The Palm Pre reviews are coming in, and they are generally positive. The sentiment is the OS is incredible, and makes up for the hardware design issues it has.
David Pogue likes it:
The Pre, which goes on sale Saturday, is an elegant, joyous, multitouch smartphone; it’s the iPhone remixed. That’s no surprise, really; its primary mastermind was Jon Rubinstein, who joined Palm after working with Steve Jobs of Apple, on and off, for 16 years. Once at Palm, he hired 250 engineers from Apple and elsewhere, and challenged them to out-iPhone the iPhone.
That the Pre even comes close to succeeding is astonishing. As so many awful “iPhone killers” have demonstrated, most efforts to replicate the iPhone result in hideous designed-by-committee messes.
Walt Mossberg likes it, too, except for the App Catalog:
In fact, during my testing, one of my downloads from the App Catalog caused my Pre to crash disastrously — all my email, contacts and other data were wiped out, and the phone was unable to connect to the Sprint network or Wi-Fi. Palm conceded the catastrophe was due to problems it still has getting the App Catalog to work with the phone’s internal memory, and explained that this is one reason it hasn’t widely distributed the developer tools.
Jason Chen loves the OS, but hates the hardware:
The first thing you’ll notice as you slide open the Pre is the absurdly sharp ridge digging against your palm. Nowhere—not on the iPhone, the G1, the G2 or any of HTC’s other smartphones—has a phone been so threatening to the integrity of my skin. If you’re pushing up screen from the bottom of the phone, as you’d instinctively want to do, prepare to get sliced. It’s just that irresponsibly sharp.
It’s not good enough for a smartphone. Each of my thumbs take up the width of four keys, ensuring that only a fingernail approach would get me anywhere near accurate typing. It’s a very Centro-like key layout, and each individual key feels slightly too rubbery and sticky to be pleasant. Each key offers lots of resistance and doesn’t depress quite enough to get a good tactile feel while typing quickly.