Palm introduces iPhone competitor Pre | iLounge News

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Palm introduces iPhone competitor Pre

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Palm today introduced its latest handset, named the Pre. Featuring a 3.1-inch, 480x320 touchscreen, a dedicated gesture area below the display, a vertical slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and more, the device is aimed at the same market as the iPhone. Other technical features include high-speed wireless (EV-DO Rev. A or HSDPA, depending on the model and carrier), GPS, Wi-Fi, a 3-megapixel camera with LED flash, 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB connector, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with A2DP, 8GB of internal storage, an accelerometer, ambient light and proximity sensors, a removable rechargeable battery, and an optional wireless charger. Pre is exclusive at launch to Sprint.

The device runs Palm’s new WebKit-based operating system, webOS. Designed for next-generation, touch-friendly devices, it offers many iPhone OS-like features, such as a full web browser, Exchange email support in addition to POP and IMAP, IM, MMS, and SMS messaging, and Palm Synergy, a new feature that aims to consolidate information like calendars, chats, and contacts from various sources in one place. Slated for release in the first half of 2009, no price has yet been set for the Pre. Initial impressions suggest that the phone is a large step forward for the company, which hired former Apple senior vice president Jon Rubenstein to develop its next-generation software and hardware in October 2007. Former Apple employees have reportedly joined Palm in significant numbers to aid Rubinstein in Pre’s development.

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Comments

1

First phone to make the iPhone look old.

Posted by Miles on January 8, 2009 at 7:38 PM (PDT)

2

Nah - a bit clunky. Bloated edges waste space, as does a removable battery and separate keyboard. That being said, I’m glad Palm is progressing as I’ve always liked the company.

Posted by Warren Piece on January 8, 2009 at 8:35 PM (PDT)

3

I think one could argue that this phone actually utilizes the so-called “wasted space;” note that the areas above and below the “screen” are still touch-sensitive and part of the touch interface. A majority of the front surface is a seamless touchscreen interface, even if the screen appears a tad small.

I think this is a step in the right direction and is definitely going to help Palm move away from the image of the severely outdated Treo lineup… this might replace my blackberry a few years from now.

Posted by Mack on January 8, 2009 at 11:31 PM (PDT)

4

Looks like a promising device from Palm. I like Palm for introducing me to great PDAs. I’m now an iPhone 3G owner and it seems that now everyone wants to use Apple’s design as the new staple of things to come. But with technology moving so fast, we know that soon even the iPhone will seem kinda dated.

Posted by RodC on January 9, 2009 at 1:30 AM (PDT)

5

my gripe is not of the device, it looks nice, but Sprint? they have the worst coverage and service of all. AT&T;is not the best but much better than Sprint

Posted by hydra-calm on January 9, 2009 at 7:42 AM (PDT)

6

I’m a huge palm supporter and a happy owner of a TX hand-held. It nice to see that FINALLY they are getting off their bums, updating their OS, and producing cutting edge stuff again. The only problem is Sprint…they STINK. Everyone knows it, and because of that, I won’t leave verizon to buy one. What a drag, because I would have left them for anyone but them.

Posted by Jerry on January 9, 2009 at 9:02 AM (PDT)

7

I’m not all that impressed. It kinda looks like a baby’s version of the iPhone. Plus a slide out keyboard? Doesn’t sound like good news. I use and am happy with my palm Treo, but I’d take an iPhone over this new palm any day.

Posted by Daniel on January 9, 2009 at 11:56 AM (PDT)

8

Wow, just spent some time reading about the Pre and viewing some photos and videos.  It is pretty impressive and is definitely going to push Apple to make improvements to the iPhone.  The integration of different functions like email, texting, phone, and web is pretty slick and at least on the videos quick.  There is no on-screen keyboard for better or worse.  It also has an interesting desktop charger that it magnetically sits on to charge through contact only.  Oh yeah…replaceable battery, cut and paste, and photo texting too.  People might not like Sprint (I never had a complaint myself and only left because I wanted the iPhone) but their Everything plan is the best one out there in my book.

Posted by TosaDeac on January 9, 2009 at 12:27 PM (PDT)

9

I wonder if there’s flash support on this sucker, so far it seems to be a wonderful device. Also, does Palm have anything going in the application direction, or is this going to be strictly business or work related like I’ve come to expect with palms.

Still, this device seems pretty damn sexy, all the more reason my head scratches on the Sprint exclusive. I’m still disappointed that Verizon didn’t accept the iPhone when they had the chance

Posted by asdfasdf on January 9, 2009 at 3:18 PM (PDT)

10

Since the launch of the iPhone, this has to be the first offering, from the carrier “Sprint”, that can honestly say, “You don’t have to leave our services to have a truly interactive experience with your phone.”

How fustrating it must be to lose customers, who are generally satisfied with your service, only because of the luring ability of the iPhone.

Sprint might just finally have something, in this new Palm device, that could help prevent customers from jumping ship.

Posted by jwc110869 on January 9, 2009 at 3:51 PM (PDT)

11

I can’t imagine how they made it - this device is simple and unique in the same time.
This is so brilliant product - like Apple with her first iPod.

Posted by Ale on January 11, 2009 at 2:08 PM (PDT)

12

Honestly, I haven’t been impressed by the so-called iPhone killers up to this point. Nothing has made me even consider another phone… until now. While I still prefer my iPhone, my first impressions are VERY favorable. Although the WebOS SDK seems very simplistic and limiting in the range of apps it can offer, I can’t help but be impressed with the way Palm has design the hardware, UI, and other elements. Of course, the true test will come when we can play with it for real, but it looks good so far.

Posted by jasonact on January 12, 2009 at 7:22 PM (PDT)

13

I used a number of Treos over the course of several years, and enjoyed them (Sprint coverage is good in Southern California), but found the iPhone a big leap forward for me, technologically.

I have no desire to go back to carrying two devices in my pocket again, but it’s great to see Palm back in the game again (I wish all my ex-girlfriends well, too) and there’s definitely several features Apple could and should look at here. Maybe many current iPhone users wouldn’t want a slide-out keyboard, but the lack of the option—even as a separate peripheral—has kept a lot of folks I know from switching to the iPhone.

I don’t hold out much hope that Apple will look at the good ideas here, though, since I’m still resizing windows on my Apple work machine from the bottom right corner, almost 20 years after Microsoft introduced the crazy concept of resizing from anywhere on the frame.

Posted by LBY3 on January 13, 2009 at 12:22 PM (PDT)

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