The Palm Pre. It's not just a phone, it's a myth, an idea, possibly a legacy... and a really, really long time coming. It's almost impossible to believe, but the crew at Engadget has been talking about a Linux-based Palm phone since way back in 2004. Through the now-distant years that followed, we were speculating, pontificating, and wishfully-thinking about a new device from a company that we'd come to expect innovation from. But we waited. And waited. And waited. We waited so long, in fact, that we actually penned a lengthy open letter to Palm, pleading for the company to get back on its game. Only when the picture looked really, truly bleak for the folks in Sunnyvale (you know, like $2 a share bleak) did we actually see a spark of hope -- two sparks, in fact -- called the Pre and webOS.

Yes, this is epic stuff. The Pre (and its accompanying operating system) could likely decide the fate of the company largely credited with ushering in the age of the do-everything phone. Since Palm's announcement at CES this year, news surrounding the Pre has been a veritable whirlwind of activity: rumors, half-truths, hate, love, fear-mongering, fanboyism, rampant gadget-lust... and even a little late night celebrity for the pint-sized phone. Finally the time has come to put rubber to road and get into the guts of this thing once and for all. Can the Pre and webOS live up to the hype -- the kind of hype we haven't seen since the launch of the original iPhone -- or do they snap under the pressure? Read on for the full review.

Part 1: Hardware, webOS / user interface
Part 2: Synergy, phone, media, applications
Part 3: Data speeds, backup, battery, Bluetooth, pricing, wrap-up

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