Now that the Palm Pre is set to launch (Saturday June 6th 2009), the final reviews are coming in and … well you decide on how good the Palm Pre is:
David Pogue, NYTimes – very discerning reviewer of electronics is very upbeat
Luigi Lugymar, I4U – wonders about the effect of the iPhone revelations, etc, etc
William Hurley, Business Week – very bleak picture of Pre app development and API
Bonnie Cha, CNET – ++multitasking, multitouch vibrant screen, notification; negative elsewhere
Walter Mossberg, WSJ – Palm Pre can rival iPhone, better than Google Android G1 and Blackberry Storm
Joshua Topolsky, Engadget – the most thorough technical review, go here first
I have bolded the EnGadget review because it is the most thorough especially from a technical viewpoint. For example, I discovered that WebOS, the Palm operating system running the Pre is Linux based. The API associated with the WebOS and the Pre is Web-based – and the keyboard, display and gestures used to control the Pre are solidly sweet.
However, I have embedded the Walt Mossberg video review because he emphasize two points. First, the Pre is the best competitor to the iPhone and has some traits like multi-tasking, on-board keyboard, and notification system that are a step ahead of iPhone. Walt’s second point is that the Pre(and all the major smartphones) are like PCs – they are platforms for info gathering, relaying, and display. Think of the smartphones as more than phones – rather they are the latest incarnation of information at your fingertips. This second point is a key difference. Unlike PCs and even laptops, mobile smartphones are highly portable – light, small, easily carried. Hence, they are smart devices; not just phones. It is this role of smart device that makes the Pre, with its multi-tasking capability that not even the iPhone matches to date, so compelling. If all you want is a phone – then look elsewhere. But if you are looking for an info gatherer as well an info display/relay devices with its ability take pictures, determine a GPS precise location, send and receive messages and calls, findout the upcoming weather and other such tasks, then consider the Pre.
A final note – Jon Rubinstein and about 200 other former Apple people who worked on the iPhone are behind the Pre. Now do you think its a coincidence that Apple will be announcing an update to the iPhone hardware and software on June 8th 2009 for availability in July-August?? Not me.