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Palm Pre Review Roundup

June 7, 2009 Leave a comment

palm-pre

It launched yesterday in the US for $200 on an 2 year plan, but what do the reviewers think of the Palm Pre? It’s been snuck out a couple of days before the inevitable iPhone update, offers (for now) syncing with iTunes and an impressive operating system. Here’s an overview of who said what:

Wired thinks the look and feel of the Pre are superb, the OS is good but multi-tasking drains the battery too quickly. The keyboard is a plus but is too small in use, and the iTunes syncing is a plus for as long as Apple doesn’t block it.

Engadget has a mammoth three page review that concluded the Pre is a great phone, despite not being perfect. Palm has got an astounding amount of things right, and this will only improve with some more work. Battery life is OK for what the Pre can do, but not great.

Gizmodo concludes that while the OS and apps are ‘agile, smart and capable’,  the hardware is a liability. They go on to say the OS offers something genuinely different to the iPhone so deserves support.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg says the Pre is a ‘smart, sophisticated product’ that is ‘thoughtfully designed, works well and could give the iPhone and BlackBerry strong competition — but only if it fixes its app store and can attract third-party developers’

PCadvisor conclude that the Pre’s ‘eye-catching design and smooth operation make it the most exciting device’ they have seen in a while, even if the lack of memory is a big dissapointment.

My own feeling is that WebOS offers some previously unseen abilities in a smartphone, but some features like iTunes syncing (if it lasts) and lack of memory are ill-conceived. Apple announces new iPhone hardware tomorrow, widely rumoured to feature 16-32Gb of memory, so 8Gb in the Pre already looks dated. If Apple comes in with a budget 4/8Gb iPhone any advances in the Pre’s WebOS could end up being canceled out by a much lower iPhone price. I can only hope the Palm Pre is enough of a success to stabilise Palm, as the more innovating players there are in the smartphone market the better off we consumers are.

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Palm Pre coming soon

May 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Palm_PreSo we know the Palm Pre launches in the US on 6th June for $199.99 with a 2 year contract. Now Palmgoon.com have the news (via the Guardian Newspaper) that O2 will offer the Pre in the Uk. That should make for an interesting match, with O2 already offering the iPhone. Speaking of competition, the Palm Goon web site makes no bones about who the competition is, with most of their articles directly comparing the Pre to the iPhone. Anyone would think RIM and Nokia ceased to exist when the iPhone was released. Or is this personal, since much of Palm’s management team are ex-Apple staff?

Here’s a few images of the Palm Pre software in action, lots more at palmgoon.com

Categories: Palm, phone, software Tags: , ,

Palm back on the cutting edge

January 8, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s been a sad few years watching the once pioneering Palm slip further behind its competitors. Fortunately the new Palm Pre was announced today and the name is the worst part of the product. Sporting the new webOS the device offers a good spec:

  • The Latest TI Omap processor claiming ‘laptop-style power’
  • 3.1-inch 320 x 480 multitouch display
  • slide down qwerty keyboard
  • EV-DO Rev. A and 802.11b/g WiFi
  • GPS, Bluetooth with A2DP
  • 8GB of built-in flash storage
  • 3 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • USB2 socket with mass storage profile
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

The best part of the package is the apps. Written using existing standards such as CSS, HTML and XML palm claims anyone familiar with these can start writing apps straight away. Also impressive is the Synergy sync system which pulls together PIM info from a variety of sources such as Facebook, Google, and Outlook, then dishes it up with duplicates removed. Sounds great, the only question I have left is will it work with my Mac?

The only negative point is the ‘first half of 2009’ release date. With iPhone, Android and Palm now offering competitive smartphone platforms the next year should see some big improvements in features and usability.