Round Table: The Palm Pre 2 | webOS Nation
 
 

Round Table: The Palm Pre 2 64

by Derek Kessler Fri, 29 Oct 2010 5:18 pm EDT

Round Table

Welcome to Round Table, which is in fact not a table at all. Round Table is a continuing series on PreCentral where we pose a question to the staff and they provide their thoughts and insights. The question could be something simple like “what’s your favorite webOS RSS reader?” or something a bit more complicated, like “where do you see Palm in a year?” Or maybe we’ll just end up chatting about how we miss the cartoons of our childhood. Today, however, we’re going to take a look at the latest hardware from Palm: the Pre 2.


Adam: First off, this is what the Pre Plus should have been. When the Pre was announced in January 2009, the hardware specs were on par or above most everything else that was out there. But a lot changed in the following 12 months, and when the Pre Plus was announced a year later, that phone was already starting to show its age even before it was released. All the upgrades from the Pre Plus to the Pre 2 (faster processor, better camera, more rugged design, etc) were already needed earlier this year. I have a feeling that the Pre 2 was supposed to come out four to six months ago as a replacement to the Pre and Pre Plus, but got hung up by the merger. That being said, it’s still a nice-looking device that I would love to own (it would be a great upgrade over my Sprint Pre Minus), and I am glad that we are getting something. It provides HP and Palm some publicity and should get people thinking about webOS again, as well as a device that will hopefully get out before the holidays in the US. But...

To the mind of the majority of consumers, this is the same device that has been around for the last 15 months and doesn’t appear to be anything new, nor is HP offering any details on any devices to come. We have no context to where they see this phone in their roadmap of devices. They have stated that they are planning a slew of different devices and form factors, but we don’t know where this fits into the equation nor the timing of those other devices. If this is their high-end super phone, we are in trouble. But I suspect that this is just a spec bump of the 3.1” screen and slide-out portrait keyboard form-factor that they want to keep alive (maintaining compatibility with many existing accessories) to be sold as part of a larger lineup of devices that will most likely be unveiled at CES in January.

I just wish that they would have a big event now and not wait until CES to announce, so we can understand that bigger picture, partly because I have to wonder who is going to buy this phone. In the US, this phone is destined for Verizon, where all of their current webOS users aren’t yet eligible for an upgrade (and the Pre 2 isn’t a significant bump over the Pre Plus). Unless HP gets Verizon to push the Pre 2, new customers will still be pushed to the Droid line. All remaining Sprint customers have held on long enough that they would probably wait until CES before doing anything and wouldn’t jump ship to Verizon, and that’s assuming that they haven’t already jumped the OS ship to any of Sprint’s impressive Android phones. So, unless HP and Palm see this as an opportunity to just get into new markets (Australia and Asia, anyone?), I don’t expect this to be a large seller before the holidays. Pessimism aside, though, this phone is actually comparable to what else is on the market and if you love this form-factor, it’s a great upgrade!


Derek: When the Pre 2 was first rumored as a “spec bump,” I have to admit that my reaction was less than positive. I still maintain that what Palm, HP, and webOS needs is more than a spec bump, but I do find myself desiring a Pre 2. Why? Simply put, it’s markedly better than my Sprint Pre. It’s twice the RAM, twice the processor, and twice the gee-bees of my phone. Plus a nice glass screen and what looks to be more solid build quality? Daddy wants.

But that’s where my desires end. Mostly because Sprint has admitted that they’re not going to be carrying this phone, and I’m not up for switching to another carrier just yet for an improved version of the phone I already have. Yes, I want the improved version, but not that badly. The Pre 2 boggles me, or at least the ongoing launch of the Pre 2 boggles me. For one, this is a device that should have been out somewhere between three to six months ago. In fact, I believe this device was supposed to have been out three to six months ago, but Palm couldn’t summon the finances to make it happen. Then it would have been a bottom-end of the top tier smartphones. Today the Pre 2 is already a mid-tier phone, and unless it’s very attractively priced I don’t see it getting the sales numbers Palm would like.

And there’s the oddball release schedule. SFR in France gets it right after the reveal, while Verizon and somebody in Canada will get it in the “coming months.” What’s with the vagueness and the apparent lack of commitment? Palm is not want for resources anymore and this launch is coming across as so poorly executed I have to wonder why it’s being done at all.

Do I want a Pre 2? You betcha. But what I want more is what comes next - the real 2011 webOS flagship smartphone. I want to be impressed, and the Pre 2 just doesn’t do it for me.


Jason: If you would’ve asked me a week ago what I thought of the Pre 2, you probably would have heard some negative comments. Looked like it was a Pre Plus Plus; just a spec update on the same device line-up. No doubt a lot of people were expecting a next-generation device, especially given the dated state of the current device hardware is, when compared to other top-of-the-line devices.

Lately, however, I’ve been turning around on the device. It’s not a next-generation, state-of-the-art device, but it is a substantial upgrade compared to the current off-network Sprint Pre I use for development and personal use. An updated camera, faster processor, glass screen, and undoubtedly improved quality would make it a nice upgrade for me.

It’s a shame that the developer devices are only going to be sold in the USA only. However, given HP’s global reach, I doubt it will be too long before that expands. Thankfully, if the Roger’s Wireless rumours prove true, I can just get a Pre 2 there, and actually have my first webOS device that I can use as a phone. It’s not a perfect device, but it’s definitely what will hold me over until the webOS tablet and 2011 smartphones debut. Now if only we had a release date.


Jonathan: I’m quite pleased with it for a number of reasons. The Pre 2 has allowed Palm to regain mindshare in advance of next year’s big webOS device blitz. It also provides a good, competitive low-cost choice now for those who want the benefits of webOS 2.0 and/or need to replace older Pres and Pre Pluses. The phone has boosted the morale of the webOS community and added excitement in advance of the NYC Developer Day. The choice to retain the form factor means existing investments in accessories (other than perhaps very formfitting cases) are not wasted.

My one major uncertainty about the Pre 2 is whether Palm has exercised its greater HP-enabled leverage to reject any effort by Verizon Wireless to carry over the GPS crippling from the Pre Plus. As far as I can tell, all the pre-production review units out there are GSM, so we don’t yet know what the Verizon functionality will be.

As for myself, I may well pick one up when it hits Verizon (pending GPS answers) using an existing upgrade on our account, and pass my Pre Plus to my wife. If there’s a superphone in the works for January, well, I’ll see if it would better fit my needs than a Pre 2.


Mahootzki: The happiest day of my Palm “fanboy” life since CES 2009 was the day the announcement came that HP has acquired Palm. Why? Because it was nearing a year since I got my Palm Pre from Sprint, and amazing devices started popping up here and there, and we hadn’t been getting much exciting news from Palm. Those of us on Sprint have that aged phone with no sign in the near future of any new hardware or a promise that it’s on the way.

Ever since the purchase of Palm by HP all we heard is “with the resources they have, we’ll see amazing hardware and more” and other bits along those lines.

Well, the Pre 2 is the first product we got from the acquisition and it’s very disappointing, it would have been a great device about six months ago, but not now. I am sorry to say, most of the people I converted to Palm in the past year and a half or so have jumped ship, and I don’t blame them.

If this is something that was in the oven when HP bought Palm and that’s why they had to release it, I say it was the wrong move; you spent $1.2 billion, spend a little more and start over with a bang!


Mark: First and foremost, like so many of you, I’m a longtime fan and user of Palm products. With the introduction of webOS and the Pre I’ve become one of Palm’s most ardent supporters. Considering my obvious bias and devotion to Palm and webOS my impressions of the Pre 2 are mixed. Here’s the good and not so good as I see it now:

Form factor - Mixed Good/Bad: I love the Pre form factor. Portrait sliders are where it’s at in my book. But giving us an identical device other than flat glass when absolutely every competing device is giving us more screen real estate seems a bit a misfire on Palm’s part.

1GHz processor - Mixed Good/Bad: Good for the masses who can’t or won’t overclock their Pre phones but otherwise a bare-minimum spec bump at best. True, battery life might improve but the jury is still out on this one.

512MB RAM - Bad: This is where I’d have loved to see 1gb of RAM. I know the conventional wisdom is that 512mb of RAM is plenty but webOS is like a wild horse that needs to be set free. How long will we have to deal with the specter of the “To Many Cards” notice and blame it on memory leaks? It seems to me 1GB of RAM alone would have been a real cause for rallying around the Pre 2.

Other specs - Mixed Good/Bad: Other specs, namely, screen resolution and internal memory in the Pre Plus were okay and the least of Palm’s existing hardware woes. Spec bumps in either case would have been nice but for now I think the average Pre user can live with both as they are.

Finally there are a few things about the Pre 2 that I’d like to know. How much better is the build quality? How much better is the keyboard? Both improved together with webOS 2.0, glass screen, and 1GHz processor and then I’d say the “mixed” review becomes an unequivocal thumbs up. Palm had to release the Pre 2. I just wish we were having this discussion four months ago vs. today. Let’s hope that in the coming weeks we find out there’s more to like about the Pre 2 than what we currently know and we see it as something more than just a spec-bumped Pre Plus.


Nathan: Releasing the Pre 2 as a modified version of the Pre was like calling back a retired ball player, pumping him full of ‘roids and putting him back on the team. For whatever the reason Palm and HP have chosen not to release any new hardware, their decision has made them a forgotten has-been in the smartphone market. After all the dragged out anticipation for something new, and all the mockery of the Pre’s failings, the general reaction to the Pre 2 is going to be, “this was the best you could do?” Palm is going to transform itself from something that few people take seriously, into a laughing stock. It is going to be more of a detriment than a help to Palm’s mindshare, and will do nothing for its marketshare.

That said, I am still in favor of releasing the Pre 2 but in a different way. The Pre 2 should be used as hardware replacements for the Pre. This will help repair Palm’s relationship with its existing user base, which has been damaged by repeated hardware replacements. It would be hard to do this without the media treating it like disappointing new hardware and making a mockery of it so it might have been better to release it the same time as their next phone. Or at least at the same time as an announcement of a new phone.

In terms of hardware, the Pre 2 is what the Pre should have been and probably would have been if Palm had had the resources to do so. This hardware definitely competes nicely with the iPhone and just about about any other smartphone. It is a lower tier device for the price conscious and those who prefer that form factor. But it is not the next generation device and is almost an affront to the people who have been sticking with webOS all this time waiting for something better.

The Pre 2 does not go quite far enough even as an improvement, however. It has a higher megapixel camera but still no auto focus. Can it take better pictures in less than full sunlight? So what do I get, larger sized blurry and grainy pictures? My phone is my primary camera and I came from an HTC Touch Pro with a superb, fully featured camera, to a Pre that takes pictures like an old school dumbphone. What could have ever made Palm and HP think they did not need to improve in this area? Who ever said, “My Pre takes the best pictures ever.”? The Pre 2 is a great device, but releasing it before the next gen device was a questionable move.


Rene Ritchie, Editor, TiPb.com: The Palm Pre 2 is an interesting beast. It cures two major gripes I had with both the original Pre and Pre Plus. The first is superficial but once you've gotten used to capacitive glass, its very hard to be happy with plastic. This is what the screen should always have been. Second is the raw horsepower of the chipset. For whatever reason, some webOS apps have just never been as immediately responsive as I'd have liked, even on Pre Plus. Sure Palm was always optimizing it, but sometimes just throwing a 1GHz processor at the problem is most time and cost efficient way to go.

Ultimately, however, that's pretty much where the Pre 2 ends up for me -- as an iterative step Pre. The original Pre was first shown off at CES 2009, the Pre Plus at CES 2010, and now some 21 months and a buyout by HP later, I - like many others - was hoping for more. For different. But ultimately I'm not worried. Palm has HP bucks now. We've already heard rumors of 4 or 5 new devices in the pipeline and while the mobile space is accelerating rapidly and Apple and Google are still setting a breakneck pace, the market can and will change on a dime and then change again. Palm reinvented themselves once already with the Pre. Microsoft is busy re-inventing themselves right now (some three years apres-iPhone). RIM and Nokia are next. With the amount of muscle HP can put behind them, the Pre 2 doesn't have to excite, it just has to place-hold.


Dieter: Now that I've been using a pre-production unit, I can't really distinguish between what I think separate from my experience using it - and since it's preproduction, I'll let the excellent thoughts you see above speak for me until I have final hardware in-hand.

There you have it - that's what we think. We want to know, what do you think? To that end: a poll. Oh, and the comments too, if voting isn't enough for you (we like to hear from you, honest).

64 Comments

Question for next round: What device/software feature could HP/Palm release in 2011 that would make the rest of the world take notice and suddenly realize there is another phone beside a Blackberry or iPhone?

That's a question I'd like to see discussed too.

I think the progress made by webOS 2.0 is pretty solid. They just need to open up the APIs more so we can get Shazam and barcode readers and the like. Hardware wise I think is the more important factor at this point. My take is they need to cover a few different form factors.

1) Small, super portable. Eliminate the Pixi. Keep the Pre2 as the "new" Pixi.

2) Slab. 4.0-4.3" touch screen. 960x640 or better. Best chip they can put in there that makes sense financially. 1 GB RAM. Battery life needs to last AT LEAST 20 hours with moderate use. Have a compass. Notification LED. Front facing camera.

3) Slider. Not sure if it should be portrait or landscape. 3.5-3.7" screen. At least 800x480. The rest same as #2.

32%.. yea shoulda have seen that one coming! I'll pass and wait for whats next. Maybe thats why Sprint is not getting into the Pre2 game... I sure they thought the same thing...

Or maybe they already have something on the way and just dont want to spill the beans as of yet...

I would buy pre-2 if ti comes out soon, however if it hits by Jan end I wont care about it as I know other phones would be around the corner. Again this would be for my wife, pre-2, I will wait for the superphone. CES cant come any sooner.

#team-derek

WebOs still has bigger issues than just new hardware. When I moved to the Pre on launch day, I gave up my sling player app. Just a matter of time until the WebOs version would be out. Still waiting. I use Splash Money (in Classic) everyday day to download my bank transactions. Now Classic is going away, and no WebOs Spalsh Money app, or app of similar function. I am not going to commit to a new piece of hardware to take another step backwards. These apps are available on Android and iOS. I Love WebOs, and I want to stay, but they are making it very hard.

Hopefully spiffy new hardware at CES will attract some more developers. If there's nothing good announced by then, I'll probably leave too. The mainstream dev support is pretty sad on webOS right now.

Homebrew devs on the other hand... :)

HP/Palm needs to pay developers to port real Sports Apps to WebOS like the following....

*ESPN ScoreCenter
*Sportacular
*CBS Sports Mobile
*NFL Game Center
*MLB At Bat
*NBA Game Time
*PGA Tour
*College Football Live!
*NCAA March Madness
*Sports Illustrated
*Yahoo & CBS Fantasy Sports

Ill just wait for better hardware design. I really dont like the crappy front face plate from the new palm pre 2. I prefer the old one from pre minus or plus. Other than that its fast and elegant as a webos device. I think ill just wait for something better in the meantime.

The Pre was released in the UK last October. I have little interest in a mere spec bump now. If there is nothing at CES, and by that I mean a solid release date, I will be taking my update elsewhere. I love Palm but not enough to put up with yet more substandard hardware and a dearth of official apps. If the release date over here is in the third quarter again then I will be moving until HP Palm decides to compete with their top tier rivals.

As mentioned in the article Palm's Superphone should have ALL of these features to be called superphone and not another spec bump:

- Gorilla glass
- Dual core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 720p resolution,
- A screen size bigger than 3.7inch,
- Both keyboard and keyboard less version
- Front facing camera,
- A digital compass,
- Wimax and LTE network,
- Bluetooth 3.0,
- wifi n.
- A bigger battery would be great, but not a deal breaker as long as it is replaceable.

There are lot more but those will make palm/HP stand out against any competition.
If Palm adds only few of them instead of all of them, the device would be starting behind Motorola and HTC for sure. That would mean people would not give up there EVO-2 and Droid-4 (thats where they would be by the time this superbeast hits all the markets) if palm doesnt have all these hardware capabilities.

Screen *size* is not a "superphone" requirement. I, for example, would count it against the phone if it caused the Pre to be noticeably bigger and slabbier than it is now.

Screen *resolution*, on the other hand, is a spec that matters. I'd be more than happy -- probably forever -- for resolution on par with the iPhone 4.

Otherwise I endorse your contribution and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Problem with small screen size is you cant put too many pixels in it. Thats why with a screen bigger than 3.7inch they can pull 720p instead of JUST retina iPhone's retina display.
Hardware is one reason why samsung is selling 10 million of galaxy devices, ofcourse other is being on every single carrier even including US cellular. Thats where H/P can help, instead of waiting for super-phone to come out.

Dual core does not equal better. I would prefer more speed over more cores. 1.5Ghz single core will beat 1Ghz dual core.

And do you really need a compass on a phone? No one cared about compasses until Android came with one. Compasses were one of those things only nerds cared about.

I would love to know which way is north when I come out of subway. Used them on iPhone and android and really liked them, that means I could be a nerd too, but would like to have one for sure.

A dual-core processor has many advantages especially for those looking to boost their system's multitasking computing power. Dual-core processors provide two complete execution cores instead of one, each with an independent interface to the frontside bus. Since each core has its own cache, the operating system has sufficient resources to handle intensive tasks in parallel, which provides a noticeable improvement to multitasking

Yeah, multitasking is a joke on iOS, not that great on Android, and a piece of cake on webOS. Overclocking the Pre to 1Ghz probably produces a more noticeable improvement than having a dual-core processor at 500MHz each. A 1.5GHz processor will feel snappier than a dual-core 1GHz.

And what I was saying is that no one at all cared about compasses before smartphones. Only sailors and nerdy types. You never cared which direction was north when you came out of the subway. Besides, most cities with a subway are planned in such a way that it's usually easy to orient yourself when you're out on a street.

A lot of people ask if 1GHz dual core is same as 2GHz single core. Answer is no, as frequency is only part of the equation, no matter how fast a single core is, it can only do one thing at a time. Going to a lower clocked dual is much better than a very fast single core. plus new apps and games build around dual core will never run as smooth on a single core. On top of it it will take less energy to run a dual core than a double frequency single core. So between 1GHz dual core and 2GHz single core processor, dual core wins.

And a gyro for those cool "find the constellation" apps and Wii-type hand motions for launching programs!

KHAAAANNNNNNN!

sorry, couldn't help!

The original wii remote only used accelerometers, so you don't really need a gyro unless you want wii motion plus sensitivity.

I love my pre and webOs. I'm currently on the sprint network and have been with them for almost two years. I had an android phone before I upgraded to the pre. I think that HPalm and sprint should offer the pre2 as a replacement for the dated and poorly manufactured original pre. I've babied my phone because I've heard all the horror stories about the screen cracks, the "oreo effect", etc. Hopefully, the pre 2 will be more rugged than the original. I have an option to upgrade my phone in december and I'm seriously considering the evo 4g. Also, why should I have to use homebrew apps to get a mobile hotspot and risk violating the terms of my contract (i use homebrew apps currently and love them: preware, mobile hotspot, internalz, govnah, uberkernel, etc), when the evo 4g and samsung epic come with the app. Also, I feel cheated because I wouldve gotten the pre plus on sprint, but it was not offered. The sprint community is also begging them to focus on the webos. I think the poll showed that 79% of the people polled wanted sprint to focus on this product. Dan Hesse says that he's all about the consumer and he wants to cater to us like no other cell phone carrier. Well do it. Bring the pre 2 to sprint and give it a chance to compete with android by letting us have the hotspot.

The Pre 2 may just be an updated Pre, but it is still the best cell phone on the market for my needs. That's why I'm moving my family plan from Sprint to Verizon on November 11th.

I am growing more disappointed by the day.
Sprint Hello! Can you hear me now?

I voted; no, I'm switching. I would give the pre2 a fair shake if I could, but sadly sprint and palm can't see eye to eye. So with that said my pre will in effect become a pre2, as it will become my secondary phone. God all mighty, I hope I like android and the epic.

Don't ditch Palm, ditch Sprint. They're the weak link.

On the other hand if palm pre-2 was not such a weak phone hardware wise, sprint would not have rejected it.

Verizon already had the Pre Plus which is much closer in capability to the Pre 2 than the Sprint Pre, but they didn't reject it. Sprint simply couldn't afford it. I'm tired of being with a third-class carrier. I honestly think Sprint will go out of business before HP-Palm does.

Sprint refused pre plus and then refused pre-2 as they didnt have 4G

Exactly, they can't afford to carry them, they have to focus their efforts on 4G. So they make you wait for 4G versions of phones and charge $10/month for 4G that most of their customers still don't have access to. On top of that they picked the wrong 4G technology in WiMax which by the time they get rolled out to decent coverage will already be obsoleted by the LTE technology that Verizon, AT&T, and the rest of the world are using.

man that's hasty. I'm pissed I can't get the pre 2, but it doesn't justify me leaving sprint. To say they are the weakest link is a stretch. We all know that something bigger is coming,and it would be hard to think Sprint won't be all over it. Sprint seems to be trending on delivering phones that are 4G capable, and that to me is a good thing. I am so down for the idea of a hardware replacement for OG pres, though. That would be a nice getsure by sprint or hp palm.

You can blame it on memory leaks. Install uber kernel, govnah, and jstop, and even at the stock 500MHz, you won't see those too many cards errors anymore.

I'm a palm pre minus user and attempted the switch to "Droid" (Epic 4G AMOLED screen). However, after less than 24 hours with the device I returned it to go back to my Palm. I am hoping things could change with my current carrier. If I purchased an unlocked dev version would I be able to use with my current carrier?

--YyZ--

I like the idea about using the Pre 2 as replacement hardware for Pre & Pre Plus owners. That is something that would generate a lot of excitement. HP is supposedly thinking about long-term strategy so they shouldn't worry about the immediate cost. If they're really going to put all of their recent aqusitions together to make a run at Apple, they could only benefit from that kind of move in the long run.

like everyone else, I am very disappointed in this Pre 2 and was hoping for a bigger upgrade to the hardware and software. if most feel this way (which it seems), why is HP even releasing this phone? Seems like a waste but just something to keep people "happy"...more like frustrated. I need a new webos phone for sprint very soon...my current Pre is on its last leg. Cracked screen that seems to be getting bigger by the day, scratches everywhere, oreo getting worse, back liner on keyboard beginning to peel off.

Where is see palm in a year. I see palm in much the same market place as they are now. A very small niche of loyalist. As the iPhone begins to spread to other carriers will undoubtedly take even more of palms market share. While the pre 2 is just barely at par with other devices in specs it will far behind in a matter months. The other Copanys are pumping new devices it's seems like every other month. It appears palm is interested in offering a phone up that's a head of the game, but one that's at par very late in the game. It's a really shame cause webos is a far superior OS to all others and soon it UI will be copied by others. It's unfortunate that palm doesn't have a clue about marketing. It all about packaging for most the don't care what's on the inside the OS they care about they styling and looks. Case and point any android phone selling them like hot cakes and yet the OS And UI stink. It's much like the battle between VHS and Betamax, Beta was far superior then VHS but VHS was more popular . But as I always say if you package a turd right people will buy it. Palm just isn't popular to the masses. On the other hand the iPhone is, and there is a lot of people that want it. And everyone has heard of it. It's a house hold name. And no I am not a troll have only owned palms for the past 7yrs. But this I know for sure, I won't leave sprint for the pre 2 and go to verizon. As much wouldn't want to buy a pre 2 even on sprint I would cause not sure much more life is left in my pre-. But I would definitely consider jumping ship for the iPhone. Palm just don't have the resources to run with big dogs while IOS doesn't have the home brew community that webos has. Which is webos greatest asset and without would have totally flopped. But with apple they will always have the latest and greatest 1st, not last.

If you had a point here it was lost in the poor packaging.

Crash I do agree with you, it's not what's best but it's how you advertise it. Just like HDdvd and Bluray. HD DVD was a lot better for customer.... Now obsolite technology. I'm going to wait to see what's coming at CES, but I hope hp will step up with productive apps. Games are great but there aren't any serious productive advanced apps. HP need to pay for developers to bring some top selling apps on other platforms.
I Hope the next super device will have a power to make it last a day..... Talking about dual core processors will kill your current battery in an hour...

Its hard to say how good the Pre 2 hardware really is until I get my hands on it. I got my wife a Pre Plus with a great case (otterbox) and screen protector. She loves it and has had no hardware issues.

Related to Pre 2, I am glad they are keeping the form factor. Even Blackberry copied it.

As for me, I would like a iPhone like Palm form factor with a large screen (no physical keyboard) much like one of prototypes we have been voting on.

HP would do well to remember that Apple got everyone to switch to Final Cut by GIVING IT AWAY to everyone who switched to Final Cut from Adobe Premiere software. At the time it was a $300 value. Now Final Cut dominates because everyone knows its power & relative simplicity. WebOS is the best but HP needs to do something like this to get people to notice. Are you listening, HP? Use your influence to keep Mobile Hotspot free also & not let Verizon sabotage you.

I would definitely agree that HP needs to do something drastic to buy some market share and mind share in the short term.

I upgraded to the Pre Plus in July, with a promotion from Verizon. It's my first smartphone and generally it has been a great experience. I don't use it for a whole lot of things because this is one area where I'm kind of backward technologically - I like my phone to be more of a phone, although I appreciate the extra goodies.

One thing that frustrates me with the Pre Plus is a lack of voice dialing. It is such a basic feature, and yet it is absent from the Pre (plus or otherwise) and almost never shows up in reviews because people assume it's there when it's not.

On top of the issues with battery life (basically needing to be plugged in all the time), and the lack of decent apps (fully functioning GPS, Skype and other apps that leverage the mic/camera), I don't think I would buy another Palm device again. I have 16 months before my time is up and I think I'll continue to enjoy it, but I will pass on any early upgrade to another phone that doesn't have something as simple as voice dialing on it.

In 16 months the landscape will be very different, but I have a sense right now that my next phone will be an Android based phone, or maybe an iPhone. I really enjoy the Palm but we'll have to see. The free tethering is a big boon for me right now and that feature is priceless. Since that will likely go away in the future, we will just have to re-do the calculus at that time.

Oh and as for the keyboard - YES to a physical keyboard. I would prefer a landscape keyboard with bigger buttons, but the current keyboard is decent.

Non-plus pre users doesn't have the capability of doing many things as the plus users. Yes, I'm overjoyed to hear about the pre successor the pre2. However, I will admit...I was looking for something totally different. Nonetheless, the pre2 is definitely a must have phone especially for all, or most non-plus pre users.

Some webos users might not agree with me, but the fact is
this phone is a lot better than
what I have right now. If Sprint
decide on carrying the pre2
they won't be disappointed at
all. If the pre2 did have a higher
screen resolution with a little
larger screen, I think more
people would definitely appreciate this phone.

Regards,

I agree with Adam. My hope for HP/Palm is that they use the Pre 2 to push into countries where webOS phones aren't currently available (Australia/Brazil/China/etc.) just to get a greater global awareness of the brand.

It's a chance for them to say, "Hey, we've had some quality issues in the past, but we've learned from those mistakes and the new device is solid."

From most accounts, the Pre 2/webOS 2.0 is a pretty powerful combination, regardless of your opinion of the reason behind it.

However, with the forthcoming wave of new devices, I'd like to see all form factors represented: portrait slider, landscape slider, slab, candy bar and tablet.

With the inroads already laid, they could more easily sell the new devices to a wider audience.

"Well, the Pre 2 is the first product we got from the acquisition and it

Someone invite me to be on the roundtable next time. There are some serious misconceptions by members of the roundtable. I was disappointed by the Pre 2 announcement (no promotion) and WebOS 2.0 annoucement (it should have been promoted heavily) and by the same form factor.
That said:
The 1ghz processor in the Pre 2 is NOT dated, or slow, or a minor speed bump. It is the fastest phone processor available today, bar none. There is no processor that Palm could have put in the phone faster than the TI 3630. Nothing faster is available in the world. It is a 45nm system on a chip (SoC) that contains the Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX 530 GPU. This is, by far, the most powerful GPU available in any smart phone today. (which is why the Pre and Pre2 are such good gaming phones). It is also used in the Droid X. In gaming benchmarks, this GPU blows away any 1Ghz Snapdragon SoC with GPU. It is actually very similar in power to the Apple A4 SoC in the iPhone4- they use the same GPU and the same reference Cortex A8 chip. The L1 cache was doubled on the TI3630 over the old chip. It is also one of the most power efficient SoC on the market. So, let's be sure about one thing - Palm put the fastest chip and GPU available in the known universe as of today in the Pre 2. Some folks are confused about that. Nothing faster exists IN THE WORLD.
Palm could have upped the camera megapixels and add more camera features. Ok, but not a big deal to me. Any real camera will take much better pictures than your phone. As for the number of pixels, the Pre has a sharp screen. That is because the pixel density is fine for the screen size. More pixels (higher resolution) would probably be useless on a 3.1 screen. You would be able to tell or use it. It may not even be available. Therefore, as long as you like a 3.1 screen, then Palm probably made a good decision and maybe the only decision available to it. 16GB storage is, to me, more than sufficient. I bet 99% of uses don't use over 10GB in the life of the phone.
That gets to the rub: I think that they should have made the phone bigger. It seems that most agree. The smartphone market has definitely moved toward bigger, rather than smaller. Palm still has a good business market, however (I'm one of those businessmen) and the screen size is still way bigger than most of my co-workers who carry a blackberry. I think that once people see this device, it will grow on me. Engagadet and PhoneScoop say that the operating system on the TI chip is buttery smooth and is really fast. If so, the Pre 2 might be the phone for me. I'd like to know what my choices are, so Palm will hopefully announce their upcoming lineup soon - even if they just say, we have a over 4 inch coming and a 4 inch, etc. Just give us an idea of what is coming and when. After I see what is available, I may go with the Pre 2 and decide that 3.1 inches is perfect for me.
Also, any other slab phone, or superphone that Palm releases now - will also have the same CPU and GPU has the Pre 2, because again nothing is faster. The Droid X, the first phone with this processor, released on July 15. So, Palm will be 4 months later in the US. However, in early 2011, Ti is releasing its new SoC, the OMAP 4. This is a dual core chip with each chip running at 1ghz+ (which means at least 1ghz). The L2 cache will be doubled to 1MB shared by both chips. These will be Cortex A9 chips - the first ARM out of order microprocessors - like current AMD and Intel CPUs (but not Atom, which is not out of order). The memory interface is also getting faster. OMAP 4 is going to be a big jump in performance over that of the Pre 2. Imagine how fast Web OS 2.0 will run on the OMAP4! Ti says that they are getting page loads in 2 secs with a dual core processor OMAP4. It is going to be a game changer on multitasking OS's like WebOS.
TI says that in 2011, after OMAP 4 is released, the Pre 2 SoC, the Ti3630, will become a more mainstream SoC. Right now, the Ti 3630 in the Pre 2is only found on flagship or superphones. Which is exactly where the Pre 2 will fit in 2011 - as a mainstream smartphone. Ti says that OMAP 4 has already sampled to its customers. I'm sure Palm has phones running on it right now. Roadrunner?

Somehow they have failed to mention that pre 2 is using the ti 3630 and not the 3430. Everyone just look at 1ghz and think all cpu are the same.
Is this verified that it is 3630 and not 3430?

That's what a decade of computer marketing will do for you. They trained you to just look at the number and nothing else.

you make a really good point. If you were a salesman you would have sold me. But i 'm willing to wait and see what's coming up. I love this form factor, a little better keyboard with treo style keys and a slightly larger screen wouldn't hurt.

Millertime, great comments regarding the processor. Thanks! I hope you're right (and it seems like you are) and I hope a lot of users find their way to your comments.

Lots of comments so I apologize if others have said this.

I'm disappointed in the Pre 2 for much the same reasons as the columnists mentioned. In the days of 4+ inch screens, HDMI out, front and back cameras, and either loads of storage or expandable storage, the Pre 2 comes across as more of a Sprint Instinct style feature phone than a smart phone.

For me personally, I've overclocked my phone to 1G already and never get the "Too Many Cards" error as I don't try to run multiple 3D games at the same time or leave 15 cards open so my Pre Original (purchased July of '09 and never been replaced) is running quite well and will last me quite a bit longer.

I'm not going to leave any ultimatums for HPalm but I really would like to see that whatever they deliver next be a true, out of the park home run. Whether that's a big screen, screaming processor(s), Wii controller functionality, all expenses paid trip to the moon, etc, isn't as important as it being a major leap forward. HPalm can't afford to be evolutionary with the Pre/Pixi line like Apple has been with the iPhone because it doesn't have the large installed base of customers that are loyal to the brand. Without a truly next generation (meaning more advanced than what's out there today) mobile device, my fear is that WebOS will continue to languish in the bottom portion of the "Other" category in market share and market penetration. And while I firmly believe that HP didn't buy Palm simply to get it's IP portfolio, I also believe the people in charge at HP are business savvy enough to recognize a money pit if they see it and won't hesitate to marginalize the Pre/Pixi line or spin it off completely if they don't see the ROI that they expect.

@chinatour: post that on engrish.com, please, too funny, but out of place here

on-topic - @millertime: I can't wait for an omap4 webos phone, it's going to be like having a real computer in your hand. The first true mobile computing experience - seriously, if HP plays it's cards right, the HP Mansion/Roadrunner HD/whatever is going to go down in the annals of history as the first phone of it's kind, a true handheld computer-equivalent.

As much as apple and android's millions of apps tempt me, webos' superior os is just impossible to toss aside. There's just too many time where I accomplish a business-oriented task with my phone and think only two things: "i could not possibly have done that on another platform", and "imagine how fast and awesome that would have been with a dual core processor, 1gb ram, and 4g".

not buying it. i'm keeping my pre for a while but eventually switching platforms. Plus my overclocked seems just as fast as dieters 2.0 in the videos. WebOS is nice but it's shortcomings i can't live with. And the things they are working on just aren't addressing the things important to me. but i'm largely for much better app options and much better music player, and advance features like HD video recording. I was never fond of the form factor either. To each his own. It's just not for me.

Adam nailed it for me. The Pre 2 is coming, great, but what does it mean? Will this be the sole portrait QWERTY slider? Will the Pixi be the only other portrait QWERTY option? Will there be a Roadrunner HD-type device? Are the flagship phones with the best specs destined to always be slabs?

I forget which community member said it, but I'd prefer to live in a castle than a mansion.

Rene Ritchie may have had the best comment of all: The Pre 2 is little more than a place holder. As a place holder I think it does well. The launch, then is confusing. Why so few carriers (just three!) and only one solid launch date? It's possible that Sprint was the one who fouled this up, saying no to the Pre 2. I only hope it's because HP Palm is working on the Pre 2 4G.

Are you planning on buying a Pre 2?

yes, if they redesign webOS and optimize the useability.

I agree with Renee's discussion:

Palm Pre 2 is a place holder.

I don't see refinements as a negative. Lets get *one* design right before we move on to another. Android is a good example of what happens with *too* many form factors and a lack of design constraints. It's a cluster f*** for developers.

I am not your typical Sprint Palm Pre user. Being a SERO subscriber, I was not allowed to have a pre on the network until recently. Compared to the palm Pro, the pre is a big step up. It's all brand new to me so it will be awhile before I get bored.

I got my (like) new pre on eBay with touchstone for $99.
I still have my upgrade so I am ready for whatever palm device Sprint offers next.

Having a pre on Sprint with 500min, 7pm n&w, unlimited text, data, navigation, and anymobile for $40/month is by far the best deal in wireless. Glad I'm stubborn and patient and stayed with SERO.

They may have all those apps, but for any particular phone how many of those apps will actually work as advertised? Especially if you have an old version of Android and your carrier refuses to release an update for your phone. Fragmentation is a *****, isn't it?

Is there nowhere safe from spam?

I refuse to choose!! As a Sprint Pre owner from launch day, I re-fell in love with Palm when webOS came out. I can't imagine a more elegant mobile OS. Now, im temporarily jumping 'OShip' to Android, but ill be damned if i dont have my good old Pre in my left pocket most of the time. (Hey, ill have a wifi hot spot, right?) And when I get home, my HP Envy with Win7 is there waiting for me. I like this multi-platform approach, I think it allows me to have the best off all worlds. I like the spec bump on the Pre 2, and maybe if I find a used one a few months after release day ill grab one for my left pocket, but my overclocked Pre minus is sufficient until I camp out overnight to get a PalmPad. I'm so stoked about this tablet, imna carry it in a bedazzled man-purse for all to see. That's how I roll.

Seriously need better spam prevention here!

Regarding compasses -
I guess I am a nerd, as well as a sailor (OK, ex-sailor. I live in Wisconsin now!) I like a good compass, and I like to hike. To be able to carry a GPS/map that shows right where I am, and North, is very cool. With my Pre, I had to be walking for that to work on my last hike (misplaced my real compass). That being said, I like Touchstone even more, and if that messes up a compass, I guess I'll just buy another cheap compass!

Cameras - Come on HP, get with the times! For a parent shopping for kids, being able to quickly scan a barcode and compare prices is golden! My Droid buddies can do it, I can't with any Pre.

Processor and incremental improvements - sounds like Droid to Droid2, or iPhoneX to iPhone(X+1)

Unfortunately I did jump ship last night to Samsung Epic, though am keeping my Pre, too. I need on-device Epocrates with insurance info, and WebOS2 breaks Classic, therefore Epocrates Essentials will cease to function. Hopefully HP will sell a gazillion new Palm whatevers, Epocrates will get back in the game, and I will be able to buy a new WebOS superphone in a year with minimal early termination fee on Sprint.

(one of the other reasons I got the Samsung Epic was the PLASTIC screen. I drop my phones too much, lol!)

In the business world, a phone must be able to do Office documents, and Exchange, and good PIM (like old PalmOS did!) For medicine, must do an un-crippled Epocrates. hopefully HP will get these features on WebOS2 soon!

I'm 1 of the 66 (at this time) that will probably get the Pre 2 on Verizon. Many little reasons: I moved wife to Verizon a month or so ago; daughter has been there for a while. I almost moved to Verizon same time as wife and was going to get the Pre+, then I heard about the 10-21 EOL. So I waited, but I'm paying for 2 phones on Verizon and 1 on ATT. So I really want to get all phones on Verizon. And I want all contracts to expire near the same time in case I want to change carrier in 2 yrs.

I don't need the latest, greatest, biggest, fastest, most-featured phone. I have no need for a front-facing camera or HDMI. And I don't want to wait another 6+ months for the next-generation Palm (Whatever is announced in CES '11 won't be available 'til summer '11?). I don't like to buy the first version of anything, so when my contract expires I'll get the Pre 3+ :)

The Pre 2 will be replacing an old, tired Treo 680. Pre 2 may not be a SuperPhone, but it's a step up for me. I'm overdue for a new phone.

Well, as seems to be the pattern lately, I agree with Derek. I'm on Sprint. I can't touch a similar plan on any other carrier without spending thousands of dollars more a year on service, so I'm not (probably never) leaving Sprint. The Pre2 is a ho-hum device to me anyway. No big loss; I'll wait it out to see what comes next year.

I'm quite certain that the reason why we don't see this phone on Sprint is that it's not 4G. I know that may annoy some of you, but I could load up my Sprint plan with 4G phones on every line and still not pay as much as I would on Verizon or ATT for 3G. I do plan to get a 4G phone on Sprint in the next year or so. I'm really tempted by the Epic, but can wait it out at this point, so I will be waiting to see what Palm comes up with for next year.

Seriously, the Pre2 may be getting the headlines, but to me the big thing to be excited about is webOS2.0 and a document editing suite from Quickoffice. If it all works on my original Sprint pre, then maybe I'll hang onto this phone indefinitely until I have a compelling reason to buy something different. Probably the only thing that could get me to jump for something new sooner will be a fully loaded horizontal slider with 4G. Think Epic running webOS.

Unless developers and accessory makers jump on board, I don't see anything exciting to wait around for. I'm with AT&T, who doesn't give a crap about any device maker but the iPhone. If I was on Sprint, I'd already have gotten an EVO. If I were on Verizon, I'd already have gotten a Droid 2 or X. Something significant had better happen with WebOS hardware by the time my upgrade comes around next October. Meanwhile, WebOS 2.0 will have to do.

It is still all coming down to development. The moment you open the youtube application one can see how under developed the phone is. There is no login or accessibility to comments and reviews, postings, etc. This is holding true for almost all the applications with toned down versions of applications, sure some of the buttons are nicer but allot of the software just seems 90's ish. I see a ton of potential in the device, and as for the pre 2, the screen size should have been placed at 3.3 inches and utilized the phones available area around the edges of the phone. I believe a 1 ghz processor will be fast enough. Though I still disagree with the naming of this device. This would be a neat Pre series phone such as the 1500.

With the new line of TI (Texas Instrument) processors the available features such as split screen and front facing camera non-touch gestures would be advanced enough to place this is the second generation, and thus the name 2. For some reason not enough weight is being placed on the advancement, and the names, of these phones. Maybe its an evil plot b the elderly to say larger number don't necessarily mean its older(joke).

We can all agree it would be a mistake for HP Palm to move into these processors as the development would be disastrous, ruined, and wasted. We can only hope HP Palm invests good money in a Microsoft back door plan. Hiring Bill Gates and company to design it under Palms roof. Something that exemplifies what their trying to create and places the potential of the device to its fullest. I never thought I would actually feel the weight of company actually struggling that is releasing products. To me I don't believe this is the issue and someone is keeping it together. Though it makes me laugh to think someone from Palm , like a secretary was writing guidelines to fax them to an india firm as they ran out the door and changed their number.

Who is the creator of Palm and the WebOS? After trying to resolve my issues with the company, It seems as if one person walks in develops a bit and walks out the next walks it looks at it add something and walks out. Eventually the bottom people, who wouldn't believe this if you told them, are using the development tools as if there is someone or some group manufacturing first party applications with ease. This is simply not true. We have seen almost zero development after the release. Where are the big names? and why aren't companies working to create trans-coding from apple,blackberry,and android,etc to palm WebOS.

This is must why we are only seeing games being developed. We know it can be done, we have some applications such as bank of America, who isn't spending any wasted time to develop apps for palm. I suppose the issue really is if there are 1.5 million purchases by the time its said there are about 500,000 users. This still should be adequate to create a 2.00 application.