Posts Tagged ‘Palm Pre’

I've published my full UK Palm Pre review over at Mobile Industry Review

tweed_2009-23-10_161744I’ve posted part two of my Palm Pre UK (GSM) review over at Mobile Industry Review. Here’s the intro:

It’s been just over a week since I took loan of a Palm Pre, a device that bears the weight of Palm’s future success on its shoulders. Or so the story goes.

And it’s far too good a story for most pundits not to have written, me included. The truth, of course, is a little less dramatic but significant nonetheless.

While the Palm Pre is undoubtedly the company’s comeback device, the big bet is the accompanying webOS that powers the Pre along with the subsequently released Palm Pixi. In fact since the second device running webOS was unveiled, Palm have announced that, moving forward, they’re dumping Windows Mobile to pursue a single OS strategy. Thanks Redmond for easing the transition away from the dying PalmOS to the newly born webOS. But make no mistake, that’s all you were good for.

It’s in this context that when reviewing the Palm Pre it’s more tempting than usual to consider the phone’s hardware as separate from the operating system it runs on. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

(Spoiler: The hardware is OK but webOS is where things get really exciting.)

Click over to Mobile Industry Review to read the full post, and if you have any further questions, leave a comment here or on MIR and I’ll try to answer them before I return the device.

Gadgets and canapés: PR, Paranoia and the Palm Pre [review]

steve-palm-preI finally have a Palm Pre in my hands. Well not literally as it would be kind of difficult to type this post, unless I did it on the phone of course, which I’m not. Have you tried the keyboard? It’s pretty good but it’s not that good.

But a working UK GSM version of the Pre is sat next to me and I have the device on loan for the next 10 days or so. Remember, I’ve been chasing down the Pre for almost nine months, ever since it was first announced at January’s CES. So this feels like a big deal (the device went on sale today here in the UK, exclusively on O2).

And, frankly, I’m not used to waiting this side of the pond while my US brethren get to fondle a phone first.

It sucks.

Anyway, back to the Pre. I’ve written up my Day One impressions of the UK version of the Palm Pre, along with a tongue-in-cheek description of the PR back-story, in my debut column — working title: Gadgets and canapés — for Ewan MacLeod’s Mobile Industry Review (MIR). I hope to make a regular contribution to MIR and I’ll definitely be revisiting the Pre after a full week in.

Here’s a quote from the piece where I talk about the Pre’s Google and Facebook integration.

[Yes, I am quoting myself. Oh and it is #FollowFriday on Twitter. Just sayin’.]

After entering my Google credentials into the Pre, the phone’s email client sprang to life, as did calendar and contacts. In some ways the webOS-powered Pre is the Google phone I was always hoped Android would be. Google integration is on a par with stock Android but has a far superior UI. The Pre’s calendar is one example, with multi-calendar support and a nifty accordion metaphor to utilise screen real estate when part of the day is empty.

Importing Facebook contacts, avatars included, also worked as expected, and merging any duplicate contacts between Google and Facebook, for the most part, happened automatically. Manually linking contacts that Synergy had missed was also trivial.

Head over to MIR to read the full post ‘First impressions of the UK Palm Pre: We like it!

iPhone UK exclusivity to end, the future's Orange but is it any brighter?

iphone-orangeExclusive handset offerings are certainly good for carriers and are probably good for handset makers too as they help drive up the price during negotiations – presuming there is a demand for said device in the first place. But it’s hard to see how they are ever in the interest of consumers who end up paying more through higher tariffs via the subsidy merry-go-round.

That’s because exclusives create a monopoly by any other name. In the case of the iPhone, if you want Apple’s iconic device here in the UK, you have no real choice but to become a customer of O2. Thankfully, that’s set to change with rival carrier Orange announcing that they have partnered with Apple to officially offer the iPhone.

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Palm Pre UK release date confirmed, prices on par with older iPhone 3G

We knew the carrier: Telfonica-owned O2. We knew the time frame: before Christmas. Now we have the actual date and pricing for the UK release of Palm’s Pre smartphone, the company’s comeback device.

Set to go on sale on the 16th of October, the Pre will be “free” to customers signing up to a £34.26 per month, 24 month contract, or for those willing to move to the higher tariff of £44.05 or more on an 18 month contract. Otherwise the device will have an additional up front cost of £96.89. All of the tariffs feature varying inclusive minutes and texts, along with ‘unlimited’ data and WiFi hotspot access through The Cloud and BT Openzone.

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PlayBite: Hands-on with the UK/GSM Palm Pre

I’ve just got back from PlayBite in London, a press event organized by PR agency Bite. The mini press-only expo showcased products from a number of consumer tech brands, including Palm. In fact, the event was in part billed as the first chance for UK journalists to get a hands-on with the Palm Pre, and I got to do just that. 

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Palm invites developers to begin submitting their paid-for WebOS apps

I’m finding it increasingly hard to comment on the Palm Pre and supporting WebOS, since I’ve yet to get my hands on the company’s ‘second coming‘ smartphone. The device is due to launch here in the UK exclusively on carrier 02 (strangely sharing the limelight with Apple’s iPhone) sometime in Q4.

Nonetheless, news comes today that Palm is to begin accepting applications from developers who want to charge for their Palm Pre WebOS apps, with the pending launch of the company’s Palm App Catalog e-commerce beta program in mid-September. Attracting developers to Palm’s new platform will be key to the Pre’s success and future handsets released by the company running on its shiny new WebOS.

On that note, on par with Apple and Google (Android), developers who charge for their apps will get the better part of a 70/30 split with Palm. More information about the developer program can be found here.

Palm Pre to launch on O2 in the UK, just don't mention the competition

It’s now official: The Palm Pre will launch exclusively on Telefonica-owned O2 here in the UK.


“In time for the holidays”, say Palm and O2, with no word yet on pricing. My guess is that we’re talking early October, enough time to ramp up for Christmas spending.

Either way, it’s a pretty long time to wait, especially since O2 will have been busy pimping its other flagship exclusive. Apple’s newly launched iPhone 3GS.

And then there’s the rest of the competition.

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Official: Palm Pre to go on sale June 6th, just two days before Apple's WWDC – $200 with 2 year contract

Palm Pre to go on sale June 6

Palm Pre to go on sale June 6

After weeks and weeks of speculation, the cat is finally — and I mean finally — out of the bag. The Palm Pre will go on sale in the US on June the 6th, with the Sprint exclusive, for now at least, costing $200 after a $100 mail in rebate with a 2 year contract. If you’re lucky enough to be based in the states, you’ll be able to purchase a Pre at Sprint stores, Best Buy, Radioshack, select Wal-Mart stores and through Sprint’s own website. That’s a pretty decent lineup of distributors and should give the device plenty of shopping mall exposure, presuming of course that Palm can meet the initial demand. And then there’s iPhone.

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Palm Pre aiming to be THE Facebook phone – social networking still mobile's killer app


(Credit: Jamie Gonzalez via twitpic)

I’ve written many times before that social networking, and Facebook in particular, is the killer application for mobile phones. It’s what’s driving take up of mobile data and the adoption of higher end so-called smartphones. The mobile networks have taken notice and jumped on the social networking bandwagon, heavily promoting access to Facebook as a key feature, and handset makers are doing the same.

RIM has been targeting consumers with an ad campaign that features the Blackberry’s Facebook application.

Ditto Apple with the iPhone.

And there’s INQ, a new entrant whose first device, the INQ1, has been dubbed ‘the Facebook phone‘ based on its deep integration with the social networking site.

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PR wars: Palm Pre could go on sale 24 hours before next gen iPhone unveiled

The latest rumored release date for Palm’s comeback device, the Palm Pre, is June 7th, one day before Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC). If true, this would be an audacious move from the handset maker, and one that, at first glance, carries a lot of risk. WWDC is thought to be the venue at which Apple will announce the next generation iPhone – and possibly a new category of mobile device – therefore completely overshadowing the Palm Pre’s one day old availability.

Or would it?

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