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Newer Palm Pres are better build, added improvements, fixes resetting issue


If you're an early Pre adapter like myself that nabbed one of the first batches of Palm Pres, then chances are you experienced it firsthand or have heard of some of the build quality issues surrounding the first shipments of Palm Pres. Although the particular Pre I got was one of the solid ones. Palm acted swiftly from the reports, and looks like Pres manufactured in July and up, fixes some of the issues. 

I took 20 people that bought a Palm Pre in the last 15 days and found some interesting things. These Pres were manufactured between 7/1 and 7/29 and are in the "sunset" box.

Screen Cracking

Users were reporting spider web-like cracks mysteriously and sometimes not so mysteriously finding its way on to the Pre. Out of the 20 people, no cracking anywhere so far. But then again, they just bought it, so who know...

Pres resetting or shutoff when the user closes the keyboard

It was a common thing to all early Pre adaptors that when the we close the keyboard with a bit of force, the Pre would reset itself or shutoff. The problem lies in Pre's battery compartment and Palm's standard battery. The battery fits tightly in the Pre, but when a user closes the keyboard, it sometimes creates a tiny gap between the connectors for a millisecond, just enough to shutoff the Pre or reset it. 

Palm fixed the issue by adding a little gray foam behind the tab you pull to get the battery out (Image above). 

The finish on the Center Button

This one is not really an issue, but worth mentioning. The first batch of Pres had a center button that looked like a pearl, newer ones have more of a silvery finish. 

Screen Twisting/"Oreo Effect"

There is like 1 in a 100,000 chance that your Pre will become what you're seeing in the image above. But some users have reported twisting between the two halves of the Pre. Though we're seeing less of this problem in the newer models, at least out of the 20 people.

New Model of Standard batteries

We don't know if it's new, but there are definitely two different models of the 1150mAh standard battery. [Thanks for the image, Chi]

Palm Logo embossed on the Pre carrying pouch

This one is not a big deal, but I'd wish my pouch had the Palm logo embossed on it. And BTW, do you place your Pre on top of the pouch? Just curious.

There could possibly be more improvements and fixes, that maybe you guys could point out, and we'll add it here. But the newer models are really solid, and if you were the few that hold off on buying a Pre because of the quality, nows the time to get one.

[Special Thanks to all that participated in this]

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Reader Comments (41)

I don't use the case anymore, too cumbersome w/ the zagg. but i wish i had the embossed logo

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLinh

That's good news. But I'm pretty peeved that 6 weeks after my Pre purchase, a crack started forming that's spread 1/4 of the way across the screen (starting at the charging port, which I never use, I have several TS's) for no apperant reason I've handled the Pre with kid gloves. Bummer. I have the insurance, but it's pretty annoying to have to dish out another 100 dollars on a near brand new phone.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrent Daniels

If you purchase a new Pre and it doesn't have the foam in battery compartment, don't worry... that might have been a temporary fix. Mine was manufactured on 7/29, and doesn't have the foam... but the battery fits VERY tightly.

And the new center button can best be described has having a finish like "hematite." (Mercury-like dark silvery gray.)

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKC

What are the serial number ranges for "old" and "new" Pres?

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Just got my 2nd pre after my 1st one had almost identical racks to the pic above. Its so much sturdier and smoother feel

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBen

I don't use the pouch for me Pre, but I've found it's the perfect size for my Canon SD780. I keep the camera in the pouch and carry the two together in my pocket. The pouch ends up protecting the Pre... indirectly.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKen

So mine is a "replacement" so it's a refurb. Here's the deal with my phone:

1. Has the silver center button
2. Typed in ##786# in dialer to find Manufacture date of 6/5/2009 but there is no recondition date. Could this phone be new??? Didn't come with box.
3. No foam in battery
4. When phone is close, there is a slight wiggle in screen. More than I life. (My original phone did not do this).

So to summarize, I have no foam, have the silver button, but the manufacture date is on 6/5/2009 with NO recondition date.

Does anyone know what this means?

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChi

"identical racks"?
You mean the slider rails?
If so I didnt see them in the pics.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhappy?

I have one of the newer Pre's (build date 7/1) and it is very solid, no issues except a slight wiggle when the keyboard is closed and the slider seems to be scratching the edge of the phone (at the base of the keyboard)

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJason

do you think they can fix the yellow discoloration display problem?

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjetrutt1


I think he meant to type "cracks", not "racks". This is pretty good news. I've held off on the Pre because of the build quality issues I've heard about, but I plan to finally bite the bullet this weekend.

Can anyone else who has a newer Pre build comment on the build quality?

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentervalgas

Great work here! Between you guys and PreCentral, all of the important info about the Pre is covered!

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentervara411

"2. Typed in ####786# in dialer to find Manufacture date of 6/5/2009 but there is no recondition date. Could this phone be new??? Didn't come with box."

i can only type the # sign 3 times before it cancels out the sequence on the phone dialer??? why?

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersteve


He meant ##786#, typo.

August 12, 2009 | Registered CommenterPreThinking

Palm called me last week asking about my latest Pre exchange. One item asked was how Sprint stores were honoring Palm's 90 day warranty on the device. That 90 day thing was news to me.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSean

Great I am so excited bcuz I will be receiving a brand new pre straight from Palm from their Advance Exchange Program becuase my WiFi was no working and my tracking says FedEx should be at my door before 3:00pm with my Brand New Pre so I will have one of the latest so I will be sure to take pics and post to confim these details thanks...

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjonmade


Great! Can't wait to see the photos.

August 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterPreThinking

Yeah... Those spider web cracks appeared on my phone after pressing the center button one time... I brought it to sprint and argued that it was a manufacturing defect... cause I never dropped the phone or hit it at all.. the phone was only 2 weeks old!! I had insurance so I unhappily paid the hundred... I mean I wasn't nuts at the sprint employees cause I know they can't tell what I did to the thing.. But pressing the center button and the screen cracks... come on...

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

I just bought mine on the day of the best buy mix up and I am 90% satisfied. Never had a crash on close, no cracks and I do find myself manhandling the screen sometimes. However there is a slight wiggle that's just enough to bother me, and there are some moderate discolorations on the screen.I do use the pouch as often as possible. I refuse to set the naked phone on any hard surface.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaznai

This is good to see as the launch for the UK and rest of the world is just round the corner

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterT.K.Richard


Your replacement phone is not refurbished. When new phones come out and they don't have refurb stock available they send out handset only replacements. So yes you got lucky and got a brand new Pre. Mine was manufactured 7/16 and I don't have the foam either....

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrob

@phillip lam -- the manufacture date called "ACTDATE" or "WARRANTYDATECODE" ??

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersteve

The phone I got originally during launch has the "Sunset" box. What was the "original"? The one with the flower?

FYI - my original phone in the sunset box ended up having 2 hairline cracks on the upper left. Am I 100% sure it wasn't from being dropped? Not sure.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChi

I have a mfg date of 7/1 and have the same issue with a minor "wiggle" of the screen in the closed position. Not a big deal - but as someone else said, just enough to be bothersome.

No major issues hardware-wise, but there is a horrible distortion during phone calls, to the point where the person on the other end can't hear me. What's odd is that I can hear the distortion as I'm talking - it's only when I talk. And no, it's not a signal issue.

I'm going to be exchanging this Pre because of that issue, hopefully the new one isn't suffering any other issues.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJimF


August 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterPreThinking

i have the pre with the manufacture date of 7/25... it giggles enough and on further inspection realized that the bottom right track is a little low (can be seen when phone back and battery is taken out), other than that no problems, no crashes etc...the new battery still gets horrible battery life, i get about 4ish hours from the battery under what i would consider normal usage.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkayakj

We have the palm pre pouch turned inside out so the orange is on top. Much much easier to find your phone!

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpd

Just a guess: The foam is only used in Pres that come with the old battery type. As the new battery is slightly larger, it fits more tightly.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDean B.

There maybe another unannounced improvement...

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAPK

Please help? I tried pressing ###786# on the software dialer, and the keypad and nothing happens. How do I find out the build date of my Pre (instructions for dummies) ? THANKS!

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSoCalGirl


##786#, not ###786#

August 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterPreThinking

Thank you so very much Philip! (I need reading glasses) Two of the three phones I bought are manufactured after 7/1. My son's is in transit. Now, to find the passwords I used on my secure WiFi to check that. Having intermitent issues with the Touchstone. The 2nd phone's usb cover came off with the little nobby bent out, so I'm exchanging that phone. However, I'm not sure how long those flimsy covers will last anyway, especially that little nobby to secure it. I am hoping Palm has enough issues with this one little thing that they make a rubberized one found on most electronics and replace ours.

Is it bad for the phone to not have this usb port covered?

Also, the Shack told me Palm Pre came w/ a 1 yr warrantee. But, is it really a 90 days for a no-hassle replacement?

p.s. Great Forum!

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSoCalGirl

I had 3 Pre's so far in every since it came out.

My 1st Pre used to turned off by itself and the battery life was terrible.

My 2nd Pre whenever I make a phone call the screen goes black and i cant see anything after that. Then i have to get the battery out and re-sart the phone.

These little issues are getting to me and almost to the point of going to sprint and canceling my contract.

I love Palm and the Pre but the fact that we cant foward messages its such a BIG TURN OFF. Come on!!!! One of the sickest phones ever w/ no foward messaging???????????

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob

I recently received my pre and a few slides of the slider I have slight twisting from the screen when closed. My warranty date is 6/5 and my box was the newer sunset model, even though the twisting is a minor annoyance I am still going to send it and try my luck. Hearing all these refinements are reassuring but palm still hasn't fixed the "oreo effect" yet. Ohh and f.y.i. I when I removed my battery I don't have the rubberized black railings.

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVic

"Palm called me last week asking about my latest Pre exchange. One item asked was how Sprint stores were honoring Palm's 90 day warranty on the device. That 90 day thing was news to me."

That's news, maybe i should go back to Sprint or call Palm. My Pre was 6 days old and the screen cracked and when i took it back to the sprint store they said all you can do is file an insurance claim.

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertfyandell


yeah you should go back to your sprint store to get a new one if you didn't drop your phone.

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVic

Is there any word on upgrades to the keyboard? The keys are plasticky, flimsy, and slippery. Seems like Palm should have used the same keys that were on the Treos, which worked just fine.

August 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterblizzardPRE

so i had my pre for a week and the screen is loose as a goose. bought it from a 3rd party vendor and sprint nor the vender will exchange my phone. i love love love the phone but its so delicate. im afraid the screen will fall off completely soon. its very disappointing because it was an authorized sprint provider.

August 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterprelover

I too do not like the fact that I cna't forward messages in my palm pre either. But has anyone has issues where text messages disappear after you click the indicator to review the message?

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGina

I got my Pre 9/9/09 and returned it three times! I got it at radio shack. First one overheated while making a call or charging, and the screen would blotch up from overheating. The second replacement when I closed the slider it would reset it self. Sprint had me drive 45mins to a flagship store and get the battery replaced. Several days later the issue came back and I went back to Radioshack to get a replacement.

Since my first Pre I've notice that on all three models would overheat while roaming. I solved my by turning off location services and allowing data usuage while roaming. Seems that after webos 1.2 came out the overheating went to down but in places where I never had issues roaming with another phone (blackberry curve 8330) I would with the Pre.

Anyone else experienced overheating issues?? Or roaming issues??

October 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

As with Brent Daniel's post above, my Pre had a tiny crack at the charger port when I bought it and within a month the crack grew to cover the screen. I never dropped it or anything. After fighting with Sprint, I received a replacement. Now, 6 months later, another crack has appeared next to the charger plug in, and here I go again. No one at Sprint claims to have ever seen this flaw before... I am very frustrated.


March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKen Francis

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