I had a chance to actually play with a production Prē today and here are my impressions:
- It’s small. Much smaller than an iPhone when closed
- I almost cut my finger when I slid the keyboard down. I can’t believe they let those sharp edges out of the factory
- screen is absolutely beautiful, crisper than my iPhone
- Everything is rounded, almost to a fault.
- It’s blazingly fast. Rendering a webpage is quicker than any other mobile device I’ve come across
- In some cases they give no visual feedback that something has happened. For example if you click on a link in the browser, it just sits there. Something should happen on the screen to indicate that I’ve taken an action. These rough edges make it obviously the Prē was rushed.
- Multi-tasking is huge. Once you’re accustom to switching apps without quitting, I’m not sure you’ll be able to go back to the iPhone way.
Only time well tell if the Prē catches up to the iPhone on the software/app front. The only leg up that the Prē has is multi-tasking which I’m sure Apple will eventually let out of the bag. (I think Apple will roll out “approved” apps that are approved to run in the background, it’s inevitable.)
On the hardware front, I think all the Prē reviews have been unfairly comparing the iPhone 3G against the Prē. The fair fight is the iPhone 3G S vs Prē and if you’ve read the reviews that hit the web today, the iPhone 3G S wins hands down.
Overall, I think Palm has a winner on it’s hands. Palm has a strong chance to second in marketshare behind Apple if they can deliver WebOS on multiple carriers and on multiple devices.