By May 29, 2009

Palm Pre review by Boy Genius Report

Well looks like the first proper review of the Palm Pre has now been posted. We knew that BGR had got their hands on one after we saw some photos a few days back. They have now posted up a review which to be fair is going to be more of a first impression than a complete review as they have only had it a few days but all the signs are positive. Take a look after the break for a few snippets.


The screen is where the Palm Pre shines. Selections take little to no effort and there’s that oh-so-magical water ripple effect when actually touching the display. It’s vibrant, rich, and all around really clear. Like we said in our Pre-view (har, har), we’d rate it just behind the iPhone’s glass capacitive touch screen — it’s that close to being perfection.


It’s really not good. My hands aren’t that big (I can type faster than you could ever dream on a BlackBerry, iPhone or E71) and my thumb literally takes up 3 or 4 keys on the keyboard. There’s less space in between each key than say, a BlackBerry Curve 8300 keyboard, and the texture takes some time to get used to. It’s a rubberized coating kind of like the Centro and Treo Pro, and while the keys are a bit harder (better), the coating could possibly get irritating as use increases. It’s really such an important area that couldn’t afford being messed with and we’ll admit it… we’re a little let down. You’re going after the big guns here, and this is kind of disappointing.


WebOS itself is off to a great start we think. Taking the hardware aspects of the Palm Pre completely out of the equation, it has a bunch of potential. Especially with being public version numero uno. It will be interesting to see how developers try to take advantage of the operating system, yet we can’t help but feel it’s going to be iPhone web apps all over again until Palm releases an SDK that lets everyone (not just special partners) access areas of the OS that are needed to create applications that aren’t just “fluff”. Granted Pre apps will be a whole lot better than iPhone web apps ever were; it’s disheartening to see something like this happen out of the gate though. They will never be able to compete with the Symbian, Android, BlackBerry and iPhone app stores and services like this. But don’t worry too much — we’re sure Palm will come around in due time and release an SDK that gives devs access to everything! It’s just not optimal out of the gate, that’s all


Everyone’s expectation are set enormously high for this device and it really feels like the original iPhone launch again. Well, maybe not quite as insane but still. Palm has done a masterful job of crafting and molding the hype factor, but there seems to be an underlying issue. In being so secretive, they’ve let people’s imaginations run wild and expectations couldn’t possibly be higher.

The OS is great. There’s no ifs ands or buts; it’s really refreshing to see something that’s brand new with a UI unlike anything else out there. The only problem with this is, Palm’s never been a hardware company that anyone’s really cared about. They have been the furthest thing from innovative since circa-2003 — their hardware has always been second rate at best and it doesn’t seem to be changing now. Couple that with the nation’s underdog carrier at a $299 price-point (before rebate), and we’re not how many people are going to be lined up overnight, yet we’re pretty confident once people are able to play a real unit themselves, there will be more than a lot of happy Palm Pre customers.

So there you go, you can read the full review over at The Boy Genius Report, with lots mores pictures.


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Posted in: Phones

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Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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