On Saturday, CNET, in partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association, handed out its Best of CES 2009 Awards, including Best in Show and the People's Voice Award. And this year's big winner? The Palm Pre.
The Palm Pre smartphone took home both honors and became the first cell phone/smartphone to win the Best in Show since CNET started presenting the Best of CES awards in 2006. The Palm Pre went up against some stiff competition, including the Sony DSC-G3 and the Sony P-series Lifestyle PC. So why the Pre?
Well, it was a combination of things. First, and most important in our opinion, the Palm Pre along with the new Palm Web OS, brings an innovative way to how you interact with your device and how it organizes information. The Deck of Cards feature truly makes multitasking on your smartphone a breeze, and the Synergy functionality pulls in all your personal management information (e-mail, contacts, and calendar) from various sources into one place. Sure, other devices and operating systems have made similar attempts, but from what we've seen, the Palm Pre is the first smartphone to truly deliver on this in a seamless way.
We also liked the best-of-breed design, as the Pre offers a multitouch screen that rivals the iPhone and even one-ups Apple's smartphone with a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard. The list of features is long and impressive, including a full HTML Web browser, a full range of wireless options, and multimedia capabilities. Palm will also offer an App Store, and since the Palm Web OS was built with developers in mind, we expect the smartphone's capabilities and uses will only expand.
It's pretty evident that Palm put a lot of thought into the user interface, design, and features, as everything seamlessly works together to offer the best user experience, making the smartphone a really useful tool in your daily life. Obviously, this is a huge win for Palm, a company that has come under harsh criticism for its lack of innovation and struggles to keep up the competition, but it looks like Palm stepped up to the plate and hit one out of the park. It will be interesting to see where the Palm Pre stands in a year and whether it delivers on all this hype, but for now, we'll let Palm bask in its victory. Congratulations to Palm and all the Best of CES winners and finalists.