Thursday, June 4, 2009

Does the Palm Pre really live up to its hype?

Palm Pre is an internet connected multimedia smartphone designed and marketed by Palm, Inc., with a multi-touch screen and a sliding keyboard.  It has been the most highly anticipated gadget since the debut of the iPhone. Now that the Palm Pre is scheduled to launch on June 6, 2009, and will be the first to use Palm's new Linux-based WebOS operating system. Does it really live up to its hype?

Quick Features Overview:
  • Layered Calendars & Linked Contacts via Palm Synergy feature to bring together your Outlook, Google & Facebook calendars
  • Intuitive Notifications appear at the bottom of the screen to let you know what's going on
  • Universal Search for searching your contacts, and applications, or Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia or Twitter
  • Photos, Music and Videos 
  • Built-in Media Player supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, WAV and AMR music files, and MPEG4, H263 and H264 video formats
  • Download Applications from Palm Pre Catalog or buy movie tickets and add movie times right to your calendar
  • Activity Cards that allow opening multiple applications by flipping them, moving them around or throwing them off screen
  • Combined Messaging via Palm Synergy conversations grouped together in one chat-style view
  • Email, WiFi and GPS
  • Web browser is based on WebKit
  • Breakthrough Design (Slide out keyboard for faster texting, accelerometer will automatically change the orientation of the display between landscape and portrait mode for music, websites, photos & videos when the device is rotated in the user's hands)
  • The Palm Pre is based on WebOS which is built around a system of "activity cards" used to manage multitasking.  The multitasking capabilities and system notifications are unparalleled.
  • The Palm Pre showcases a sharp display and supports multitouch gestures, enabling most navigational input to be made using the touchscreen. However, since it includes the slide-out keyboard, it does not include a virtual keyboard as many other touchscreen smartphones do.
  • The Palm Pre uses the WebOS' feature called Synergy that integrates well information from many sources. WebOS allows contacts from multiple sources (i.e. Gmail, Facebook and Exchange) to be integrated together.  Also, Calendars from multiple sources can be viewed together or one at a time. For messaging, Synergy combines all conversations with each contact into a single chat-style window.  
  • Palm Pre offers good call quality, and the wireless options include 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS.
  • Palm Pre's keyboard is cramped
  • Battery life drains quickly and the smartphone can be sluggish at times
  • Lacks expansion slot, video recording capabilities, on-screen keyboard, flash support (Note: On Feb 16, 2009, Adobe announced that it will be developing a version of Adobe Flash Player for WebOS). 
  • Palm Pre App Catalog is still in beta and there are only a limited number of titles 
In summary, Palm Pre may not be the iPhone killer device just as yet. Nonetheless, Palm has made a solid and smart device that offers something more in its multitasking and personal information management capabilities. 

Finally, what are your thoughts on the Palm Pre?  Do you plan to develop your applications for the Palm Pre within the next 6 months?  If you found this article useful, please retweet!

1 comment:

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