Palm Pre roundup: the critics have spoken

It's T-minus two days until the Palm Pre will hit the stores in the U.S

It's T-minus two days until the Palm Pre will hit the stores nationwide (with the adequate shortages) and the highly anticipated device already found its way onto a sleeve of reviewer's hands, including our own Ginny Mies.

Everybody is comparing the Palm Pre with Apple's iPhone. Well, the Pre was actually designed to go head-to-head with Apple's phone, no room for doubt here. And the Pre brings a few extra perks, such as a physical keyboard, a better camera and a removable battery.

Palm also introduces a brand new operating system with the Pre, WebOS, something the company has been working on for a while now. Based on Linux and designed from grounds-up for a complete touchscreen experience (ahem, Nokia), WebOS is set to bring a user interface on par with iPhone's (at least), including something Apple's phone users don't enjoy yet - multitasking.

So, does the Palm Pre live up to the hype? Read on for the latest reviews:

Ginny Mies - PC World read review

Pros:- good pocketable size- overall good call quality - iTunes music library synchronization- web browser renders pages beautifully- "fair" battery life (5 hours, 17 minutes)

Cons:- keyboard slightly cramped- bezel lip on the sides and bottom can interfere with typing- social networking synergy feature only a good idea on the surface- lacks removable memory (8GB built-in)- slow, unresponsive photo album application

Walt Mossberg - Wall Street Journal read review

Pros:- vibrant, readable screen- pleasant user interface with card metaphor- over-the-air sync with Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange- wireless backup service- MMS, copy&paste, universal search

Cons:- weak battery life- no keyboard shortcuts- poor App Catalog (application store)- clumsy power button- poorly implemented auto-correct system

David Pogue - New York Times read review

Pros:- good, comfortable size (overall)- call audio quality above average- great multitasking implementation- full iTunes sync (except DRM'd items)- contact and calendar syncing and synergy

Cons:- very quiet ringer- battery life a "heartbreaker"- very few apps in App Catalog- sometimes slow when opening apps- no expandable memory

If you're planning to go and grab a Palm Pre this weekend, you should keep in mind the US$100 mail-in rebate at Sprint stores, which you can get instantly when buying from BestBuy. However, if you're not convinced yet, on Monday (June 8) Apple is set to unveil the 3.0 iPhone software update and hopefully a new iPhone.

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Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
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