Palm Pre vs. BlackBerry

image BlackBerrius Maximus – Part XI – To Pre or Not to Pre (picture source) is yet another CrackBerry article comparing a new non-BlackBerry device with the BlackBerry. This time the Palm Pre is the object of comparison.

While CrackBerry is most definitely a BlackBerry site, I’ve found its comparisons reasonably objective. Indeed, its evaluation of the Palm Pre was quite favorable overall. Want more details? Read on!

The reviewer liked the Pre’s form factor, thought the buttons and keyboard were just OK, and liked the camera. “So far, so good – another Smartphone, but nothing to write home about….until you experience WebOS – WOW!” The reviewer continues:

“I will go out on a short limb here and say that this is, ‘hands down,’ the best smartphone OS currently on the market, albeit has some growing pains to work through. It combines the ease of use of the iPhone, but has menu functionality and multi-tasking found in the BlackBerry and it builds on both.”

High praise. Which continues as to the screen:

“This is also the nicest and most responsive ‘Touch screen’ I have used. It is a capacitive screen (like the iPhone and Storm) with no push to click (thank God) and it supports more ‘gestures’ than the iPhone or Storm. You can swipe through days on the calendar, you can ‘half swipe’ to bring up icons from the bottom dock, you can pinch and double tap – all that cool stuff – but you still have a keyboard! It is the best of both worlds combined.”

To sum up so far: “So, it is the right size, it has a keyboard … it has a beautiful screen, a great OS, great multi-tasking capabilities and more.” But then we come to the battery, where the high praise turns 180 degrees: “The biggest ‘Achilles heel’ for this device is the battery. … the battery SUCKS! I cannot get more than half a day of ‘heavy use’ and have yet to make a full day of what is ‘normal use’ for me.”

The conclusion: “So, the keyboard is iffy, the battery is crappy but the screen is gorgeous, the OS experience is the best in the business right now, the call quality is good, the camera is great, email notifications are very cool and you can do a million things at the same time.”

Now for the $64 question: “Is this ‘CrackBerry user’ ready to make this my ‘primary’ device and ditch my ‘Berry?’ The answer: “Not yet. But, this is the first non-BlackBerry device to really tempt me. This could be a great ‘second’ device for me and could easily become my favorite phone to use – but the battery issue is a ‘deal breaker’ right now.”

CrackBerry also offers the more partisan but interesting Top 8 Reasons Why Palm Pre’s Got Nothin’ on BlackBerry. One objective criticism is the lack of expandable memory (e.g., microSDHC) on the Pre.

My take: Rob Heinsman, the artist who designed the header of this blog, let me play with his Pre. It is a nice device. Whether it’s “better” than, say, the BlackBerry Storm is subjective, based on user preferences concerning screen size, hardware keyboard, etc. But I do agree with CrackBerry that the Pre has “raised the bar” for RIM for, say, the Storm 2. Hopefully RIM will rise to the challenge.

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