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Palm Pre Reviewed 144

Posted by timothy
from the in-advance dept.
mlingojones writes "The Palm Pre doesn't come out until June 6th, but the Boy Genius Report not only got their hands on one but also posted a review of it. They liked webOS, but not the hardware (especially the keyboard). Overall, they feel that 'once people are able to play a real unit themselves, there will be more than a lot of happy Palm Pre customers.'" On the downside, this review says the keyboard is lousy.
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Palm Pre Reviewed

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  • The keyboard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mikesd81 (518581) <mikesd1.verizon@net> on Saturday May 30, 2009 @06:19PM (#28153075) Homepage

    On the downside, this review says the keyboard is lousy.

    Yup. I got that from the first time they mentioned it in the summary. But anyway. So I clicked on the link actually. And the review isn't really worth anything since they couldn't actually use the phone as, well, a phone. Looking at the picture of the keyboard, I have to agree that it would probably suck to use. And in my opinion that's a deal breaker. the buttons are really close together [boygeniusreport.com], but that's expected for such a narrow a phone. It probably should have had the keyboard come out to the side and use the phone in a landscape position. It's also quite apparent this guy is biased towards the Blackberry.

  • Re:summary... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @06:21PM (#28153103)

    I didn't understand the review. They figure everyone is going to love the Pre but the device feels badly put together and cheap, the keyboard is crap, the screen (the best feature) is "almost as good" as an iPhone, the zoom (a pretty critical feature in a small screen browser) doesn't work well and there are no apps. The only positive thing they really had to say seemed to be that it's small. But then, that means the screen is small too.

  • Re:The keyboard (Score:4, Interesting)

    by markdavis (642305) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @06:27PM (#28153153)

    I suspect the keyboard is going to be extremely similar to the Treo line (it certainly looks like it).

    My long experience with Treo's is- yes, the keys are close together, but the keyboard really does work OK for thumb-entry. The Pre's version is nearly identical, just sunken (which might be a problem for some people). That said, I agree with you that it probably would have been better had it slid out the long side (landscape).

    There are plenty of reviews of the Pre. The one sited by Slashdot is probably one of the least useful.

  • Re:vs iPhone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fishthegeek (943099) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @06:29PM (#28153171) Journal

    I have to wonder how stable it is with multiple apps open.

    My understanding is that the applications (initially anyway) are all CSS, HTML, and Javascript. The Pre isn't multi-tasking several apps, but running webkit in multiple threads. Stability shouldn't be a problem.

  • Re:vs iPhone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday May 30, 2009 @07:00PM (#28153407) Homepage

    Wow. Clearly your qualified to comment, having never touched the device you are disparaging.

    I've got an iPhone. I love the thing. Lots of people own them because they are "the thing", but many of us actually made an informed choice. It works well, does what I need (occasional texting, works as a phone), syncs with my Mac, and has a fantastic UI. It's the first phone I've used that feels like the UI was actually designed instead of accumulated. The app store and all the great games and apps are just huge icing on the cake (I realize that exists to a small part in the WM space).

    For the $800 comment, do you have any idea what a top of the line blackberry costs without contract? It's about the same. Rumors have the Pre around that price too.

    As for the Pre, it's interesting. Multitasking seems like the killer 'app' for it, but I seriously worry about battery life and responsiveness. It seems like just trying to push computer conventions onto a phone. The iPhone idea makes more sense to me (although more memory for faster launching would certainly help).

    It's unfortunate that the thing feels cheap, especially considering how much you'll have to pay.

    The keyboard sounds like a killer bit. If you don't care about a physical keyboard, an iPhone seems like the way to go. If you want a physical keyboard, Blackberrys are clearly the gold standard. The G1 is worse than that, but it's not bad. The Pre sounds very unfortunate. If the keyboard is as bas as they say, it could be a major problem for sales. That is if the supposedly limited supply doesn't kill them.

    I know some people who might get one. I can't wait to play with one. It will be interesting to see how it does.

    I'm also surprised that the Javascript based applications (except for some "exclusive partners" who pay big $$$) isn't getting ragged on more. It was clear how much of a difference it made on the iPhone to get out of that. Even though they'll have all the features exposed through special JS stuff, I doubt it will work well for games.

  • Re:vs iPhone (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Facegarden (967477) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @07:00PM (#28153409)

    the iphone doesn't win on features, it wins on status symbolism ($800, really?), flashy advertising, and eye candy.

    disclaimer: i don't even own a cellphone (or a tv, yes sometimes you need to be disconnected) but i notice that this is definitely true with people i see around me all the time, and i can give specific examples if need be. there's a lot of keeping up the joneses involved here.

    Seriously, i hear a *lot* of people mention that the iphone is supposed to be some status symbol, but is that even really true? It certainly sounds good to say, but I have *never* met anyone with an iPhone that I thought had it because of some status thing - people certainly drink the kool-aid and think it's the best thing out there, but that still means they bought it because they thought it was genuinely good, even if they were uninformed.

    Maybe it's because I live in silicon valley, one freeway exit from Apple headquarters itself, and everyone around here owns an iPhone just because it's decent (even if it's not great, it's certainly alright) and people tend to be well off enough to have a smartphone of some kind. And so maybe it's how common it is that makes it not a status symbol here, but I've never seen it treated as such.

    Does it really seem like a status symbol somewhere?
    -Taylor

  • Re:vs iPhone (Score:2, Interesting)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @07:34PM (#28153713) Journal
    The Pre uses webkit for HTML. A few months back, webkit added css animation (sort of like CoreAnimation). If the pre supports it, that would help with the games and other little animations.
  • Native... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DrYak (748999) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @07:58PM (#28153893) Homepage

    My understanding is that the applications (initially anyway) are all CSS, HTML, and Javascript.

    Most of them, but not all.
    Several developers have had special VIP access to build native applications.
    That includes Classic [motionapps.com] a compatibility layer to run old PalmOS 5 applications on Palm Pre.
    What isn't know if only a select few developers will be authorised to produce native apps, or if opensource developers will get to write native applications when needed (this will be interesting for a couple of resource intensive applications such as media players and emulators).

  • Re:vs iPhone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @11:01PM (#28155009) Journal

    The iPhone is a very solid and well supported product.

    But it's by no means perfect, and it got a lot of stuff wrong. (As already pointed out, the app limit is annoying)

    And saying the iPhone is better than ____ isn't that impressive. Vista is better than Windows ME, but let me tell you, that comparison means nothing at all. :P The iPhone can still be bad at a specific thing while beating almost every other phone, because the other phones are absolutely atrocious at it.

    Hey, ever use a Nokia N95? That sure was fun. ;)

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