The Palm Pre 2 is the replacement for the original webOS-powered smartphone. Like its predecessor, it has a 3.1-inch touchscreen display, a physical QWERTY keyboard, and personal hotspot capabilities.
This device is currently available from HP for $50 with a new two-year contract with Verizon Wireless. An unlocked version that can be used with GSM carriers is also available for $450.
BUILD & DESIGN
The Pre 2 is quite minimal in design, very small -- though slightly thicker than most phones. It has a pebble-like feel in the hand, smooth and rounded but very solid. It feels good to hold and will fit in just about any pocket.
The entire case of the phone is black, with a soft touch, very slightly textured finish. The back is all matte black, with the front of the phone being made of a smooth, slightly reflective material all around the screen enclosure.
The display is good, with vivid color, though at 3.1-inches it is much smaller than some of the 4.3-inch monsters typical of Android smartphones. The resolution is still the same as earlier models, HVGA (320x480). That's acceptable, though not ideal, especially on a relatively small display like this one.
I had a few issues where it seemed that the screen calibration was a bit "off" making it difficult to complete some actions, but that was rather rare.
The keyboard is normally located under the display; hold the phone in one hand and use your thumb to push up the display and the keyboard will appear. The keys are very small and rather hard, but they are as big as the physical design of the phone allows.
I can do a fairly good job entering text either accurately or quickly, but generally not both at the same time. Even though I have small hands, my fingers keep bumping into one another, and it's hard to tell sometimes which key I'm actually hitting. If I try to forget about how small the keyboard is and just go for it, I usually do pretty well, with only a few mistakes. The only way to avoid those misspellings ,though, is to go super-slow.
Other Buttons & Controls
Aside from its keyboard, the Palm Pre 2 doesn't have much in the way of physical buttons, which makes the device very sleek and sophisticated. The headphone jack is on the top edge, and that's where you'll find both the ringer switch and the power button. The charge/sync port is on the right hand side, and the volume buttons are on the left.
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