HP Pre3 unboxing | webOS Nation

HP Pre3 unboxing 159

by Derek Kessler Wed, 07 Sep 2011 6:05 pm EDT

As far as unboxings go, this one’s a little bittersweet. It’s the HP Pre3, and the phone’s release has been so truncated by HP’s decision to cease building webOS hardware that we had to import the phone from the UK. But here it is, with its bigger 3.6” screen and front-facing camera, with its 1.4GHz processor and Touch-to-Share communication coils. With its svelte curvaceous body and fantastic keyboard, the Pre3 is the phone that 90% of the webOS community was longing for, and at long last, it’s here but in a way that hardly anybody can get one.

So… the bittersweet unboxing: it’s actually pretty standard as far as Palm-derived fare goes. The Pre3 uses the same box as the Veer and Pre 2 (losing the angled corner of the Pre and Pixi boxes) and is stacked exactly the same way (phone on top of manuals on top of charger and headphones) as every webOS phone to date. The charger and headphones haven’t changed one bit from the original Pre – still even bearing Palm branding.

The Pre3 itself is nine tenths of a millimeter thinner than the Pre2, though it weighs in at 11 grams (7.5%) heavier than the Pre2.

The front is faced with a single piece of Gorilla Glass, which like the Veer, is ever so slightly curved. The only opening in the glass is a small centimeter-wide slit for the speaker grill, though with the right lighting you can see the front-facing VGA camera and light and proximity sensors to the right. Slide the Pre3 open and you’re greeted with a Pre-style keyboard that’s just a few millimeters wider than its predecessors, but worlds apart. It might not be the holy grail of keyboards (that trophy is permanently installed in Waterloo), but it’s still a marked improvement over its predecessors.

The back of the slider’s top half is faced with the trademark mirror, and the back on the phone is simple enough with a soft-touch black finish punctuated by the 5 megapixel autofocus camera, flash, and secondary microphone at the top and the unnecessarily-wide speakerphone grill at the bottom. The left side of the Pre3 holds the dark chrome volume rocker, with the headphone jack on the top left ringer switch at top right, and the power button wrapping around the corner. A lone Micro USB port punctuates the right side of the phone.

All-in-all it’s an attractive but understated packaged. The Pre3 doesn’t scream sex, but it certainly doesn’t scream ugly. Build quality seems solid, with minimal “Oreo” wobble for how long the slider’s travel rails have to be.

We’ll be putting the Pre3 through its paces over the coming days so we can give you a proper review of the flagship webOS phone that never was. In the meantime, head on past the break for a quick gallery, and of course, the comments.