Conclusion: The Palm Pre is the sexiest handset since the iPhone—and it also marks the dawn of a major new smartphone platform. Although it lacks third-party apps and has some battery life issues, it's much more fun than any other phone Sprint offers.
Pros: Excellent design. Very cool interface. Synergy feature consolidates e-mail, contacts, and calendars. Syncs with iTunes just like an iPod.
Cons: Very few third-party apps at launch. So-so reception. Short standby battery life. Limited IM apps.
Summary: The Palm Pre matches the iPhone for touchscreen innovation, offering a user interface whose gesture and multi-touch capability make for a genuinely finger-friendly phone. The physical keyboard is handy, if you can get to grips with its tiny keys, but the App Catalog needs some serious attention
Pros: Clear, vivid display; responsive touchscreen; useful physical keyboard; well-designed, beautiful user interface; Synergy app brings together contacts from the cloud; comfortable to hold and make calls with; good connectivity, including 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.
Cons: Keyboard may be too small for some; short battery life; apps can be sluggish to load and phone is slow to boot; no memory-expansion slot; no on-screen keyboard; shelves are bare in the App Catalog.
Excerpt: “Pre” is an odd name for a device that drops late into a corporate drama already loaded with twists, turns and setbacks. But if Palm is indicating that its new phone kicks off a new phase, maybe the Pre is aptly named after all.
Pros: Great look and superb feel. Well-conceived OS with multitasking and instant notification. Physical keyboard. Utilizes iTunes to load and refresh content.
Cons: Multitasking puts a big suck on the battery. Sprint exclusivity will be annoying to Palm-philes on a contract with AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile. Keyboard is puny. If Apple blocks the handset’s access to iTunes, Pre users are hosed.
Summary: We've seen many smart phones come and go since the original iPhone, and the $199 Palm Pre is the first device we've tested whose user interface not only matches up well to Apple's offering, but also beats it in some areas.
Excerpt: Apple must feel its rivals breathing down its neck. Unsubtle hints that it might take legal action against Palm suggest a certain loss of cool in Cupertino, and you can see why. Palm put Jon Rubinstein, a former Apple man, in charge of its do-or-die smartphone launch, and the outcome is not bad at...