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Palm Pre review

6/10 AVG.

Informr score
The Palm Pre currently has an Informr score of 6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 25 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

Palm has run the gamut from being on top of the tech world with a popular PDA product line, to falling deeply behind in the brutal cell phone industry and from being the inventor of the touchscreen to lacking the imagination to fully exploit it.

Most of the headlines about Palm over the past few years have asked why, wHY, WHY!, they have been unable to release the brand new, slick, modern OS that had been long rumored and so filled with promise.

Well, finally, they have, and after a long climb back from the abyss and considerable hype, Palm has released the Pre. So what’s the verdict?

Let’s take a look.

The Palm Pre is a slick, sexy CDMA slider that runs on the new WebOS, a powerful operating system which, combined with a smooth touch user interface, creates a wonderful experience. Even a brief interaction with this phone and you realize you’re working with a powerful, fun device.

When closed, users will be amazed at how the touch interface allows them to access multiple applications, from tasks to social networking sites, all of which can be open and running simultaneously. This is a critical and wonderful feature of the Pre, because users are truly “in the moment” when interacting with their device. The Palm Pre allows you to participate, interact and control all at the same time.

The 3.1 inch, 320 x 480 pixel resolution screen is beautiful, rendering a deep rainbow of colors accurately and beautifully. Kudos to Palm for producing a high-quality screen that users will enjoy and one that holds its own against the finer smartphones on the market.

The full QWERTY keypad allows for quick, comfortable texting and, while it isn’t the best, most contoured/sculptured keypad on the market, it does its job very well.

So, what can you add to a high-end screen, touch interface, fully updated OS and good looks? How about a 3 megapixel camera with flash, stereo Bluetooth, WiFi, 8 GB of internal memory and microUSB, which is the new porting standard.

The Palm Pre is rated at five hours of talk time and up to 250 hours of standby time. Keep in mind that these ratings are extremely subjective and depend on personal use.

The downside to the Pre is that many have complained that the build materials are not top-notch, that the device doesn’t have the same hearty in-the-hand feel as, say, and iPhone or BlackBerry.

That said, the Palm Pre has plans for its own App store, and the phone will appeal to many users, especially a younger demographic, who have decided that touchscreen interfaces are the way to go.

If you are looking for a powerful slider that can run multiple applications simultaneously, has a wonderful screen and a powerful processor, take a serious look at the Palm Pre.

Operating system
Screen Size
3+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...

The Guardian

For a phone with a slide-out qwerty keyboard, the Pre is still surprisingly thin and light, but despite its polished black look it feels a bit plastic when the keyboard is out. Incidentally, the bottom ridge of the keyboard is weirdly sharp for a phone that is supposed to resemble a polished pebble....

- Richard Wray, The Guardian

Now that everyone has had their say about the Palm Pre, I thought it wise to say a few words about the oft labeled “iPhone killer” that Sprint and Palm hope will bring each back from the edge of the dreaded deadpool. It seems as though every touch-screen device to launch since the first...

- Peter Ha, TechCrunch

There is no denying that the Palm Pre is an important device for both Palm and the industry. It is considered by many to have been Palm's hail Mary pass - its last chance at survival. It is a bit early to see if it worked or not, but initial indications suggest that it has. As for the industry, the...

- Michael Oryl, MobileBurn
Phone Scoop

Despite all of the wonderful technology available to phone manufacturers, not a single one of them has been able to come up with that magical formula to include absolutely every feature. There are always trade-offs, and the Pre is no different. It has a lot of pros and cons to weigh. The hardware c...

- Eric M. Zeman, Phone Scoop

"Pre" is an odd name for a device that drops late into a corporate drama already loaded with twists, turns and setbacks. But if Palm is indicating that its new phone kicks off a new phase, maybe the Pre is aptly named after all.Shaped like a small bar of shower soap, the dense, ebony Pre matches man...

- Steven Levy, Wired

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Palm Pre user manual here.

Palm backs up the Pre with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Pre has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Palm support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Palm's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Quick view

Screen Size

The Palm Pre's screen size is 3.1 inches with x pixels resolution.


There is a Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 processor (CPU).


The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

3+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 3+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

8 GB

Internal memory is 8 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1150 mAh battery. Palm's performance ratings are 10.5 days standby time.

Palm Pre Specs

Release date January 8, 2009
Regions available USA, Canada
Mobile / Cellular Data
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

Compare HP WebOS Smartphones

Processor Texas Instruments OMAP 3430
Internal Storage 8 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.92 W/kg
Body: 0.94 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1150 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 10.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Colors Gray
Dimensions [H x W x D] 10.0 x 6.0 x 1.7 cm (3.9 x 2.4 x 0.7 in)
Weight 135 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 3.1 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type QWERTY, Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer Yes
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock No
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, AIM, MSN, ICQ
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g
WiFi Encryption WPA
Mobile Hotspot No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
3+ megapixels
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, AAC+, AAC, AMR, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Yes
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments WebOS 1.4.5 update available
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Palm Pre Reviews
Where to buy Palm Pre
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