Palm Pre Review
Reviewed by: Emily Anderson – Sep 06, 2009
The buzz surrounding the Palm Pre has shaken the smartphone world. On the verge of bankruptcy, Palm poached Jon Rubinstein, the project manager of Apple’s iPod, to head its research and development. A year later, the result was the Palm Pre.
Many have compared the Pre to the popular iPhone. Both have touch screens, robust operating systems, a wide range of applications, Internet, GPS, etc. — but the Pre adds on a QWERTY keypad and a 3.2-megapixel camera in a smaller design package.
Its specialty is integration. Running on Palm’s new WebOS software, the Pre has a feature called “Synergy” that combines information from multiple sources, so calendar items, emails, text and photo messages, email messages and contacts are integrated into a single list.
Calendars from a user’s desktop, online email and Internet be viewed together, and conversations with each contact are combined into a single chat-style window.
Plus, more than one application can stay open at once, so there’s no need to close emails for a call, end a call for an instant message, end instant messaging to play a song and so on.
It’s not a perfect phone, though. There’s no camcorder, flash support, on-screen keypad or slot for a memory card. Microsoft Office items can be read but not edited on the phone. And applications, although handy, don’t go quite as far as those on the iPhone.
The Palm Pre can keep a person connected and organized. It can also keep a person entertained. But the applications menu doesn’t have a large enough buffet to serve every interest.
The Pre’s completely black shell has two effects. The good effect is that it makes the screen pop even more than it already does, considering its color capacity and high resolution. The not so good effect is that it makes some keys hard to find, especially the keys on the edges of the phone.
It slides open to reveal a full QWERTY keypad. Designed at a slight angle, the Pre fits in the hand easier than the rigid iPhone, with a screen that is easier to see while typing. Its smooth raised keypad is simple to use and easy to read — though they’re not very large — and backlit for typing at night. More room between keys and a longer space bar would make typing easier since typing errors occasionally happen.
The right side has a slot to plug in the phone’s charger or micro USB chord, the left side has volume keys, and the top of the phone has a headset jack, a ringer switch to turn sounds off and on, and the power key.
The Palm Pre weighs 135 grams, is 3.9 inches tall, 2.3 inches across and two-thirds of an inch thick.
The Pre has a vibrant screen and an uncluttered keypad, but the keys — sometimes hard to find on the phone’s jet-black shell — could be larger.
Its sleek design, smaller size and slight curve when it slides open make it easier to hold than the larger, stick-straight iPhone. The QWERTY keyboard is also a nice addition compared to the iPhone’s on-screen keypad, but the keys are unfortunately small on the Pre. But having a smaller screen, even with good resolution, still means a littler view of videos and other screens.
Out of the box, the Palm Pre comes with a Lithium Ion battery, AC phone charger, stereo headset, micro-USB sync cable, carry pouch, recycling envelope, terms and conditions of services booklet and guides for getting started and features in English and Spanish.
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