iPhone 3G vs Palm Pre: Features Compared with latest iPhone Killer!

Sprint, Palm Pre’s exclusive carrier finally announced that Palm Pre will be launched on June 6 and will be priced at $199.99 with a two year contract (after a $100 mail-in rebate).

Palm Pre was first announced in January and has been speculated as the closest rival to iPhone 3G. More features have been made public, since, we last covered AT&T's comparison of Palm Pre with the iPhone 3G.  It's true, Palm Pre is the closest that any smartphone has come to be called the ‘iPhone Killer’. 

I have tried to compare all the known features of Palm Pre with the existing features of iPhone 3G. Let's begin the comparison between the hardware specs of both Palm Pre and iPhone 3G.

Hardware Specifications:

  • Dimension
iPhone 3G = 4.5 X 2.4 X 0.48 inches
Palm Pre = 3.9 X 2.3 X 0.67 inches
  • Weight:
iPhone 3G = 4.7 ounces
Palm Pre = 4.76 ounces
  • Screen Size:
iPhone 3G = 3.5" diagonal
Palm Pre = 3.1" diagonal
  • Camera:
iPhone 3G = 2 megapixel camera with no flash
Palm Pre = 3 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • Memory:
iPhone 3G = 8GB and 16 GB
Palm Pre = 8 GB
  • Battery Life:
iPhone 3G = 5 hours talk time/300 hour standby.
Palm Pre = very little is known about the battery life.

With a slightly smaller dimension, the design of Palm Pre looks neat. Palm Pre’s screen is smaller in comparison to iPhone but the difference is marginal.

All those who have used iPhone have witnessed the speed at which the iPhone’s battery drains. The battery performance of Palm Pre is yet unknown, and we would have to wait until it gets launched in the market.

Palm Pre’s camera is definitely better than iPhone 3G’s and comes with an LED flash. It is not yet confirmed if Palm Pre will also have video recording feature. Remember, next generation iPhone might come with a 3.2 mega pixel camera and probably, a video recording feature.

The iPhone 3G also offers a higher resolution (460X360) when compared with the resolution (320X480) offered by Palm Pre. 
iPhone 3G and Palm Pre offer a display resolution of 320X480 pixels.

Winner: iPhone 3G

Messaging:

Palm Pre has integrated Instant Messaging, MMS and SMS capabilities. iPhone 3G has integrated SMS and multiple iPhone apps are available for instant messaging. Although, with the iPhone OS 3.0, we will have MMS features.

Another component when it comes to messaging is the way a message is typed in. Palm Pre offers a physical keyboard that’s designed and fits quite nicely beneath the screen. iPhone, on the other hand, offers a virtual on-screen keyboard. It has been debated for quite a while and even experiments have been conducted to find out which one is better. I guess, the choice is subjective, there are some who think that it's a deal breaker while someone like me who's used to the virtual keyboard doesn't miss it.

Palm Pre will make use of Synergy, Palm’s personal information management system to sync. This means that the Palm Pre will be syncing contacts, calendars etc to the cloud.

Winner: Palm Pre

Processing Power:

The iPhone 3G has the ARM-11 based architecture from Samsung, and currently runs at 400MHz.

This is one area where the Palm Pre’s processing power packs a punch. Palm Pre will be one of the first smartphones to have a ARM Cortex Processor running at 600 MHz.

Winner: Palm Pre

Operating System:

Multi-tasking: Palm Pre’s new webOS will allow "multi-tasking" with a seemless multi-touch interface that iPhone 3G currently lacks. Palm Pre calls it ‘multiple activities'.

Apple claims that the reason it does not support background applications is because it will be a massive drain on the battery-life, due to limited resources being available on a mobile device. With iPhone OS 3.0, the user will have push-notification service, which is Apple's solution to running apps in the background. We had also heard that, iPhone OS 3.0 might come up with a feature that allows select applications to run at the background.

With multiple activities, it will be interesting to see the impact on Palm Pre's battery-life but it's clearly one of the features that the users wanted since the launch of iPhone 3G, especially for instant messaging, radio and VOiP iPhone apps.

Copy-Paste: Palm Pre will come with this feature. Copy-Paste as an integrated feature is not available in iPhone 3G but will be available with the iPhone OS 3.0.

Universal Search: Palm Pre will come with a Universal Search feature, which is not available in iPhone 3G. There will be a single search bar that will be capable of searching through the user’s contacts, as well as the web and the user’s applications. iPhone OS 3.0 will come with Spotlight for iPhone, which will finally bring Universal Search to iPhone.

Winner: Palm Pre currently, but iPhone OS 3.0 will soon bring these missing features.

Besides the above observations, there are few more important points to note:

  • With more than 46,000 iPhone apps, the App store is already a huge success. Palm Pre has also launched its app store, but it remains to be seen how it performs and how well it is received by the Developers.
  • I was very impressed with Palm Pre's wireless charging device. The user will be able to charge Palm Pre by simply placing it on a wireless charging dock, the magnets in the dock will align the phone in the correct position for charging. Unfortunately, this wireless charging kit has to be bought separately and will cost $69.99.
  • Sprint’s monthly plans will be priced at $69.99 and $89.99 with a choice of 450 or 900 anytime minutes respectively. With its "Everything Data" plan, Sprint will be able to offer unlimited data, messaging and mobile-to-mobile calls (night and weekends). AT&T's cheapest monthly plan is priced at $69.

I must say that Palm Pre looks much more feature rich when compared with iPhone 3G but features alone don't make a gadget successful.  I think it is the outcome of these features and its usability that will be the deciding factor. As a matter of fact, BlackBerry Storm was launched with more features than the iPhone 3G, but it hasn't been as popular as RIM would have hoped.

Check out the latest advert to get a glimpse of Palm Pre:


Competition is always great; as it will force Apple to keep innovating as is evident from the rumors and speculations that we are hearing about Apple's next generation iPhone.

Do you think Palm Pre has what it takes to dethrone Apple's iPhone? Let us know which one is a winner from your point of view and why?