Design and Form Factor
For fans of Palm Pre smartphones, I’m sorry to say this but the Palm Pre 2 fails in comparison with the iPhone 4 when it comes to design and form factor. The phone sports the same, old look of previous Palm Pre products - thick and wide. Even the presence of a slide-out keyboard did not help in making the Palm Pre 2 more attractive. Likewise, the phone’s screen size is too small. Compare this to the iPhone 4 with its sleek industrial look and you’ll feel like the Palm Pre 2 was imported from another era. What you’ll appreciate about the Palm Pre 2’s appearance is the fact that it is smaller than the iPhone 4 when the keyboard is not out. It is also comfortable to hold, thanks to the soft plastic finish. Of course, we all know that the iPhone 4’s glass back panel and the glossy front finish makes it susceptible to accidental slip and fall, hence an iPhone 4 case is a must-have. Another nice feature of the Palm Pre 2 is the fact that it has a back plate which practically covers the battery and SIM slot.
Overall, the iPhone 4 beats the Palm Pre 2 in terms of design and form factor.
The Palm Pre 2 features a 3.1-inch multi-touch display with a resolution of 320x480 pixels. Size-wise, the iPhone 4’s screen is also bigger at 3.5-inches with a 640x960 pixel resolution. Both the iPhone 4 and Palm Pre 2’s displays are scratch-resistant with a glossy glass finish. However, since the Palm Pre 2’s screen size is too small, watching videos, viewing photos and playing games is not as good an experience as it is with the iPhone 4. But for productivity purposes such as reading emails, documents or surfing the web, the Palm Pre 2 is a perfectly good phone to use.
Obviously, when it comes to display screen, and by virtue of the retina display, the iPhone 4 wins in this category.
When it comes to other features, sadly, the Palm Pre 2 couldn’t catch up with the iPhone 4. While it also sports a 5MP camera with LED flash, it does not have autofocus and it can only capture standard definition videos, not HD like the iPhone 4. In short, the Palm Pre 2’s camera is very limited when it comes to photography. In case you’re not aware the iPhone 4 has an excellent camera feature, hence you’ll find many iPhone photography-related apps from the App Store.
One feature which gives the Palm Pre 2 an edge over the iPhone 4 is, of course, the presence of a slide-out keyboard. As you all know, the iPhone 4 only has the virtual keyboard which can sometimes be a pain when typing long emails, SMS and notes. The Palm Pre 2 physical keyboard is not the best around, but it’s still better than having a virtual one. But then, the iPhone 4 has touchscreen features which let you do so many things. So, that balances out the odds between these two smartphones.
So how about the OS experience? The Palm Pre 2 runs on the latest version of Palm’s webOS, while the iPhone 4 runs on the latest iOS 4.2. So which gives a better experience? Of course, that depends on which mobile OS you are most familiar with. The two operating systems are very different and so they are tough to compare. Although, I’m more inclined to favor the iPhone 4 because of third-party support for useful apps and games.
Other features of these two smartphones worth mentioning include Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity which both phones have. Both phones also lack microSD slots for storage expansion. While the Palm Pre 2 is available only in 16GB storage, the iPhone 4 has two versions - 16GB and 32GB, so that gives it another slight edge.
By now, it should be pretty obvious as to which phone is better than the other. While the Palm Pre 2 is a pretty decent smartphone with its own distinct features and capabilities that the iPhone 4 doesn’t have - the iPhone 4 is still the better smartphone for several reasons. These include - overall features, third-party application support, design and form factor, reliability and performance.
The Palm Pre 2 is geared for the more business-oriented smartphone users, similar to BlackBerry phones. It does offer a significant improvement over the original Palm Pre but still lags behind the top smartphones on the market. The iPhone 4 on the other hand is geared for everybody else. Whether you are a business professional, a student, a stay-at-home parent or anyone who is old enough to use a smartphone - the iPhone 4 will fit into your lifestyle easily.