Thoughts on Palm Pre (AKA, “iPhone Killer”)

As is the nature of Palm, simple design flaws keep this device from being anything close to an iPhone killer.  Let’s face it – a large part of the reason the iPhone is so big is because it looks good, and it’s easy to use (but mostly because it looks good).

OK, so what’s right with the Pre?  In terms of software, almost everything.  It looks as if Palm has FINALLY gotten a modern look for their OS.  In other words, it looks good – really good.  In a lot of ways, it looks a lot better than the iPhone software.  It is apparently Linux-based, and debutes a new operating system called webOS.  Basically, it works with different social networking, email, and web sites to make your life easier.  That sounds stupid, but that’s what it does – web searching, organizing, etc is much easier with the Pre than other smartphones.

Obviously, the phone is touchscreen, and many iPhone-like guestures and icons are used for navigation.  The display looks good for the most part, yet the screen is a little small and doesn’t look as flat as the iPhone’s.  The phone can, however, run multiple applications at the same time, using what seems like multiple workstations (like the multiple desktops in popular Linux distributions) for organization.

My real problem, however, is the slide out keyboard.  First of all, you cannot have a slide ANYTHING on a phone that’s considered to be an iPhone killer.  Part of the appeal of Apple’s smartphone is that it’s heavy duty – it’s metal, solid, and simple.  The Pre is plastic, it slides, and it’s more complex (read: cheap) looking.  Second, the keyboard is tiny.  And it doesn’t appear to be very raised.

All in all, Palm’s got a lot of work to do.  A bigger screen, an alternative to the small plastic keyboard and metal encasing would be a good start.

Enjoy the post? Encourage me by subscribing to the feed, following me on Twitter, and becoming a fan on Facebook. Cheers!