Palm unveiled the Palm Pre at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) yesterday and wow…I must say I’m impressed. After watching them release weak update after weak update, I wasn’t sure what to expect out of their next phone. I’m more than pleased with what I see so far and am willing to stick with Sprint a good bit longer and buy myself yet another Palm phone when it comes out.
I’m not here to give all the specs and details of the phone itself. If you want those, go hit Palm’s site or read reviews on Engadget or Gizmodo. What I’ll do however is ramble on about the things I think may actually make this phone be an instrument to breathe new life into Palm.
If none of my readers have noticed, Palm’s stock rose a good 34% yesterday on the news of the Pre. And for good reason…this phone kicks butt. It fixes many of the pain points that I myself had (I’ve got the Palm Treo 755p). Some highlights include:
- A better browser. Egads…Blazer just sucks ass.
- A better camera. It’s about time…this thing is just dismal and I’ve stopped taking mobile pics for the most part because of it. Thanks for adding an LED flash too!
- A proximity detector that disables the screen when the phone is near your face. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidently ended a call or sent the screen to some other odd interface while mashing it against my cheek as I use my hands for something else. Go Palm!
- Keeping the full QWERTY keyboard. Rock on guys, rock on. I enjoy the full touch screen but I can type away with blazing speed with this full keyboard.
- A removable battery. Ha! Take that iPhone owners (disclaimer…I do dig the iPhone but still haven’t moved over to AT&T for one).
Other highlights that I like include 8 GB of flash memory, built-in GPS, and the ability to run multiple applications at once.
A huge pleasant surprise for me was seeing the new OS that runs the phone. Touted as the first webOS phone, it allows the user to interface more with our web-centric lifestyles as it meshes multiple sources of calendars, contacts, emails and so forth into one easy to use format. Kudos to you again Palm!
I’ve been critical of Palm and deservedly so. They’ve rested on their laurels and allowed other smartphone makers to blow right past them. This is a great surprise to see coming out of their coffers. Palm has a ridiculously loyal following and this will only strengthen that hold of current Palm users. It may even bring on a few new users.
One criticism I’ve heard is how the Palm Pre will be exclusive to Sprint and how that may hurt them. We all know it’s not a five year exclusive deal like the iPhone and AT&T. It’ll be a short term thing (remember the Palm Centro? The other phone that injected new life into the Palm line?) and then users from other carriers will be able to ride the Pre train too.
The Pre has no specified release date (or price) but simply given as “the first half of 2009”. Speculation is that it’ll be released around June ’09.
Go Palm go! I love the iPhone but I think competition is always good. I’ve got a few people that swear by the Blackberry but it still has yet to impress me in any way. Yes…I’m a picky bastard. It’s my money so deservedly so. Now if only Palm would send me a test unit so I can give an in-depth report on all the Pre’s pros and cons…