Thursday, February 19, 2009

The new Palm Pre phone has my attention

[caption id="attachment_1363" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Palm Pre"]Palm Pre[/caption]

CES happened happened not too long ago and one particular product certainly had its time in the spotlight.

Palm announced their new product which they showed off at CES, a smartphone they call the Palm Pre.  This was Palm's last ditch attempt to regain their ground since PDA's are being replaced with smartphones (iPhone, Blackberry, HTC Mogul, etc..).

The Palm Pre is scheduled to be released the late second quarter of this year.  Sprint will be the exclusive carrier for this phone upon launch.

Here are the announced specifications for this phone:

  • Operating System: Palm webOS

  • Network: 3G EVDO Rev A (GSM Network will also be included in a separate model to be released sometime afterward)

  • CPU: Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 Processor (almost comparable to the Intel Atom CPU  you'd find in todays Netbooks)

  • Display: 3.1 inch touch screen with a vibrant 24-bit color 320x240 resolution HVGA

  • Physical QWERTY keyboard

  • Email Capability: Microsoft Outlook w/ Microsoft Direct Push technology, POP3/IMAP, Yahoo! Gmail, AOL, etc...

  • Messaging: Integrated Instant Messaging, including, AOL/ICQ, Yahoo, Live, GTalk, SMS and MMS protocol

  • Built in GPS (GPS software will be reliant upon 3rd party software like Telenav or Google Maps)

  • 3 megapixel camera with LED flash and extended depth of field

  • Sensors: Ambient Light, accelemoter, and proximity

  • 3.5mm headphone stereo jack

  • Supported audio formats: MP3, AAC, AAC+, AMR, QCELP, WAV

  • Supported video formats: MPEG-4, H.263, H.264

  • Supported image formats: animated GIFs, JPEG, PNG, BMP

  • Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g with WPA, WPA2, 802.11X authentication Bluetooth 2/1-EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support

  • Memory: 8GB storage (approx 7.4GB available) USB Mass Storage support

  • Phone as Modem (tethering)

  • Charging Dock

  • Dimensions:

    • Width: 59.5 mm (2.34 inches)

    • Height: 100.5 mm (3.95 inches)

    • Thickness: 16.95 mm (0.66 inches)

    • Weight: 135 grams (4.76 ounces)

I would also like to note that this phone WILL support Adobe FLASH according to the Business Wire PR.  This feature alone is a huge selling point for me as alot of content that I frequently access uses Flash.  The negative is support for Flash won't be available upon release until the end of this year (or so what says).

While my Blackberry is a great messaging tool, (despite the fact that Sprint has still borked the MMS capabilities) I would like the ability to do more with my phone if I can have that option.  You might say go with the iPhone, but I refuse because for starters, I hate AT&T with a passion, and second because the iPhone lacks a true QWERTY keyboard.  No mobile/smartphone in the U.S. currently has support for Flash, although this is also due to the limitation of hardware that most smartphones use.  The Palm Pre CPU (made by Texas Instruments) is supposedly capable of being able to handle 720p HD video, if that's the case then it shouldn't have any trouble processing/rendering Flash.

I like my Blackberry for the most part, however I'm a bit put off when  90% of the features my phone has can't be utilized due to the incompetence of RIM whenever they have server issues.  Last Friday was a perfect example.  I needed to go pick up a friend of mine, and I was relying on my phone to provide me directions to get to her place, at that exact moment, my phone lost data coverage and I was unable to pull up the location as to where she was.  I was really depending on my phone at that time, but was unable to do so, further complicating what should have been a simple task.

The details as to how the Palm Pre will be storing/recieving information through this "synergy" method that Palm keeps talking about still hasn't been announced.  After watching the CES preview of the Palm Pre, something tells me it's going to work the same way where all the data information runs through a centralized server, and streams whatever data you request to the phone.  If that's the case, I can only hope that their server infrastructure is better setup then RIM's.