Palm has announced the Palm Pre, what some critics and consumers think is a smart phone that will match if not out do the iPhone.
The phone was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show and runs off an entirely new OS, Palm webOS. Jon Rubinstein explains:
"[The operating system] needs to be more than a bundle of apps bolted on top of a phone. We all live complex lives and keep our information all over the place. The opportunity is to take all that information, put it all in one place in your hand and be able to access it quickly and let all the data interact."
What this means is that the Palm Pre can integrate your Facebook and your work email – it has full support for Exchange.
The key specs include:
" 3.1in 320x 480 touchscreen, 8GB of storage, UMTS HDSPA support (in the UK version of the phone), 802.11bg WLAN, Bluetooth and GPS. It also includes a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, 3.5mm headphone jack and (the) 'fastest ever' Texas Instruments OMAP processor."
Multi-touch is also supported and even goes beyond the screen. Matias Duarte, Palm's senior director for human interface and user experience says "this opens up a whole new world of gestures. Flick back from right to left and it goes back, like turning a page in a book."
The Pre is missing some big stuff though – mainly video streaming and a decent music player. However, you can remove the back and replace the battery.
The Pre is also not available yet. Palm says it will be ready "as soon as possible" in the first half of 2009.
It looks OK, but I like the iPhone as an iPod…and I would not trade that.