Palm faces tough competition in the world of smartphones. Taking a dig at the likes of Apple, LG and Samsung, claiming that mobile was in Palm's DNA, they need the pre to deliver. Here are five things you need to know about the new handset.

EvDO, not 3G GSM
The announced Palm Pre features EVDO providing near DSL speeds and supported by the Pre’s exclusive carrier at launch: Sprint. EVDO is less common outside North America so worldwide travellers won’t benefit from that addition. It is not clear if it is multi-mode or if an HSDPA version is planned for other territories, but it is highly likely.

New proprietary platform
Turning away from communities building smartphones around operating systems such as Android and Windows Mobile, Palm claim that their new webOS will open up the new device to everyone. The message is that if you can code for the web, you can code webOS, making developing much easier and faster. Palm say the new OS should give 10 years of advancement.

Palm Synergy
Synergy will keep your life in check, bringing together contacts and calendars from different sources, giving you one collated set of information. You can also bring together instant messaging from different protocols, aiming to keep things simple for the user.

Touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard and gesture control
Hiding behind the 3.1-inch 320 x 480 pixel screen is a sliding QWERTY keyboard giving you the freedom to choose how to interact with your phone. You’ll be able to use the screen for easy tasks and flip to keyboard for bashing out those emails, whilst gesture control opens up an entirely new dimension of interaction, which Palm boasts will mean you don’t have to clutter up the phone with buttons.

Wireless charging
Named the Touchstone the pre can be charged wirelessly simply by placing the phone on the stone. Not a new idea, but great to see it coming into play here.