking way) or the tiny spidery cracks that appeared in the screen. On the other hand, these are new owners, unlikely to have encountered these problems anyway. So we're not really sure if the new phones are substantially more reliable, but it's good to see how fast Palm can adjust and alter Pre shipments. [PreThinking]