Palm Pre review: A pebble in your hand
Image gallery with multi-touch
Palm Pre sports a very nice, thumbable gallery. You can browse the images taken with the inbuilt camera or the ones stored in the phone's memory. Images are displayed as 4 x 3 thumb grids.
While viewing a single picture you can zoom in or out by the pinch gesture (the volume rocker doesn't work here). And if you tap twice on the screen image is resized from fit-to-screen size to 100%.
Panning is fine and the same goes for the accelerometer - changing the phone's orientation rotates the images instantaneously.
Equalizer-less music player
The Palm Pre features a standard for the class music player which sorts tracks by artist, album, and genre. You can also create playlists and album art is supported.
What you don't get is equalizer support. And we don't mean that there aren't any user customizable equalizers. There aren't any equalizers whatsoever.
The music player interface is quite attractive and easy to navigate. Strangely, the player works in portrait mode only.
You can minimize the player and let it play in the background. The controls are hidden so to get to them just tap the icon in the lower right corner on the screen. And to get back to the player, use the card on the homescreen.
Great audio quality, but for the stereo crosstalk
Competing head-to-head with some of the best sounding devices in business, the Palm Pre is allowed no slip-ups here. It is the first Palm we ever get to test for audio quality so it's quite interesting to see how the guys over at Sunnyvale did.
The Pre didn't manage to top any charts for audio output but its performance was very good nonetheless. Noise levels and dynamic range are particularly impressive, probably the best we've seen on a mobile phone. Not that the subtle differences here will make any difference to a regular user but they are still an impressive achievement.
The frequency response is great with minimal-to-none deviations across the range. That little bend that you see in the graph is actually outside the audible range so it hardly makes any difference.
The distortion levels are also great. Even though they are a bit higher than the best we have seen it's unlikely to make a tangible difference to anyone but our testing gear.
The stereo crosstalk is the only aspect of the Palm Pre audio that we're not impressed with. At -53.9 dB it's among the worst we have seen on a mobile phone and mixing the two stereo channels will quite likely be audible at times.
And here go the actual results so you check them out.
|Test||Frequency response||Noise level||Dynamic range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo crosstalk|
|Palm Pre||+0.06, -0.42||-95.7||95.7||0.061||0.074||-53.9|
|Apple iPhone 3GS||+0.01, -0.05||-92.1||92.1||0.0035||0.011||-95.0|
|Nokia N900||+0.10, -0.53||-93.7||94.8||0.368||0.734||-86.9|
|Nokia N97 mini||+0.05, -0.32||-90.5||90.4||0.0049||0.487||-91.0|
|HTC Hero||+1.04 -2.13||-91.3||92.3||0.458||0.902||-95.8|
|HTC Magic||+0.21 -2.20||-85.6||88.8||0.025||0.220||-86.0|
|HTC HD2||+0.39, -2.99||-89.0||89.1||0.057||0.960||-87.5|
Palm Pre vs Apple iPhone 3GS frequency response
You can find more information about our audio quality test here.
Just like everything else on the Pre, its video player has a simple interface. Videos are loaded in landscape mode and you can't change the screen orientation. You can only toggle ful-screen and original size view.
If you want to skip forward 30 sec you just need to sweep from left to across the screen. A swipe in the opposite direction will let you jump 10 sec back.
There is no DivX/XviD video support so you'll either have to look for compatible videos only or you'd better get your PC a good video converter.