Update: The Giveaway is closed, thank you all so much for reading and commenting. The winner announcement is over here.
As you know, I’ve been partnering with Verizon this month to knock a few things off my Mighty List, and as part of the campaign, I’ve been using a Palm Pre Plus.
The idea was to see if the phone would be useful to me, and to find out whether Verizon would be better than my iPhone service provider. Of course, my iPhone service doesn’t work at my desk and garbles half my phone calls, so I’m a little angry about that. Angry in a “hurl my phone against the wall” kinda way. But I can be demanding when I’m paying through the nose for something that doesn’t work. We’ll discuss that more later.
For now, let’s talk about that giveaway. Verizon is offering a $600 Palm Pre Plus for free. It looks like this:
The winner will also get $300 of free service from Verizon, which looks like this:
Well, technically cellular service is invisible. It’s more something you sense in your soul when you don’t feel like hucking your phone out the window during a conference call. So in that way, Verizon is sort of like inner peace, but with less yoga involved.
I’m not required to review the Palm, and frankly I didn’t plan to, but a few of you said you were pondering new phone purchases and asked me what I thought. So here’s the stuff I liked:
Making calls. Primarily, I enjoy using my Palm as a telephone that will call people when I dial their numbers — people with whom I can have complete conversations until we mutually decide it is time to hang up. I carried both my iPhone and Palm with me while friends got used to my new number, and I can’t tell you how many times I called friends on the iPhone so they’d recognize my number, and then had to immediately call back on the Palm so they could hear what I was saying.
Dropping it in soup. So. Right after I activated my Palm, I kind of dropped it in soup. I was freaking out, thinking I’d have to admit I’m a terrible phone parent and ask for another phone. But then I just dried it off with my napkin and it kept on working. I did have to scrape some dried soup out of the charger port with a safety pin, but otherwise it didn’t even cough. Nice.
Taking photos. The phone takes killer photos, you guys. Here’s what a snapshot looks like straight out of the phone with no Photoshop intervention:
See what I mean? (Bryan took that, by the way. Thanks, B!)
Also, it has a flash! On the phone! Which means you can use it just like a regular point and shoot without having to lug around another gadget.
Making videos. You can record video on your phone. Do you hear me? We are living in the future, y’all:
Typing. I know not everyone agrees, but I like the tactile feedback of buttons when I’m typing. Some people find the buttons too small, but I didn’t have that problem. In fact, I actually used my phone to send email for the first time in my life because the email is so well integrated and it’s so easy to type.
Applying lipstick. Yeah. The phone has a compact on the back:
(Photo from the Palm Info Center, which has a detailed review if you’re looking for one.)
When I first saw it, I was irritated. Like, “Oh, I’m a girl! I want a girl phone that helps with my lipgloss.” Then I used that stupid mirror three times before I even activated the phone. My makeup has been flawless for the last month. Curse you, user testers and your uncanny insight into my demographically predictable needs!
Downsides? Because I use the camera and video constantly, I run the battery down pretty fast, which can be frustrating. So you might want some sort of battery backup if you’re not religious about charging your phone every night. Also, I tend to be an early adopter of mobile applications, and betas aren’t always available on the Palm. I realize that may not be a problem for… most of the world, but there it is.
All in all, this is a good phone on a great service. I actually think it’s a smart choice for bloggers because the camera and video are superior and it’s much easier to type, so you can do mobile updates easily.
If you’d like a Palm Pre Plus for yourself, not to mention a lot of free service from Verizon Wireless, please leave a comment below promising that you will not use your new phone to text while driving, and that you will not drop it in soup within 24 hours of receipt.
Now for the fine print: You must be 18 or over to enter and live in the U.S. Multiple entries will be disqualified. Comments will be open until Wednesday morning March 31, 2009 at 11 a.m. PST. I’ll choose winners randomly using Random.org, and will announce later that day. Good luck! My fingers are crossed for you.