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Analyzing the Palm Pre Reviews



The NDA has lifted, and the reviews of the Palm Pre are in. jkOnTheRun has a full roundup. Very positive across the board, and after skimming through them, I don’t think there are any surprises here. Everything works pretty much as previously discussed. Interface is engaging. Sync grabs everything. The card metaphor for multi-tasking works as advertised (and takes the expected toll on performance and battery). Keyboard is small but there for those who want one. If you were on the fence about the Pre, I don’t think the reviews will sway you against your initial leaning. On the other hand, if you were waiting on confirmation of your first impressions, then I think you’ve got it. However, I did make a couple of fresh observations.

First, I didn’t realize how small this thing was until seeing it being handled by several sets of hands. Those different points of reference emphasize the smaller area compared to the iPhone. Second, the interface is rather cutesy. Nothing wrong with that, but Palm is such a business brand that the shift in direction on the Pre is somewhat jarring, particularly since it has a sleek black case and more traditional Palm-styled keyboard. Hardware looks business but software screams fun and personal. Still, their marketing is hitting the latter points hard, so it should reach the appropriate audience. I expect the Pre to be a crowd-pleaser.



  1. Rob Bushway

    06/04/2009 at 9:41 am

    the only review to read, in my opinion, is Engadgets. It is the most thorough review I’ve read in a long, long time. Forget all the others:

  2. Jose R. Ortiz

    06/04/2009 at 10:49 am

    I wouldn’t call the ui “cutesy”. It’s not PalmOS and it’s not WinMo, but that’s a good thing. I think the lines between consumer and business pro are beginning to blur as people look to a single device for both uses so in that light I think the pre ui accomplishes both very well. But of course like anything else, each person is going to have his own perception; that’s just mine.

  3. Joe

    06/04/2009 at 10:50 am

    Agreed entirely with Rob on this one… .though I read all of them anyway.

    I’m still a little bit concerned about battery life, but there’s absolutely nothing said that’s going to stop me from getting one on Saturday.

  4. GoodThings2Life

    06/04/2009 at 11:04 am

    Wow, I agree, Rob… the Engadget review is very well written and thorough.

    And I can’t help but notice that it’s not written with their usual Pro-Apple-Anti-Everything-Else slant, which is very pleasing.

    We’re getting one of these for the big boss here at work, so hopefully it will be all that is claimed and more!

  5. Motivity

    06/04/2009 at 11:34 am

    I also read all of the reviews, and it seemed like the complaints mainly fell into two catagories. Battery life and app store. As someone who’s looking to buy a Pre in the near future that’s a relief for me. Allow me to explain. The only other phone i was thinking of getting was the Iphone but I didnt want to switch to AT&T which gets horrible service compared to Sprint on the East coast. If I was to get an Iphone the battery life would be just as much of an issue. According to the reviews the battery life is comparable to that of an Iphone as long as youre not constantly working with a weak signal. And I believe that the fears about a weak response from developers are just a case of reviewers not wanting to seem like they didnt see it coming, if the developer response is weak. On the contrary, with the announcement that Verizon is picking up the Pre sometime next year, and the development of the Eos and other WebOS devices, I’m sure that there will be plenty of apps for Pre users to choose from soon enough. Do we really need 40,000 to be happy?How long did it take for the Apple App store to get rolling?

  6. Ralph Coleman

    06/04/2009 at 12:45 pm

    There is only 1 deal breaker for me on the Palm Pre, it doesn’t tether! Everything else it seems to do is fantastic.

  7. Richard

    06/05/2009 at 4:39 am

    I’m pretty sure that the program PDANet would take care of that. It is most used on the PalmOS for internet sharing anyway.

  8. Andrew

    06/05/2009 at 9:02 am

    I could see how someone would think of the Pre’s interface as cutesy, but I’m not sure that’s going to run off business customers. There are plenty of OS’s that have cutesy interfaces, but that doesn’t eliminate them from business use. It really all started with Windows XP’s default ‘Fisher Price’-like interface. Then they followed up with Vista’s transparent, sexy, flashy interface. The iPhone has what I’d consider to be a cutesy interface, yet it started a whole new trend.

    Phone are in a major revolution and businesses will have to evolve with them if they want to be able to take advantage of the benefits they provide.

  9. Joe

    06/05/2009 at 2:20 pm

    Nope, PDAnet tethering in Classic does not work.

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