Head to head: iPhone 3GS vs Palm Pre

The latest in our head-to-head review series sees how the iPhone matches up to the latest so-called iPhone killer, the Palm Pre.


The Palm Pre is the first of its handsets to feature webOS. Bearing in mind it's as new to us as anyone else, it's incredibly intuitive and pleasant to use.

Just like the iPhone wowed everyone with its sleek interface when it first launched, we're pretty impressed with what we've seen of webOS so far too. It certainly has lots of potential.

Being able to swipe away items to discard them, like throwing them into a virtual dustbin, is a really neat touch. It may be the novelty factor, but it certainly at least attempts to out innovate the press-and-you're-binned mentality the iPhone OS employs.

The quality of images served up by the Pre's camera are good. But the iPhone's are much better. There's no auto focus or video recording capability, which is a massive let down for us. That said, we lamented the camera in the first generation iPhone, so we should cut Palm some slack.

Both the iPhone and the Pre feature Google Maps, although we had a few issues getting up and running here. We launched the app at the same time for both handsets to see what happened. The iPhone found our location in a matter of seconds, while the Pre was still struggling to load the app. After a few minutes, internet connection dropped and it gave up. So did we. As both handsets are on O2 we can only assume it's an internal issue but we'd want to test this more thoroughly before suggesting it's a mainstream fault with the Pre.

That said, finding Wi-Fi on the Pre was a breeze in the same way as it is on the iPhone. Call quality was also far superior on the Pre compared to the iPhone, although both handsets suffered from the heat when charging and under hard usage as their base gets very warm indeed.

Video quality on both devices is a very pleasant experience whether YouTube or something else - and perfect for winding down between meetings or, of course, watching your company's latest motivational training video. That said, the Pre wouldn't let us view them in portrait mode, for some reason, which niggled somewhat.

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