In terms of smartphones out there, the one and only phone you should be using at the moment is the iPhone (I can hear Blackberry, Android, Symbian, and Windows Mobile users cringing right about now). Although the latest iPhone 3G has its strengths there are features we’ve all been longing for (*cough* copy and paste *cough*).
Yesterday, at the Consumer Electronics Show 2009, in Las Vegas, brought a very interesting announcement from Palm. It was the announcement of their much anticipated smartphone, named the Pre. The Palm Pre opened up a lot of eyes and immediately the cliched “iPhone killer” was launched into the spotlight. Here are some notable features of the new Palm Pre:
– 3.1″ touchscreen with slider QWERTY keyboard and trackball; 8GB capacity
– multitasking, GPS, WiFi/EVDO, 3.2MP camera, Bluetooth
– wireless charging (now this is cool) with the Touchstone (just place on top and it will charge)
– Linux based Palm Web OS; removable battery
What makes the Palm Pre very interesting is the fact that it has the form factor of a tiny Blackberry with its QWERTY keyboard, in conjunction with a large touchscreen like the iPhone. Wrap up all of these features inside a sleek and shiny black phone, and you will get people talking.
I think the design looks attractive, but the use of a QWERTY keyboard and the “slider” form factor brings back old memories of my ancient cellphones. Full touchscreen keyboards which help make for a thin form factor are the way to go, but of course, to each their own.
Palm Pre Developers Salivating Already?
After reading about the Palm Web OS, I soon realized it would bring something very interesting to the latest trend of application development and implementation like we’ve seen with the App Store.
As for the Palm Web OS, “It is built on industry standard web tools and if you know HTML, CSS and Javscript you can develop for this platform.” Yes, you read that correctly. We’ll soon have 8 year children writing fart apps for the Palm Pre and making upwards of $10,000/day! I wonder how the Palm Web OS applications will fare against the full featured games and apps on the iPhone?
Why the Sudden Hype with the Palm Pre?
One of the reasons I think the Palm Pre has been accepted with such positive and open arms is due to the fact that it all came as a big surprise. We did not hear about any leaks and the entire phone itself was kept secret. Wired mentions how this is taking a page out of Apple’s playbook, keeping new products secret (and Palm one upped Apple this time with minimal leaks).
As for the design itself, if its sleek lines remind you of an Apple product that’s because it was introduced by Jon Rubenstein, who played a major role in the launch of the iPod and iMac lines from Apple. He left Apple in 2007 to become the executive Chairman at Palm (along with a handful of other ex-Apple employees over the past year and half)!
iPhone 3G or Palm Pre (honestly, is there even a debate yet?)
The iPhone 3G is still the best smartphone out there hands down for my needs. The Palm Pre looks promising but I’d be interested in seeing how it will fare in real life tests, instead of just dazzling a crowd of techies during CES 2009. Until we see and hear more about the Pre, us iPhone owners can only hope that the next firmware update from Apple will bring some new features for us to play with–and to keep us from considering the Palm Pre as our next smartphone.
What do you guys think? Palm Pre, iPhone, or the Zack Morris Brick Phone? Is this Palm’s chance to come back from the dead?