HP Veer: what we know; what we don't | webOS Nation
 
 

HP Veer: what we know; what we don't 60

by Derek Kessler Mon, 21 Feb 2011 4:12 pm EST

The HP Veer is a seriously little deal, and that kind of makes it a big deal. Don’t let the small size of the Veer fool you - it’s packed with high-end chips that make it a fast little bugger. The Veer, as announced at HP’s Think Beyond event, is an HSPA+ smartphone, which means its capable of download speeds approaching 7.2Mbps (which equates to about 0.9MB a second). The Veer is faced with a small 320x400 screen, the same size as the Palm Pixi, and behind that screen you’ll find an 800 MHz processor and 8GB of storage space, with a 5MP camera around back.

What we know:

When HP announced the Veer, SVP Jon Rubinstein introduced it as the power of the large phone in a more compact size. The Veer is that indeed: it is a high-powered phone in a tiny package. It measures 15.1 mm thick, and before you go and call that bulky, it does have a sliding physical QWERTY keyboard (portrait orientation, like all Palm devices before it), and is 54.5 mm wide and 84 mm tall. It’s a seriously tiny phone. If you’re looking for a comparison point, take a Palm Pixi and lop off the bottom with the keyboard and slip it under the screen. If you don’t have a Pixi around for reference, the Veer is a millimeter shorter and a half a millimeter wider than that credit card in your wallet, and just under two millimeters thinner than a Pre (or 20 credit cards thick, if you happen to be that way).

Inside that tiny package HP has managed to cram an 800MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7230 processor, 512MB of RAM (same as the Pre Plus and Pre 2) and 8GB for storage. For connectivity the Veer has modern standards: Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and an HSPA/GSM radio. If you’re wondering about that HSPA, it’s of the 7.2Mbps variety, and is compatible with AT&T’s 3G bands (no T-Mobile 3G here), as well as most European GSM networks.

There are tradeoffs to be made for this small size and powerful internals. The Veer loses some physical features from its webOS predecessors, chiefly the micro-USB and 3.5mm headphone ports, a camera flash, and the removable battery. The Veer’s integrated battery weighs in at 910mAh, compared to the 1150 in preceding webOS devices. To charge it you’ll have the option of using a Touchstone inductive charger or hooking up via USB using a special cable that attaches to a low profile magnetic connector on the Veer’s side. That little five-pin magnetic connector is also how you’ll get your headphone/headset hook-up; the Veer includes a somewhat bulky adapter (by the nature of the 3.5mm standard) that attaches over the connector and provides a downward-facing headphone jack. We’ll just recommend you use a pair of Bluetooth headphones, even though you won’t be able to charge them with the same cable.

The Veer does have dual noise-canceling microphones, a first for webOS, but fast becoming a standard feature for smartphones.

HP webOS 2.1 will be the shipping version on the Veer. Version 2.1 includes features like voice dialing, Exhibition, Flash 10.1, and plenty more. We don't know whether or not the Veer will support the next-generation of webOS apps, based on Enyo, but if we had to guess we'd say that support will come in a later update.

What we don’t know:

For all we know about the Veer’s hardware, there’s a lot about it’s launch that we don’t know. HP gives the timeframe of “planned for late spring” this year as the launch window, but the purposeful vagueness of that date could mean sometime around May, or even later if that “planned” date slips. HP had several Veer phones out on display at Think Beyond and was allowing unsupervised play time with the devices, which tells us that at the very least the hardware is ready, though we’re not entirely sure the software is ready. It felt fairly ready to us.

HP didn’t announce any carriers when they unveiled the Veer, nor did they hint at pricing. We can’t imagine that the Veer will be priced too high on contract, but then again, we don’t know who it’ll be available on contract with. Of course, the radio is only compatible with AT&T in the US, along with most European carriers. We’re not going to speculate on who might get the Veer, but if Palm and HP’s track record with launching the Pre 2 is anything to speak of, the Veer might not see wide distribution. And that would be a shame, because it’s a deceptively cute phone that if priced well could be the Palm Centro-style hit that the Pixi wasn’t. But first it has to launch.

UPDATE: The Veer will be available on May 15th in white and black from AT&T, going for $99.99 with a two-year contract.

60 Comments

This phone is perfect for me. I don't like large smart phones when the purpose is supposed to be mobility.

You can't effectively write papers on a phone, nor can you replace a larger laptop.

This is why I don't understand Android phones which try to replace the laptop. At least HP has provided a small smart computer that will be stealthy enough to carry but also useful.

I just need it on Sprint!

Also the review suggests that those unsightly holes are gone and it will finally force more wireless use which is where we should be anyway. Wired headphones and even a wired data cable are already outdated but not everyone has caught up with the times.

i'm curious why do you not like smartphones. No judgment at all. I'm totally just curious.

He said he didn't like *large* smart phones.

Agreed.. more over you already have a laptop everyday on you side for daily work. Or you planned to buy tablet (ie HP Touchpad), you don't need 2 device in large screen.

HP already think about this, so they make Veer, hope people will pair Veer with HP Touchpad.. if only touch n share supported by Veer, then they will be a great couple.

I agree.

I am typing this on an excellent and very small hp touchscreen tablet computer (Elitebook). Nicest machine I've had in many years. Paired with a Veer or something not much bigger than a pre+ (pre3?), it makes a perfect duo. Full functionality when you want it. Complete portability when you don't.

A slab will not fit in my jean's pocket.

I hope hp makes a slab to complete the vision of tiny to mongo, but I won't be buying one.

FWIW - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Veer says that it supports Touch-to-Share.

If this phone had a removable battery and the ability to be on Verizon I'd buy it for sure -- it's a truly awesome little phone and was great to play with at the Think Beyond event!

I love that HP allowed us to see and touch the upcoming devices :)

Sadly that's probably all you will get for the all the coming moths or gulp years. They are ridiculously slow in releasing products to the market.

If this trend is not reversed we may see slow death of this wonder OS. I am pretty sad about the outlook if things rapidly do not change. There is a lot of anger out there.

This was stupid to announce one form factor for each type of carrier. This will probably never going to make it to Verizon or Sprint... not that I care. I need that Pre3 or even Pre4 like yesterday on Verizon.

It is cute but not for me. I need a phone for a man with large hands and eyes that are not as good as a teenagers. Pre 3 at a minimum when it hits the market. My minus is hitting its retirement age.

not on sprint is the first draw agiants it.... att compatible only in us is the second..... i for one aint leaving sprint for this...

I would slap off-contract money down in a heartbeat if this little thing was available on Verizon. In a heartbeat.

I want two veers one with keyboard and another one, exactly same dimensions, without a keyboard. And please refrain from commenting, then dont open the slider.

Then don't op...

I just wish these sliders were thinner. My old 12mm iPhone 3GS felt a little thick compared to my iPhone 4.

Seeing as we're starting to see 8mm thick phones, couldn't we engineer a 12/13mm slider? Maybe not in Veer dimensions but perhaps Pre3? Battery may suffer I guess but then the battery is already puny anyway…

Or screw the slider give me Droid Pro form factor or other slab with Swype and I would be happy. I am not huge fan of sliders period. They all suck. I hate moving parts more reason for something to break.

I really love WebOS ... Oh how I wish I could get Droid Pro with WebOS on it.

HP are you listening? Why do we keep releasing devices with form factors that barely anyone wants or like anymore. I don't want a stinking Pre that's why I have a Pixi Plus. I prefer slim phones that actually fit in my pockets.

Apparently because enough people *do* like real keyboards. I'm one.

+1

+1

+2.1 (uh...I like sliders AND would like a little 'sumthin, sumthin' for my Pre+)

And the sales of pre's reflect that, oh wait.

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I believe the Droid Pro does have a full keyboard. I think I saw a photo showing similarities in form-factor to the Pixi or Blackberry, except it sounds like the Droid Pro has a 3.1" screen size (same as Pre). I think the comment was less about the presence of keyboards and more about form-factor (i.e. no slider moving parts = no oreo effect). The cry for multiple Web-OS form-factors has been loud and clear, especially those interested in a keyboard-less slab (with a Swype-like virtual keyboard). Likewise, many WebOS supporters would have loved the updated innards of the Veer on a Pixi/ Treo/ Blackberry/ Droid Pro type of form-factor, which is also very popular. Perhaps the frustration against sliders was misdirected at HP which alienated customers by only providing next-gen devices with slider form-factors. I, for one, was disappointed by the lack of variety, too.

I think it is a cool little phone and it would be perfect for my daughter, but I have 2 concerns: will heat be an issue? and doesn't it seem counter intuitive that the headphone jack points down?

I believe the headphone jack pointing down is well-thought-out. Maybe I am the only one (along with some HP developers) but when I put my phone in the pocket I place it head-down.

I get what you are saying, but I place it cord up in my pocket and I view it(what counts most) right side up and I would like the cord up, not tangled in my hand.

Keep in mind that I have never held it and it might work fine the way it is, but that cord also might be in the way when typing or using the phone. I like the new thinking and hope it works well.

But, my main concern is heat is such a small package. My pre gets plenty hot and this is even more compact.

The headphone jack is magnetic, so I think you can turn it either way to suit your needs.

Maybe try to get some different colors version of the Veer will also help too.

What "We Don't Know" is which promises HP will actually keep.

Seriously I really don't think the average consumer is going to be impressed with "Headphone Adapter". They would have been better off using an odd 2.5mm adapter like on the Treos.

I think I could the number of times I've used headphones with my pre on my hands. The loss of a headphone jack is really not such a loss in my opinion.

i use it all the time...

I hate the name Veer. Callit Nitro. Small package, big power.

Veer sounds like losing control and driving in to a tree. Just sayin.

It certainly does mean going in a new direction but I hadn't thought about hitting a tree.

I like Nitro. Good name.

How about 'little pee pee'? Hey, it would get reaction...and increased visits to the little boy's room I would think... ;)

c'mon palm/hp gimme a pre 3 for 50-100 Euro and take my pre 1 (-)

or i'll better call you halm/pp

here's to wishing Sprint announces a 4G version of this phone!!
I love webOS...had 5 pre replacements...got an EVO to hold me over until the next sprint webOS device.
Android is nice...just not nearly as nice as webOS. And with HP putting money into everything they can get their hands on...I can only imagine what is in store.
I think the latest devices are very nice, but only the tip of the metaphorical iceberg as to what we will see now that palm has an HP sugar daddy.

GO webOS!!!! (just be sure to give us Sprint users some love ;-)

Just a note about screen size & readability. I held my Pre up to a Pixi & loaded web pages. The font was just as readable on the pixi, it was just cut off at the bottom. So if you can deal with the pre minus screen, you should be OK with the veer. I'm glad they at least matched the iphone's 3.6" screen on the pre3, but would still like a larger screen. Playing around with the evo; the screen is really nice for reading web pages.

iPhone is 3.5 4:3 ish ratio, pre 3 is 3.6 16:9 ratio. Though it's about same, that.1 makes a difference. My mom has a moment with a 3.2 inch screen and it's noticeable, however the pre 3 will not be much wider then current pre, but definitely longer.

I wish this this phone specs was just in the pixi form factor.

or the treo pro from factor

So let's see, it's way thicker than most slate phones, so they can fit a small keyboard underneath the already extremely small screen. Then they equip it with a really small battery, and a lackluster 800 megahertz processor. Awesome. This phone is an insult to all the webOS faithful who screamed for a slate phone for 2 years now. Thank goodness you fast tracked this phone to release months before a useful one (read pre 3). Who is the target market? Women? Young teens? You know, people who have no concept of wtf webOS is and don't care about any non-apple piece of electronics. It's just an absolute slap in the face of reason. This phone will not sell.

Uh-huh, until Apple releases their "small" iPhone and then the small FF smartphone will be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870465710457614226284243554...

-10000000

You just agreed with me? They won't want it because it's smaller, just because it's from Apple. webOS was built for multitasking, to me, screen size is the single most important factor in working on a mobile screen. A hardware keyboard is fine, but my the one on my Pre Plus is atrocious, it mistypes keys constantly. I'm not alone, it's a widespread problem. I'd rather a slate because it allows for the room used for a hardware keyboard to be put towards a larger battery, which I think solves one of webOS's other large problems. I don't hate this phone because it's a phone I don't want, I hate it because I know it's a phone that won't do much to help webOS as a platform.

I've been making my living with computers for 30 years. I got tired of big cell phones a long time ago. I want a powerful small phone with a real keyboard. I'm a faithful longtime Treo/Pre user and I don't want no stinking slate phone.

as much as i would like to disagree, i have to agree

During the Think Beyond prsentation, just before moving on from the Veer to introduce the Pre3, Ruby said it would be available from "early spring", not "late spring". Not that his word counts for much, but there is a three months difference between early spring and late spring.

I think I'd rather see this phone's innards inside a Pixi shell. But what I really want is the Pre 3.

+1

So ridiculous that we can't get another Pixi style phone.

Where does the SIM card go (or does it need one)? From what I've read the battery is non-removable, so is there a slot somewhere along the side?

That's a good question. Maybe it's revealed when you open the slider?

Why didn't they include a flash for the camera! Thats a must for me. Will be sticking with my Pixiplus on Pageplus for now.

SIM card slot is on the top of the phone, where headphone jack is on the Pre.

Thanks!

as long as the veer allows its users to talk and text with comfort and ease, it will be a success. all the rest webos has to offer will be icing on the cake for veer customers.

I'm betting that the Veer will only get only a couple hundred thousand sales compare to the pre 3. But what is the pre 3 supposed to compete with? The Evo?

Are we all missing something important?

Asia has a huge market for smartphones - they are THE device to have and people change up constantly.

They don't buy iphones in particular - very low marketshare.

I know it's got a QWERTY keyboard, but how would this work in Japan or China or Korea or India?

Is this HP's market?

Agreed, the Asian market may be what they are going for.

Personally, I also like the concept of the Veer. I have a laptop that I carry with me, why do I need my phone to watch YouTube? Not that it can't, but if you want a phone to be small and still powerful, this is it. If you like the bigger phones to watch videos, the Pre 3 will be your bag.

Variety is the spice of life!

Derek: 7.2 MBps = .9 MBps? Bwuh?

NO, 7.2 Mbps = 0.9 MBps (I'm sure u made a typo there cuz Derek didn't) yes that is a proper conversion. 8 Mbps = 1 MBps. what are u new here?

my biggest question is: how does the keyboard feel? is it clicky like the pixi? or is it closer to the pre? I prefer the pixi's keyboard.

@gunboated I think it's the best keyboard palm has ever made (until the pre3 comes out).

the keys are very tall and clicky, and they have an edge to them to help fingers avoid hitting multiple keys, etc. This is an amazing keyboard. I need better glasses for the tiny screen and then this would be perfect.

thanks for the reply. "tall and clicky" is good if it means "closer to pixi than pre". when were you able to sample one?

guess i have to head over to the new Pre3 post and ask the same question.