Palm has updated the Pre for Verizon, slightly tweaking the hardware and upping the RAM available to run apps. The Pre Plus is exclusive to Verizon and in addition to the noted hardware updates, the Palm Pre Plus Verizon Cell Phone also will have an innovative and crazy-cool piece of software available for it called "Mobile Hotspot," which turns the Pre Plus into a mobile WiFi router. The Palm Pre Plus arrives January 25th on Verizon, exclusively, for $149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and a two-year contract.

At first glance, the Palm Pre Plus looks basically identical to the original Palm Pre. Palm has made only a handful of subtle changes to the overall hardware design. They have doubled the available RAM and storage memory too, which we'll get to below. Let's go over the physical changes first.

The most noticeable change is that Palm has removed the vestigial center button in the gesture area. They've opted to duplicate the Pixi's design by having a simple, tappable area that will bring you back to card view. In my usage thus far, I've found that simply tapping the center area doesn't work as reliably as pressing an actual center button. However, the good news is that the slightly more intuitive and slightly more fun 'Quick Swipe Up' duplicates that functionality. On the whole I think that removing the center button was the right move, it gives the Pre Plus a cleaner overall look and a more elegant experience.

Otherwise the overall design of the Palm Pre Plus appears identical to the original Pre (minus the branding on the mirror). It still feels incredibly good in the hand, it still has a fairly durable plastic, capacitive touchscreen that still attracts fingerprints, and so on. One change I wish Palm had made is moving the microphone hole to a slightly different spot, as it's still too easy to muffle or scrape the hole with your cheek when holding the phone. Look for more Verizon Phones at CellularCountry.com and find amazing deals and affordable phones just right for your tight budget.

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