Palm Pre review

Does the Palm Pre live up to the expectations of style conscious business users? Read our review to find out.

However, most of the basics are already covered. We had no problems synchronising Gmail accounts with the Palm Pre, and while Microsoft Exchange is also supported and works, users over the pond have reported residual issues. Small feature holes like this are what hold us back from recommending the Palm Pre without reservations.

Take Bluetooth for example. While you can hook up Bluetooth devices, such as headsets, you can't transfer files over the connection at this point. This doesn't make sense on the Pre, when you can hook up the phone over a wired connection as a mass storage device freely. Though all Palm Pres are sold with an unlimited mobile Internet package, are Wi-Fi enabled, and though there's a handful of other ways to transfer files, we still frequently manage to find times when Bluetooth transfer is handier.

Then there's the music sync. First the word was that you would be able to synchronise the Pre with iTunes, then we heard that Apple had wisely closed the gap. Whatever the official word is from both parties at the moment, we managed to get the Pre chatting along with iTunes 8.2.1.6. Sadly, songs and podcasts were very slow to transfer, moving over much slower than they would normally on an iDevice. These are issues we'd like to see laid to rest soon, even if it means dropping the iTunes sync once and for all.

The fun front takes another hit thanks to the lack lustre camera. The 3.2 megapixel count may not sound too shabby, but the lens uses a fixed focus. What this means in practice is that 95 per cent of the time, your photos won't be focused on the object or part of the scene you want them to be focused on. On a positive note, the preview screen's very quick to update and, thanks to the fixed focus, photos are taken almost instantly, but it's like an apology sign on the single, out of order toilet on the train not much consolation.

Still, for all these faults and niggles, we can't help but be mostly pleased with the way the Palm Pre has turned out. Yes, the navigation takes some getting used to and no, the Pre doesn't knock Android devices and iPhones into a cocked hat, but it is a contender.

Verdict

It’s slicker than using Symbian, arguably more pocketable than its top rivals the HTC Hero and iPhone and a valuable and valid alternative to the ever-expanding sea of Android phones we seem to be pelted with on a weekly basis these days. Updates would be welcome, but this is a good start.

Dimensions: 59.5x16.95x100.5mm Weight: 133 grams Battery: 1150 mAH, 5 hours talk time, 250 hours standby Display: 3.1in , 320x480 pixels Camera: 3MP camera Memory: 8GB Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, GPS

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