Sprint and Palm launched the new WebOS-based Pre smartphone one week ago and I have spent many hours using it since launch day. There are several pros and cons with the device and service and the verdict is still out on whether it stays or goes. The device is not earth shattering, but it is a very compelling product that has many Palm fans excited and energized to see Palm succeed.
The Touchstone charger is one of the most unique aspects of the Palm Pre experience. Palm uses induction charging and a magnet to hold the Pre in place.
The display slides up to reveal the Palm Pre QWERTY keyboard.
The Pre keyboard is a bit compact, but the keys are well spaced out and have a rubberized texture to make them easy to type on.
There are very few functions supported with the Pre keyboard, but the orange button does help you with some aspects such as copy and paste.
The numbers are accessed with the orange function button. Other alternative keys are entered with the orange function button too, even though the keys are white.
There is a vanity mirror on the back upper side of the slid up display. This may come in handy for those times when you need to be rescued from the sea or mountains.
When you buy the Touchstone you get an extra cover that has soft touch material and is much nicer than the default glossy back cover.
As you can see the Palm Pre is quite small and has a very nice back cover.
The Pre fits well in my palm and is one of the most compact smartphones available today.
A standard 3.5mm headset jack, ringer toggle switch, and power button are found on the top. The ringer switch is a handy Treo feature.
The power button can be used to unlock the display too.
The Pre charges and connects to your computer using a microUSB connection. The door is a bit difficult to use, but if you flip it up it gets out of the way.
Volume buttons are found on the upper left side of the Palm Pre.
The mic opening and center button are found on the lower front.
There is a headset speaker centered above the display.
There are yellow highlights on the Pre under the back cover. The cover shown is the replacement cover that comes with the Touchstone charger.
You can see the two ports on the back of the cover that are not found on the standard cover.
The two pieces connect to the Pre here on the back.
The battery is a bit weak on the Pre. A 1500 mAh model may have been a better choice.
The bare camera and speaker on the top back of the Pre.
Here you can see the latest three Palm keyboards lined up for comparison.
The three devices stacked up show the width of each keyboard. The Pre actually strikes a balance between size and curved design.