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Prizefight: Palm Pre vs. iPhone 3GS

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Prizefight: Palm Pre vs. iPhone 3GS

6:50 /

It's the Prizefight you have all been waiting for between the titans of touch-screen phones. Does the Palm Pre have what it takes to beat out the iPhone 3GS in its first bout? This one goes down the wire!

[ Music ] ^M00:00:07 [ Background music ] >> What's up Prizefight fans I'm Brian Tong and this is the Prizefight you've all been waiting for. It's a heavy weight title fight between the top 2 touch screen smartphone titans. It's a prizefight between the Palm Prie and Apple's iPhone 3GS. These phones have been dooking it out on the streets launching within weeks of each other. The media surrounding them has been fierce and they finally had time to be used in the real world show casing their strengths and exposing their flaws. So we're bringing in the big guns to judge this fight. Senior Editor Kent German, Senior Editor Bonnie Cha, and myself will do the honors. Now we'll take all 3 judges scores and average them out to the nearest 10th each round. The final Prizefight score will be an average of all rounds using the same decimal system. So let's get ready to rumble and tumble. The first round is [bell] sexiness. The Palm Pre is a sexy beast when it's closed with its minimalist design. When open, the edges are a little sharp but for those who think it looks cheap with its plastic body pick it up because it's anything but that. The iPhone 3GSs design is iconic and no one can match its simple and sleek body. Bonnie, well she's over it and she thinks it looks blocky compared to the Pre but really Bonnie I'm still making out with it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and both phones get a [bell] 4.3. We're even out of the gates. Next round is navigation [bell] and multitasking. The Pre isn't the most intuitive device out of the box and there is a small learning curve but its multi-touch display works wonders. The keyboard is very cramped so people with sausage fingers beware. Now the hands down killer feature of the Pre that makes it so unique is its multitasking deck of cards feature. You can run multiple apps at the same time and no phone can match it. Plus its notification system is tucked in the corner and is non-intrusive. The iPhone's touch screen is still the most responsive and its navigation is unrivaled. It's so easy that my 3-year old niece can use it. Now when it comes to multitasking you can listen to your music collection while working on another application but that's it. The push notification system is helpful but it's just not enough and messages take up the screen. The Pre takes this round with a [bell] 4.7 and the iPhone gets a 4. Now after averaging 2 rounds the Pre leads by 3/10 of a point. Round 3 is features [bell]. Both of these phones are packed with the big stuff like 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth so we'll show you a few of the minor differences. The Pre comes with Sprints navigation for turn by turn directions right out of the box while the iPhone has 3rd party options that you have to pay for. You want access to the key features on the Pre, press the upper right hand corner to get to them. On the iPhone you'll navigate through multiple menus and finally you'll find them. Cut, copy and paste are on both phones. The Pre involves a combination of keys and the touch screen doesn't really keep up with selecting text. On top of that this feature only works with text that you're writing on at that time. Now the iPhone uses 1 finger, it's super accurate with moving the curser when you want to select text and it can be used where ever you see text across apps like in the browser, in emails or in text messages. There's no touch screen keyboard for the Pre so you'll still have to slide open the keypad and hopefully that will get resolved in future updates. The Pre has MMS but will offer no tethering and currently there's no voice dialing. The iPhone has voice dialing and is planning to get MMS and tethering abilities by the end of the summer. The Palm Pre's App Store is still in Beta and it's pretty anemic at the moment while Apple sparked the App Store revolution with over 65,000 apps and games. You make the call [bell] but we're calling this round even and both phones get a 4.3. Next up [bell] is web browsing and multimedia. The Pre's web browser is second only to Safari with multi-touch functionality. Palm also says flash will be coming to the browser by the end of 2009. Video playback looks great for files stored on the device, shooting content from ESPN's website looked impressive but Sprint TV was not so hot. You'll have access to the Amazon MP3 store but currently you can only purchase tracks over Wi-Fi. You'll also get a 3 megapixel camera with flash but there's no video capture at the moment. The iPhone 3GS has had time to mature and it's made for multimedia. The Safari web browser is second to none even without flash support and you have access to the iTunes store to purchase music, videos and download podcasts directly. Video playback looks stellar with files on its larger screen and streaming ESPN content was excellent. Its 3 megapixel camera has no flash but you can record video and then edit and upload it instantly. The judges all agree here and the iPhone takes this round [bell] with a perfect 5 and the Pre gets a 4. So after 4 rounds the iPhone takes its first lead by 1/10 of a point. You know this Prizefight was destined to be a nail biter. The finally round that will decide it all is call quality and performance. The Palm Pre had call quality that was good overall and cleaner than the iPhone but its internal performance was just not as snappy. Battery life is still an issue and after a few updates we were able to get around a day of juice with normal use. On the Apple side call quality has never been a strong point for the iPhone and it didn't really change with the 3GS. The other side of the line definitely sounded more robotic compared to the Pre. But it makes up for it with its speedier processor that you can feel and its battery life performs significantly better than the Pre. I've been able to get close to 2 days with normal use. Now this one's too close to call and all the judges agree [bell] both phones get a 4. This is gonna be a close one so let's average out all 5 rounds and in a hotly contested Prizefight that featured 3 rounds at tie we end up tied with a 4.3. Now we can't walk away like this and this Prizefight has to have a winner so we're going to break this down people by hundredths of a point. So do the math for yourselves but after a 5 round throw down the iPhone 3GS is still your reigning champion and takes this Prizefight [bell] winning 4.32 to 4.26 in the closest Prizefight in CNET history. This just shows everyone how great these touch screen times are and ultimately it's up to you to decide which ones the winner. I'm Brian Tong, thanks for watching. We'll catch you guys next time on another epic Prizefight. ^M00:06:44 [ Music ]

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