Rave Reviews For Palm Pre From Mossberg, Pogue and Baig

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The first round of Palm Pre reviews are in — and they are generally very positive. The iPhone has a real contender, especially if the Pre comes to Verizon in a few months — a good smartphone on a good network.

The big three gadget reviewers — Walt Mossberg, David Pogue and Ed Baig — all give the Pre very positive reviews, with a few reservations.

Pogue is the most excited. “One of the world’s best phones,” Pogue says in his enthusiastic New York Times review. Pogue is very positive about the Pre, saying it’s a worthy iPhone contender, despite noting drawbacks like the lack of apps and poor battery life.

Ed Baig of USA Today also gives the Pre a thumbs up, but also notes the lack of apps and battery life. Nonetheless, he says the Pre “stacks up well against Apple’s blockbuster device, and in some ways even surpasses it… Palm has delivered a device that will keep it in the game and give it a chance to star in it.”

The big granddady of reviewers, the Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg, is the most measured, giving a positive review but saying Palm has some catching up to do, especially if the gen-3 iPhone is announced next week.

“The Pre is a smart, sophisticated product that will have particular appeal for those who want a physical keyboard,” says Mossberg. “It is thoughtfully designed, works well and could give the iPhone and BlackBerry strong competition — but only if it fixes its app store and can attract third-party developers.”