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CES 2009: Palm Pre and WebOS revealed

New details on Palm Pre touchscreen mobile phone

Palm phone

Palm has unveiled its eagerly awaited touchscreen mobile phone: the Palm Pre.

The Pre is a heavy (149g), rounded handset that combines a 3.1-inch, 320 x 480 pixel touchscreen with a sliding Qwerty keyboard. It’s Edge and Wi-Fi capable, although like the first iPhone it’s not 3G. It also comes with a 3Mp camera, a music player (with a proper 3.5mm headphone socket), GPS and 8GB of storage.

Web OS

While these are features are pretty good, it’s the new operating system that has caused the most excitement. Following hot on the heels of Google’s Android, Palm has developed its own system: Web OS.

This new system has several exciting innovations, such as ‘Think Ahead’ – a system that will automatically work out what application you need as you type it into the phone.

Read our first look review and watch video of the Google G1 mobile phone.

Another development is the ‘Cards’ system. Using the centre button at the foot of the device, you can see a full set of all the open windows you’re using and either flick through them or move them up the screen to discard.

Mobile web broswer

The browser is also full screen and operates just like the iPhone’s, allowing you to ‘pinch’ the screen with your fingers to zoom into images and menus.

Palm has even created an exciting charger. The Touchstone will recharge the Pre wirelessly. You simply place the Pre on the Touchstone, and magnets hold it in place while it recharges.

And that’s not all. Should a call come in while it’s charging, answering it will automatically switch on the speakerphone.

There’s no information on European availability for the Pre and the Touchstone, although it can be pre-ordered now in the US ahead of a ‘first half’ of 2009 launch.

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