Hands On With The Palm Pre, Closest Device to an iPhone Yet

palm-preWe had a brief chance today to go hands-on with the freshly announced Palm Pre, a touchscreen device with a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and we’re super impressed with what we’ve seen from Palm both in terms of the brand new OS and the hardware. Its “card” user interface is beautifully executed. You can launch multiple windows–Palm says there isn’t a limit right now–and flip through them with ease. When you’re done interacting with one card, a simple swipe across the device’s soft and efficient touch screen closes the associated application. Its QWERTY keyboard is good, but a bit hard and sticky, similar to the one found on the Palm Centro. The keys offer good feedback, but we prefer a softer press and more spacious keypad, typically. Still, its something we think we could get adjusted to. We loved the video playback on the device, and as you’ll notice in the video that follows, the picture is crisp, colorful, and its clear that the device has enough hardware muscle to pump out fluid multimedia. So what about the applications? Palm says new apps, created with HTML, CSS, and other Web scripts, will be available through a new store which should be named the App Catalog. Since its on Sprint, we assume you’ll also be able to download music through the Sprint Music Store. So far, we’ve only seen one device that comes close to the touch screen on the iPhone, and that was the G1. The multitouch display on the Palm Pre is solid. It’s not chintzy like some of the iClones we saw spread like a virus throughout 2008. We’re excited to get a deeper hands on later at CES, and to grab a review unit as soon as we can.

Best of 2009 CES Winner The Palm Pre is the Best Cell Phone of 2009 CES!

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