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Palm Pre Goes On Sale Across the UK

Gordon Kelly

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Palm Pre Goes On Sale Across the UK

At long, long, long last it has happened. The Palm Pre has gone on sale across the UK.

The launch comes an incredible 10 months after the handset's original unveiling at CES 2009 where I was lucky enough to get some hands-on time and write up my first impressions. Since then we've had the US launch way back in June, the ensuing iTunes sync battle, confirmation of the O2 exclusive and even the unveiling of a second webOS handset in the shape of the budget Palm Pixi. If that wasn't good enough, Ed also published our definite Palm Pre review last week.

What can we add to all that? Not a great deal, but it is worth pointing out O2 is following the Storm 2 Vodafone model of offering the handset free on two year £35pm contracts. It is also worth slightly pooping the party to note - as a piece of hardware - the Pre really isn't that new anymore and, as Ed concluded, where the handset's weaknesses lie are largely in terms of hardware (build quality, no microSD slot, battery life, etc) rather than in the superb, multitasking webOS. The rather cool wireless Touchstone charger is also an optional extra that will set you back £44.11.

So after all this time should you continue to wait? The Pre is first generation hardware so possibly, though I suspect another six months or more of patience may be required for a 'Pre 2' while the Pixi is a lower end handset altogether. That said, the real gem here is webOS and, unlike Apple, over time Palm will expand the platform across a wide range of smartphone form factors and price brackets. So Palm is indeed back and its once desperate future now looks a lot more rosy.

Links:

O2 Palm Pre Product Page

Palm Pre UK Official Page

philehidiot

October 16, 2009, 6:01 pm

Oooh, Palm pre. Better than my TyTN II. Oooh, physical keyboard - I have small girly fingers so I don't care it's tiny. Oooh... finally a phone which isn't over-controlled by the facists at Apple that is nice to use....





Oh, it's on O2.





Next.

ChaosDefinesOrder

October 16, 2009, 6:44 pm

It's simply staggering that this was supposed to be Palm's "sink or swim" handset yet they wait so unnecessarily long to release an internationally compatible version that their moment of potential glory passed 3 months ago!





The original iPhone release method only works once...





Bring on the N900 for me! That hot little device just gets better and better the more videos and information that passes around the internet!

DEB

October 16, 2009, 7:50 pm

I have been hanging on for this phone for since unveiling. Yes the game has moved on but mainly in terms of hardware specs. For me this device is still a major hardware upgrade from my current phone. I have read various reviews now and the general consensus seems to be that WebOS is equal to iPhone OS on many counts. It was going to be a release day purchase until the iPhone on Orange & Vodafone announcements. I see downward pressure on the tariffs ahead, so now a bit of wait and see before being handcuffed for 2 years.

Saltank

October 16, 2009, 8:06 pm

I might have considered this as a second phone (nothing beats iPhone) but the absurd decision to change the business model away from 12 month contracts and the fact that it's on o2 will ensure I continue to wait for iPhone on Orange/Vodafone.


I can't remember a single time when i actually got decent speed/coverage with o2 in 3G, it's always a pain.

farki80

October 16, 2009, 8:17 pm

Design reminds me of my old O2 XDA II. And fixed amount of memory on O2 no-less? Pretty icons won't change that fact.





Sorry I will just wait for the E72.

Jay4d0

October 16, 2009, 8:17 pm

sure palm has waited months before releasing it in the UK but that's always a (silly) given, but why would anyone join a stupid 24 month contract, it's proven that the UK and european mobile market is far more diverse than the US and I genuinely don't see someone who enjoys top of the line equipment being locked in for 2 years but it's not just O2 its all the networks trying to lock us in for literally a mobile millenium, and it only works out about £90 cheaper across the board than the iPhone

Sleeper

October 16, 2009, 8:30 pm

Too little, too late I think. Things have moved on.

Runadumb

October 16, 2009, 8:58 pm

I fondled one today and the keypad is tiny but I was surprisingly accurate with it. I like the design of it and web os looks really cool, flicking through apps is a breeze. It was slower than I expected though, like opening contacts took a while. Im used to that on my Touch HD but expected this thing to fly.





As people have mentioned its just let down by the time it took to get here and the fact its O2 only. £30 a month gets you nothing compared to the £20 im paying on orange.


Im definitely not getting a pre but WebOs as a whole is exciting

lifethroughalens

October 16, 2009, 9:08 pm

I have to echo the sentiments of the other comments:





The Pre ship sailed many months ago, and Pre weren't on it!





Needs more on board memory 16/32GB - Expandable Memory mSDHC cards - Better build quality and materials - Better quality & feel to the keyboard - Better battery life - a lower bezel to screen size ratio, slightly bigger screen - and it needs to be thinner.





That's all. Oh, and it needs to be around £50 on a £30 p/m tariff for 18 months with unlimited data and a sensible minute & text plan, say 300 mins & 200 txts.





The HTC HD2 will knock this for 6 on the hardware - and yes, I know it's WebOS V WM6.5, but that doesn't bother me at all and the HTC will be flashable to WM7 and you could even stick an Android ROM on it further down the road.





You'd have to be mad to sign a 2 year contract at those prices with this phone on that network :)

Andy P

October 16, 2009, 9:30 pm

I agree the O2 tariff is just to expensive for the minutes and text they give you. However really like WebOS been playing with the SDK for the last couple of months. Got my partner a HTC Hero on Orange (1000 minutes and unlimited text + 500MB) for £25. Interesting to note many Americans changing their Pre's for the Hero which has just been released in the US. Come on O2 you really need to improve your deals!

sockatume

October 16, 2009, 9:32 pm

I don't think a lot of that is Palm's fault. O2 seem to be pitching all their smartphone exclusives at the same price as the iPhone whether the hardware's SIM-free price warrants it or not. It's inane but if you want a Galaxy or a Pre or an iPhone, they get to set the rules and they've decided that the rule is "not enough cash, stranger".

DrDark

October 16, 2009, 9:36 pm

This surprised me somewhat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...





On topic though, the Pre is a bit late, but webOS is interesting.





I was also looking at both the E72 and N900, but am currently on the confused fence, as


a) I'm not sure the E72 would be a significant upgrade over my E71.


b) The N900 is severely lacking usability in Portrait orientation, and concerns over battery life have given me pause.

farki80

October 17, 2009, 1:18 pm

Some E72 upgrades over the E71 from the top of my head:





+ has FP2 (better RAM and power optimisation, OTA)


+ 5MP camera


+ 3.5mm headphone jack


+ Built-in compass - a very useful feature for pedestrians


+ 600Mhz processor


+ microUSB charging


+ Better audio quality (for music playback)

Chris Beach

October 17, 2009, 3:11 pm

got one...though the o2 store systems did crash (right at the last page too!), so I had to go back later and start again (and got a crappier number too).





It is very slick, and easy to use, comfortable in the hand too. And the screen is just amazing. The browser is excellent and very fast, responds to the gestures quickly and you don't have to be accurate with the zoom gestures either. Notifications are also very well done. Music software is easy to use, dunno why they bother hacking itunes all the time...just dump the folders on the device and it finds them (as long as their tagged reasonably!)








However some -'s:


1) The smooth back cover can get greasy and hot too. I'm tempted to get the touchstone just for the back!


2) microusb port...damn damn fiddly, cover is going to the be the first things to break.


3) Bluetooth, non-existant...basically for audio headsets and limited in car stuff. No transfers, no nothing. I wish the Bluetooth SIG would tighten up the specs, so that if something said BT it had to do more than just appear in the device list.


4) Needs OS updates, its kinda like a dumb smartphone at the mo. No where near as much customisations or configurability as say the first WinMo devices. One thing they didn't need to copy from the iphone.


5) Default browser zoom view, is too far out, so most sites are unreadable when first loaded.


5) mp4's are the only modern format it really likes to play. But didn't like a 720p one:(


6) Only AIM(/ICQ) and GTalk im's at the mo.


7) Facebook contacts, work, cept you can't update them, and you don't get anything else but the contact detail. No wall updates etc, that's all done by the x.facebook.com site.





Hopefully a lot of these can be sorted out with OS updates, and Palm continue to deliver these thick and fast!

Ironduke

October 17, 2009, 9:45 pm

Apple defeated the Palm Pre before it even got released in the Uk.





Who now can stand against the power of Jobsey

lifethroughalens

October 17, 2009, 11:10 pm

@ Ironduke - Please don't turn this into an Engadget style, pro / anti Jobsey comment section! ;)





Perhaps Bob Noyce will come back from beyond and defeat his young apprentice?

GoldenGuy

October 17, 2009, 11:29 pm

@drdark





Worthwhile linkage powers Doctor. That does look good. Even WinMo was speedy on it. I actually like the black, minimalist, functional look of it too, but others might not think it's shiny enough.

DrDark

October 21, 2009, 5:44 pm

@GoldenGuy: No problemo ;). And It's now reviewed on this very site!

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