Palm Pre Review - Palm Pre Review


Getting things back on track for the Pre is the presence of a proper 3.5mm headphone jack on the top. Sound quality from it is very good, though the jumps between volume levels can be too high, making music either too loud or too quiet. The included headset isn’t up to much when it comes to music listening but passes muster when it comes to handsfree calling.

Next to the headphone socket is the sliding hold-switch and right on the corner is the power button. Meanwhile on the right side is the MicroUSB data and charging socket (hidden under a rubber flap) and on the left is the volume rocker. The back is then home to the camera and a strangely large speaker, which doesn’t actually get as loud as its size suggests (we found it to be almost exactly as loud as an iPhone 3G).

Being only 3-megapixels and lacking autofocus, the camera isn’t exactly setting new standards for picture quality but the presence of an LED flash beats many smartphone competitors and will make indoor shooting that little bit more practical. Largely due to that lack of focus, overall performance is good and you can snap away at just under a frame every second. We also think the full size self portrait mirror that appears on the back of the slide up section is a very clever idea.

Possibly the coolest thing about this phone, apart from its software, though, is the back plate. This can be removed and replaced with a matt black one that not only looks significantly nicer than the gloss version but also has a neat trick up its sleeve; place the phone on the matching touchstone dock and it wirelessly charges. Sadly the Touchstone back plate and charger are an added extra and will set you back £44.11 (to be precise).

The screen is a conventional LCD measuring 3.1in with a resolution of 320 x 480. That’s the same resolution as the iPhone but in a noticeably smaller package and the result is a much sharper looking picture. It also has very good viewing angles and displays bright, vivid colours. Most importantly, though, it uses capacitive touch sensing technology. This means the slightest touch will register on the screen, making it highly responsive.

There’s 8GB of onboard memory, which is plenty enough for loads of photos, hours of music, and the odd video. However, it’s nothing compared to the top-end iPhone 3GS’ 32GB and there’s no memory slot to add to this storage.

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