The Palm Pre has generated interest that no Palm product before it has been able to achieve. Official Palm sanctioned reviews of the Pre are now showing up online and one of the most thorough of the lot is from Engadget. Unauthorized reviews had been published earlier this week.
A quick look at the pictures shows that the Pre is a very small phone. It looks much more compact than the iPhone, which isn't that large of a device. Engadget calls the design stunning and it fits very well in the hand. The Pre has a 3.5mm headphone jack, which means you don’t need to buy proprietary headphones for music.
The first area of concern for Engadget was the amount of play between the body and the screen when the device is open stirring doubt about the long-term stability of the phone. If there is lots of play on a brand new device, a year down the road after thousands of open and close cycles what will the play be like. It’s not a deal breaker reports Engadget.
Perhaps an isolated incident, but part of the plastic retaining cap for the mini-USB port on Engadget's Pre broke, a problem Palm says they have never seen. A replacement phone held up better says Engadget.
The screen color reproduction is described as excellent, but a tad hard to read in sunlight thanks to the glossiness of the phone.
Engadget says the keyboard is actually pretty good. The keyboard was a point of serious debate prior to the official launch. The camera is reportedly great with good colors and a working flash. The universal search feature turned out to be less universal than hoped for. The search function doesn't allow you to search emails or text messages.
The much-hyped Synergy functionality has a significant flaw; the device doesn't offer any way to limit the contacts imported. That means if you have tons of people on Facebook you don’t really know or Gmail has auto saved contacts for people you don't know, it ends up in your contacts book. That can be a very serious problem for some users.
The battery for the Pre lasted about 3/4 of a day with heavy multimedia use; this is similar to the battery life of the iPhone. In the end, Engadget simply says that the Pre is a fantastic phone with a few issues that won’t keep it from recommending the phone. The biggest issue with the Palm is the Sprint network if you are a customer on another network.
Gizmodo also has a review of the phone up and was harsher on the Pre than Engadget. The opening mechanism of the keyboard drew some ire from Gizmodo. Gizmodo also reports that the build quality is only so-so and the phone feels cheap. The keyboard is also described as so-so. Gizmodo proclaimed that the software is agile, smart, and capable but the hardware is a liability. In the end Gizmodo said the Pre isn't that bad of a phone.
quote: I love it when reviews get technical! "..the keyboard is 'so-so'..." O.o