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Christmas Gift Guide

Sprint's VIP Lounge

The lounge

Look but don't touch

Fandango

FlightView

Pandora

Sprint Nascar

Sprint TV

Not the best quality

No news on release date or pricing

More beauty shots

Palm Pre in hand

Touch screen

Palm Pre on the Touchstone

Full QWERTY keyboard

Nice ergonomics

Touchstone charger

Tucked away in the far corners of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sprint and Palm hosted a VIP Lounge where invited attendees could come check out the Palm Pre up close.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
A view of the lounge.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
The companies had three stations where representatives gave demos of the Palm Pre, but once again, we were not allowed to touch the device on our own.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
Palm did show off some new applications running on the Pre, however. One such program was the mobile version of the movie ticket site Fandango. On the Pre, you'll be able to view movie trailers, view show times, and buy tickets through the Fandango application. In addition, when you purchase tickets, an appointment will be added to your Calendar to you remind about the show. While it took a little while to load, the quality of the video trailers was quite good.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
FlightView is a flight tracking application that lets you check the view in-air maps, receive status notifications, and also features calendar integration. FlightView will be available through the Palm Pre App store when it launches.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
Internet radio service provider Pandora was announced as a Pre partner back when the smartphone debuted at CES 2009, and it's nice to finally see the running application. Among other features, you will receive an inconspicuous alert in the notification bar along the bottom of the screen when a song changes.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
Hey, Nascar fans. The Palm Pre will support Nascar Sprint Cup Mobile, where you can get live race audio, keep tabs on your favorite drivers and receive alerts on their latest results, and so on.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
In addition to the Nascar mobile application, the Palm Pre will offer Sprint TV. This gives you access to programming from a variety of channels, including CNN, Comedy Central, Sprint Exclusive Entertainment, and ABC Mobile TV as shown here.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
We weren't particularly impressed by the video quality of Sprint TV on the Pre. The picture was often blurred and there were a couple of hiccups when starting up the channel. To be fair, we've had similar experiences on other Sprint TV-enabled smartphones and cell phones.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
Aside from the applications, we didn't really learn anything new at the event, namely pricing and release date. Palm did, however, make an announcement at the Web 2.0 Expo that it will make its Mojo SDK available to developers to create applications for the Palm Pre and Palm WebOS.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
The remaining photos are more beauty shots of the Palm Pre. We found it extremely ridiculous that we couldn't even touch the Pre to put the smartphone in a different position for the photo--a representative had to do that for us.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
The compact size (3.9 inches tall by 2.3 inches wide by 0.6 inch deep) and rounded edges should make for a nice fit in the hand.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
On front, you have a 3.1-inch multitouch screen. Below the display, there's a gesture area where you can swipe your finger to navigate the phone and there's also a little trackball.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
The Touchstone accessory provides an elegant way of charging the Pre. If a phone call comes in while the smartphone's on the Touchstone, the speakerphone will automatically activate if you decide to accept the call.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
One reason why some users find the Palm Pre a more attractive option than the iPhone is the inclusion of a physical QWERTY keyboard.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
The Pre has a nice curved shape when opened so it makes it more comfortable to hold when typing messages.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
The Touchstone charger by itself. Note that the the accessory isn't wireless; it was simply on display this way at the event.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
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