Palm revealed the Pre in 2009 at the Consumer Electronics Show. Beforehand, it was known under the codename Castle. The Palm Pre is used only with the Sprint network and it is the competitor in the smart phone arena of cellular devices. The Pre is setup in much the same way as the popular Apple iPhone which initially actually caused Apple to suggest that Palm may be infringing on patents. Palm responded that their system was unique in every way and the matter was dropped. Verizon began to also carry the Palm Pre in early 2010.
What is a smart phone anyway?
Simply answered, a smart phone is any cellular phone that includes advanced abilities like web surfing, email, and other PC-like capabilities. These have become particularly popular for business men and women who find that this mobile computing helps to pack more into the work day and keep them well connected to the information highway. Today, the Apple iPhone, Google Ion, the Blackberry, and now the Palm Pre are some of the most popular smart phones. These compete with one another in not only their computing abilities, but also appearance, weight, screen quality, and a host of other properties.
The Palm Pre
So what’s the verdict on the Palm Pre? Well there is the good and the bad. First of all, after being spoiled by the touch screen keyboard of the iPhone, the Palm Pre’s tiny keyboard is a disappointment. It’s even smaller than a blackberry keyboard and makes you instantly feel like a giant, especially if you have large fingers. Many people prefer physical keyboards over touchscreens like the iPhone, but if the choice is between a tiny keyboard and one that just takes some getting used to, I’d choose the latter. The Palm Pre doesn’t have amazing battery life, but most of us will use it during the day and charge at night, so there is no real problem with that.
There are plenty of good things about the phone as well. For example, it has a 3.5 mm headphone jack which means it can easily be used like an iPod. This is a relief, as most cell phones don’t offer this. This phone is smaller than the iPhone and more ergonomically designed. When opened, it curves in a nice organic way that feels right when you’re talking into it. The screen is also really nice and sharp–probably the best quality in color and brightness from any phone on the market. This makes browsing the internet a real treat instead of a frustrating “I wish I were on my computer, not this tiny screen” type of affair. Like the iPhone, it has a touchscreen that allows you to zoom by pinching your fingers or double tapping. It also quickly switches from landscape to portrait when you turn the phone sideways (the iPhone tends to lag, but this phone doesn’t).
This phone is really great at running smoothly and that is something that everyone is always looking for. One of it’s most impressive features is the ability to run multiple applications at once, letting you switch between them at will. The phone doesn’t allow for any external memory, which may alarm some potential buyers, but the internal memory is 8 GB and honestly I think that is enough–you certainly aren’t going to be playing games on this phone and 8 GB is a decent amount for a phone.
The Palm Pre is a really very pleasing phone with a few minor drawbacks (namely the keyboard). I applaud Palm’s efforts and look forward to future smart phones released by them.