An early Palm Pre review today suggests Palm has mostly achieved its goal with its device but that hardware may be the limitation. Using a phone that may have pre-production firmware, BGR says webOS is a “great” first start and particularly praises the web browser, which is particularly quick and stable. The examination also compliments the quality of the multi-touch screen and notes that it’s just slightly behind Apple’s iPhone in terms of its feel.
Simultaneously, however, Palm is criticized for the quality of the hardware design and in particular its keyboard. While the removable battery and the compact size of the phone are considered highlights, the plastic construction is regarded as “cheap.” The keyboard is especially singled out as being too small for typical hands and having a texture that could prove to be a problem in long-term use.
“You’re going after the big guns here, and this is kind of disappointing,” Palm is told.
Other areas are more difficult to judge as certain features may have been disabled before launch, such as full media playback and the help system. Without the formal opening of the App Catalog or full access to the webOS SDK, the app environment for the Pre is also uncertain and is likened to when Apple had at first insisted on web apps for the iPhone, limiting the potential scope of what could be done beyond built-in software.
Nonetheless, the Pre is treated as a good device and is thought to simply have had its expectations set too high. There will be “more than a lot” of pleased owners, the review says.