With the European releases of the GSM Pre coming in about a week to the UK, Ireland, and Germany on O2 and to Spain on Telefonica, early reviews are starting to stream in, reports Precentral. While not as head-turning as the first Sprint reviews from the US, European Palm users and developers will now have webOS in their hands. The GSM version was first spotted in February in Barcelona, and now consumers won't have to wait much longer.
- The Times (UK) see the Pre as a "worthy competitor to the iPhone. Beautiful, easy to use, yet able to do complex tasks". While apps are still a sore point, webOS is where the Pre really comes into its own.
- Slashgear (US) got their hands on a GSM version, and note that the GSM Pre will only ship with webOS 1.1.3, while "parity" between the CDMA version (Version 1.2.1 or later) won't come until later in 2009. In place of 3G, the O2 version will have UMTS/HSPA with EDGE/GSM support. The 8GB storage limit is also starting to show its age. However, Flash 10.1 beta should greatly improve multimedia capabilities on all Pre handsets.
- the::unwired (Germany) and Arne Hess have posted several videos up, including an unboxing video, a jammin hardware overview, a software hands-on, and a photo gallery.
- Golem (Germany), via a translated page, wish Palm had added a memory expansion slot and calls the keyboard "unsatisfactory", lagging behind Treo 650 and 680 models in typing comfort, although still better than an on-screen keyboard. Cards opened rather slowly, so speed could still be optimised. However, webOS helps make it the first "real competitor" to the iPhone.
The Palm Pixi also got a taste of GSM today, as Ubergizmo reports that a Vietnamese site managed to secure a GSM prototype of the Pixi (below, right), sporting only 4GB as opposed to 8GB in the US model. It's likely an early prototype similar to the early rumored AT&T model we glimpsed back in April, so it makes sense that Palm will bring it up to 8GB spec at launch. While we should see the CDMA Pixi by the holidays, availability of the GSM version is still unknown, although early next year would make sense for Palm to establish the market for webOS abroad.