Guess what? People are loving the Pre
The verdict is in: The Pre smartphone from Palm is a hit, at least with the reviewers. Sure, there are dissenters and everyone noted some problems with the device, including battery life, limited applications, and the fact that some programs simply loaded too slowly.
Still, for the most part, reviews were of Pre were positive. In fact, all the big names out there — Mossberg, Pogue etc — predicted it could be an real challenger to iPhone. That alone is saying something.
Since we’re here to save you time, we offer a review of the reviews…
Sinead Carew of Reuters:
So what’s Pre like? It’s shaped like a soap bar with a smooth touchscreen display that has a discrete round button protruding from the lower part that minimizes applications. It has an unobtrusive on/off button at the top edge, plus a volume button on the left edge.
Gently push the bottom edge of Pre to reveal a tiny QWERTY keypad that tilts slightly to you. The keyboard is very compact, and people with relatively big fingers may find it too small.
This may upset anybody who hoped the physical keyboard would be an improvement on the iPhone’s virtual one.
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal:
I’ve been testing the Pre for a couple of weeks, and I like it a lot, despite some important drawbacks that will have to be remedied.
Whether the Pre is better than the iPhone depends on your personal preferences, though I’d note that the new iPhone to be unveiled next week will have lots of added features that could alter those calculations.
The Pre’s biggest advantage over the iPhone is that, in addition to sporting an elegant touch-screen interface that matches or exceeds Apple’s, the new Palm device has a real physical keyboard that slides out from its curved body. While I like the iPhone’s virtual on-screen keyboard, others hate it, and yearn for a device with both a great touch interface and a physical keyboard. The Pre delivers.
David Pogue of the New York Times:
The Pre, which goes on sale Saturday, is an elegant, joyous, multitouch smartphone; it’s the iPhone remixed
The Pre has the usual feature checklist: Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G (high-speed Internet), Bluetooth (including wireless audio), good camera with tiny flash, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, tilt sensor, standard headphone jack, 3.1-inch touch screen (the same 320 x 480 pixels as the iPhone, packed into less space). The hard part is making it all feel simple and unified — over all, Palm nailed it.
Edward Baig of USA Today:
I’ve been testing the Pre for more than two weeks and like it a lot. Pre is easy on the eyes. I can’t think of a more comfortable cellphone in my hand. It has a lovely screen for taking in YouTube videos or browsing the Web. The “always-connected” software foundation at its core, which Palm designed from scratch and calls WebOS, is slick and rife with possibilities.
Peter Svensson of the Associated Press:
When I first got the Pre, I was dismayed by its battery life. I got less than 24 hours of light use out of it, and it would lose nearly a third of its charge if left inactive overnight. It turns out there’s a bug that drains the battery if your Google instant-messaging account is connected to your AOL Instant Messenger account. Palm says it will fix that. When I logged Google out of AIM, I got much longer life.
In a remarkable achievement, Palm Inc., a company that was something of a has-been, has come up with a phone operating system that is more powerful, elegant and user-friendly.