David Pogue’s Palm Pre review leaked early.. and he’s a fan

Wed, Jun 3, 2009


MydigitalFc has what appears to be David Pogue’s full review of the Palm Pre, a noteworthy nugget considering that the review has yet to be published in the New York Times where Pogue works.

Here are some of the highlights:

The Pre, which goes on sale first in the United States on Saturday and sometime in the second half of 2009 in Europe, is an elegant, joyous, multitouch smartphone that seems intended to be ‘‘iPhone, remixed.’’ That’s no surprise, really; its primary mastermind was Jon Rubenstein, who joined Palm after working with Steve Jobs of Apple, on and off, for 18 years. Once at Palm, he hired 250 engineers from Apple and elsewhere, and challenged them to out iPhone the iPhone.

Overall, Pogue seems to really like the Pre, giving it high marks for its hardware design and Palm’s new Web OS.  The biggest negative Pogue sees in the Pre is its lackuster battery life, which he calls the “Pre’s heartbreaker.”  Even when using the Pre sparingly throughout the day, Pogue noted that the battery would die out by dinnertime.  Pogue, though, writes that this might be due to poor Sprint coverage where he lives.  Pogue also notes that the Pre sometimes takes 8-9 seconds to open up certain programs.

As has been reported elsewhere, the Pre syncs up seamlessly with iTunes, and actually recognizes the hardware as that of an iPod.  Pogue, however, doesn’t give us the skinny on the Pre’s media player.  This seems to be an important point which hasn’t been given a lot of attention for whatever reason.  Just because a device syncs like an iPod doesn’t mean it can function as one.

In the end, Pogue’s final opinion on the device is overwhelmingly positive.  Despite some drawbacks, Pogue likes what he sees, and can’t wait for the Pre to hit Verizon.

So do the Pre’s perks (beautiful hardware and software, compact size, keyboard, swappable battery, flash, multitasking, calendar consolidation) outweigh its weak spots (battery life, slow program opening, ringer volume, Sprint network)? Oh, yes indeedy. Especially when you consider that last weak spot might be going away. Verizon Wireless has announced that it will carry the Pre ‘‘in the next six months or so.’’ Can you imagine how great that will be? One of the world’s best phones on the best U.S. cell network?

As a final note, Pogue had no quibbles with the Pre’s keyboard, which stands in stark contrast to the poor review it received in BGR’s review a few days ago.


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