Initial Thoughts on my new Palm Pre

* “Pre” is still a stupid name for a device. But it’s better than “Wii”.
* Love the UI. For once a handheld device has a UI that actually takes into account the fact that it’s on a handheld device. I realise the iPhone does this as well. It always amazed me how desktop-like the original PalmOS and WinCE/Windows Mobile OSes tried to be. What the hell am I supposed to do with windows on a 3-inch screen?
* No really, I love the UI. Flinging the “cards” around is way too much fun.
* It feels lovely in the hand, and with it’s pebble-inspired shape, is the first phone I’ve had that’s actually comfortable in a pants pocket.
* Build quality feels the tiniest bit flimsy compared to the iPhone, particularly the fact that the keyboard slide has some lateral “give” to it.
* I hate the tiny little fingernail-doors that phones keep their charging sockets behind. What designer decided that was a good idea?
* Most of the apps feel very early – like the usable but extremely rudimentary PDF viewer. A lot of apps don’t support switching from portrait to landscape.
* Love love love the Google and FaceBook integration. In that respect this is the device I *wanted* to get back when I bought my Treo – a device which is an extension of my Internet cloud, not of my home desktop.
* The messaging and email apps are great, perfectly synchronised with my online accounts and quietly, invisibly active until a message comes in.
* Excellent browser.
* Surprisingly good built-in speaker.
* Superb YouTube video quality.
* Keyboard is improved over the Treo, with e.g. a dedicated ‘@’ key.
* Clock app is awfully basic.
* Did I mention it has a great UI? The notifications system is particularly slick.
* Waaah, I want visual voicemail.
* The calendar (again, an extension of my online accounts) is the first PDA calendar I am likely to actually USE in a long, long time.
* Supported my A2DP stereo headset right out of the box. Take THAT, iPhone users!

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