A few weeks ago Palm launched its latest smartphone, the Palm Pre, running on Sprint‘s network.
Over the years, I’ve used BlackBerrys and Treos (using Palm’s earlier OS and now Windows Mobile operating system). When choosing a mobile phone, which for many of you is more than just a phone but is an “out of office” computing device, there are three things to keep in mind:
The carrier you use for the wireless connectivity (see my interviews with Verizon Wireless executives Howard Watermanand Bruce Simon
The hardware you choose – BlackBerry, Treo, Nokia, Samsung, etc. Flipphone vs Clamshell vs Open face (like the iPhone), etc.
The applications running on the device and how they work together.
These three things are critical in determining how smooth your mobile computing experience will be.
Let’s have a look at Palm’s Pre, which costs $199.99 with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate.
First of all the Pre is smart:
“The Pre’s dynamic ‘activity cards’ approach to handling and navigating multiple applications is a great advance, but the core breakthrough is the integration of information across multiple applications on and off the phone,” said Andy Castonguay, director of Mobile & Access Devices Research, Yankee Group. “With social networking and messaging being so important to consumers, the device’s new ‘Palm Synergy’ functionality – which gives Pre the ability to automatically pull friends’ contact details, messaging addresses and personal calendars from different applications online and on the phone – will greatly simplify people’s ability to communicate with their friends and colleagues the way they want.”
The Pre has an advanced interface:
Palm webOS lets you keep multiple activities open and move easily between them like flipping through a deck of cards. You can move back and forth between text messaging and e-mail, or search the web while you listen to music. You can rearrange items simply by dragging them, and when you are done with something, just throw it away by flicking it off the top of the screen.
However, I’m not sure how usable or useful this feature will be on the small screen of a smartphone.
Even the charging is an “experience:”
Pre comes with a charger in the box, but for anyone tired of plugging a cord into their wireless phone, Palm introduces the Touchstone™ charging dock, the first inductive charging solution for phones, available exclusively for Pre. Simply set Pre down on top of the dock without worrying about connection, orientation or fit.
I’ve been using Windows Mobile for some time, on a Tree and have been trying out the BlackBerry Storm for several weeks now. I’m quite willing to consider a Pre as well.
Find out more information here – www.sprint.com/palmpre.