The sliding mechanism is smooth, however, and the screen clicks securely into place when pushed up. There's a slight curve to the phone in its open state, and we prefer keeping it that way when talking on the phone, since it feels more comfortable against the cheek.
The Pre's display is one of the main highlights of the phone. It measures 79mm (3.1 inches) diagonally, so it's smaller than the screen of the iPhone and some other touchscreen devices, such as the T-Mobile G1 and the Samsung Omnia. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in quality.
The 24-bit colour HVGA display is vibrant and sharp with its 320x480-pixel resolution. Images, text and Web pages all look amazing. We'd say it's on a par with, if not slightly crisper looking than, the iPhone's screen. Under the preferences menu, there are settings to adjust the screen's brightness and backlight time. You can also customise the phone with preinstalled wallpaper, or use your own images and set them as your background.
The Pre's display has a built-in accelerometer, so the screen orientation will automatically change from portrait to landscape mode when viewing photos, videos and Web pages. The accelerometer is fast and changes pages without any lag. There's also a proximity sensor that will automatically turn off the display when you lift the smart phone to your ear for a phone call.
The capacitive (meaning it responds to the touch of a finger) touchscreen is responsive. There's no haptic feedback, but white rings will appear around an icon or menu item to let you know that the screen has registered your touch. To scroll through lists, you can drag your finger along the screen or give it a quick flick to get through longer lists. The on-screen dial pad is simple, with large buttons, and it includes shortcuts to voicemail and your call log. You can also just use the universal search function and start typing a contact's name to get quicker results.
The Pre's screen is multitouch. The iPhone has long stood in a class of its own as regards this functionality -- but not anymore. Like the iPhone, the Pre allows you to zoom in and out on pages by pinching your fingers apart or close together. Double-tapping the screen will also achieve the same result. In addition, swiping left to right on an item, such as an email or call log number, will give you the option to delete it.
To copy, cut and paste, just tap on the screen to place the cursor at the start of what you want to copy or cut, press the orange key on the keyboard, and drag your finger across the desired text. You can do this anywhere on the screen -- it doesn't have to be right over the words. Once you've selected everything, tap the upper-left corner of the screen to bring up the drop-down menu with your copy, cut and paste options.