Feeds
75%
Palm Pré

Palm Pre smartphone

The next best thing to an iPhone?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The shiny black plastic has a weight to it that makes the Pre feel expensive. The back is curved and, when the phone is slid open, it presents a satisfying shape to the hand that you're unlikely to drop. Compared to the best efforts of, say, Samsung or HTC, the Pre is beautifully designed.

Palm Pré

Cutting edge design? But not in the way Palm intended

Until you open it, that is. The first thing you'll notice is the lip at the very bottom of the handset beneath the keyboard. It's sharp enough to cut things, and although you're unlikely to do yourself much accidental mischief, such a sharp blade is very much at odds with an otherwise smooth piece of design. The sliding mechanism on our review sample also seemed a little loose for a brand-new phone.

Once or twice snapping the Pre shut caused it to power off. The second problem is the keyboard. There are no onscreen keyboards on WebOS – the screen would likely be too small for one anyway – so the four-row Qwerty keyboard is all you get, and unfortunately it's a stinker.

If you've used the Palm Treo the keyboard will be familiar, and it's true that it's easy enough to work up a fair head of steam after some practice. But to us the keys felt stiff and the rubbery finish is unpleasant. The top row of keys is too close to the bottom edge of the top half of the sliding mechanism and you need to contort your hands to type. It compares poorly to the Nokia E71 and very badly to the BlackBerry Bold.

Then there's the question of accuracy. Apple's message to iPhone newbies if they make a mistake halfway through a word is to keep typing and trust the phone to correct it and, on the whole, it’s very effective. The Pre, although inherently slightly more accurate because of the physical keyboard, doesn't offer anything like so clever a solution.

Palm Pré

Using the keyboard certainly takes some getting used to

It will catch and auto-correct normal spelling mistakes, popping in apostrophes and the like if you forget, but if you type "pixza" it won't guess that you meant "pizza". Typing long messages – particularly emails – is exhausting. The uncomfortable keyboard, coupled with the need for unstinting accuracy, takes a lot of joy out of using the Pre.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.