Palm Pre gets mostly positive reviews

With its launch on US network Sprint on Saturday, the Palm Pre has been doing the rounds with US reviewers. For a detailed review go to precentral.net or CNET.com, but other industry journalists also have their say.

After starting with some positive impressions Business Week soon gets down to the negative. Criticisms abound for the lack of third party application, especially games, small screen and keyboard, inability to search calendar or emails.

The New York Times is more generous calling it elegant and joyous. Of particular praise are the Pre’s “stunning” appearance, “flowing” webOS, multitasking and the unified calendar.

Negatives appear to be restricted to battery life and ringer volume, but at least the Pré has a replaceable battery and a very cool docking station (at extra cost).

The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg, whilst generally favourable, also picks up on the lack of third party applications and the immature app store.

Palm has to some extent countered that argument with an extra cost application from MotionApps that emulates the older PalmOS. So from Saturday thousands of applications are available to the Palm Pre owner. That could be a killer advantage to die hard Palm users in the US.

Engadget is also favourable in the main, pointing out the lack of camera lag, the quality of the camera but tempered with the lack of video recording.

The webOS, multitasking and browser also comes in for special praise. Engadget note a few bugs were in their unit and battery life was only acceptable, but overall they were generous with their praise.

Considering this a completely new OS, the consensus is that Palm has done a really good job of folding in the best of the existing technology with a bit of innovation that outshines the iPhone, until next week.