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Palm Pre – The Package Deal Karishma Sundaram | , noon Feb. 23, 2009 2009-02-23

The latest contender in the smart phone arena is the soon-to-be-released Palm Pre. Although not in the open market yet, the Pre has created much hype sparking comparisons with competitors like Apple’s iPhone and the Android G1. 

What can we expect?

The Palm Pre comes packed with hefty features and functionality, and apparently it has a definite advantage over the iPhone and G1, in that the designers have learnt from their competition’s mistakes. In fact, there is a lot of new technology that hasn’t been seen before, which makes this smart phone more exciting than ever. 

Physically, the smart phone is smooth, glossy device, slightly reminiscent of a large pebble. Since it uses touch screen technology, the screen is necessarily big, although not as big as it could potentially have been – there is a lot of area around the screen that seems to be a bit of a waste. The phone also has a full QWERTY keyboard, which slides out vertically from under the screen. Of course, this has the effect of increasing the thickness of the phone, making less slim than the iPhone. This particular smart phone has a 3 megapixel camera with a flash attached, however. 

On the inside, the Palm Pre packs a powerful processor and an excellent multi-tasking system. While multi-tasking has been around for quite a while with Symbian and Windows Mobile phones, the iPhone and G1 distinctly lack the smooth handling of more than one open application. 

The operating system in use is Palm’s WebOS, which is aimed at inviting the developer community to build applications easily for this glossy device. Reportedly, the only technologies a potential developer need know are Javascript, CSS (cascading style sheets) and HTML (hyper-text mark-up language). While this seems too good to be really true, it remains to be seen once the smart phone is actually launched. 

The touch screen technology is also different, reorganizing the phone to react differently when it is being handled by one hand only. There is a gesture bar, placed just under the screen, which allows the phone to be navigated easily with one hand. Additionally, with the keyboard and the trackball, the phone can be operated through any of these input devices. In fact, it is possible to jump from one mode to another without losing flow whatsoever. 

A common feature by now, the Palm Pre also has the ubiquitous accelerometer. The accelerometer causes the alignment of an image or a website to change according to the orientation of the smart phone, by automatically sensing the change from one to another.

One of the best features of the smart phone, however, is its integration with the Internet. Rather than confining the Internet to one particular application like a browser or a mail client, the Pre integrates the entire phone with the Internet. For instance, it is possible to amalgamate all messenger applications like SMS, IMs and email into one window rather than shuttle through a series of them. And this is just the tip of the iceberg; the Palm Pre packs in much more. 

Pre-order a copy, or take a look at the smart phone at the Palm website.

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