Palm's new handset has been introduced to the world. Although it isn't getting quite as much coverage as the Apple iPhone did when it was introduced two years ago at Macworld, the Pre is getting plenty of attention.

The general consensus among the critics and journalists is positive. Adrian Covert at Gizmodo said the phone is "simply amazing" and "maybe the most important handset to be announced in two years". Engadget called the interface "well thought out and smooth".

Although there are some dissenters, though. Om Malik says "remains highly skeptical of Palm's chance to succeed with this new effort."

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But what does the average user think?

Ricky Cadden, commenting at GigaOm, is skeptical: "While the new WebOS is certainly slick, and has some killer features around connectivity, I don't think it's enough to really save the company. The pre, imo, is just the black, egg-shaped nail in the coffin.

"As you mentioned, it doesn't have any features that aren't available across the majority of smartphones already on the market - much less those that will likely to be available by the time the pre hits shelves."

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Logan5, writing on Gizmodo, worries about Palm's longevity: "My enthusiasm for the device and software is dampened by Palm's recent track record. Palm should have been on this trajectory five years ago but it permitted both its brand and its products to stagnate.

"My concern is whether Palm release this and then sit on its butt for another decade. I don't want to migrate to a device unless there is a commitment by the company to support it well into the future."

Chris Bailey, commenting at the Wall Street Journal, dislikes Palm's choice of exclusive network carrier for the Pre: "Why oh why did they sign with Sprint ?! It is the same reason I won't get a iPhone due to only AT&T - both can't match the speed and coverage in the NE.

"I loved my Treo have BB now and have major iPhone envy - I would have loved to try this Palm phone - but Sprint, com' on!"

Until the device is released later this year, none of us really know how much success Palm will have with the Pre - but Gizmodo could be right about the importance of the Pre: we haven't seen this much buzz over a new mobile phone in a long time.

The Industry Standard