>>Hi, I'm Bonnie Cha Senior Editor at CNET.com and I'm here with your first look at the Palm Pre Plus for AT&T. This phone's been a long time coming. I was first teased at CES 2010 and then officially announced at CTIA spring show. Now it's finally going to be available starting May 16th. Overall, AT&T's version of the Pre Plus is a lot like the Verizon model. It has the same 3.1 inch HVGA display with multi-touch capabilities and a full-chorded keyboard that's rather small but much more useable than the keyboard on the original Pre. It also feels much more solid since the chips with inductive back cover which is more durable than the slick plastic cover. This also allows you to use it with a Touchstone charging dock right out of the box.
There are some slight differences though. First, it's a GSM phone with quad-band support so that means it has world roaming capabilities. The AT&T Pre Plus also ships running WebOS 126.96.36.199 so you get all the latest features including video recording and editing but Adobe still hasn't made its Flash 10.1 plugin available for the Palm App Catalog so you won't be see all the Flash content within the browser. AT&T also throws in several of its services including AT&T Navigator and Yellow Pages Mobile. It also supports AT&T's Address Book so if you have any contacts backup to this Cloud based service you can sync it to your Palm Pre Plus using the Synergy feature. Fortunately, unlike the Verizon model the AT&T Pre doesn't support Palm's mobile hot spot utility so you can't use the phone as a mobile Wi-Fi router. This would have been particularly helpful for Road Warrior since it would allow them to turn the phone into a mobile Wi-Fi router so they can create a connected office situation even while on the road but no dice here. Instead AT&T is offering customers free access to its hot spots around the country. Aside from that you get the usual WebOS goodies including awesome multitasking capabilities, solid contact management, a 3.0 megapixel camera that takes excellent pictures and access to the Palm App Catalog and Amazon MP3 Store.
I think the Pre Plus is definitely one of the better touch-screen smartphones in AT&T's lineup right now. The Motorola Backflip wasn't very impressive as the carrier's first Android device and the LG eXpo and AT&T Tilt 2 skew more towards business users. It's certainly the best alternative to the iPhone but I wish AT&T had priced it a bit lower. For now the Pre Plus is going to cost $149.99 with a two-year contract and even though AT&T is going to throw in a free Touchstone dock if you buy the phone from one of its stores. It's only a limited time offer plus to the fact that the Verizon Pre Plus costs $100 less and the next iPhone is probably just around the corner. So, I think knocking even $50 off would've made this a more attractive option for people. Hopefully, they will reconsider later on though.
I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the Palm Pre Plus for AT&T.
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