HP Veer Q&A: These are the answers you're looking for | webOS Nation

HP Veer Q&A: These are the answers you're looking for

by Derek Kessler Tue, 10 May 2011 6:38 pm EDT

On Monday we asked for your questions on the soon-to-be-released HP Veer. With more than a hundred responses, we couldn't answer them all, but we selected a several of questions submitted that we could answer (we can't answer how well they expect the Veer to sell, for example) and put our knowledge of the Veer to work. After the break, we answer more than two dozen of your questions about the Veer, ranging from GPS performance to hardware hackability to security to what it smells like.

Pavvento asks…

All things being equal (price, carrier, magnetic port) which phone would you choose as your everyday phone, the Pre 2 or the Veer?

If we start equalizing things like the magnetic port, then we're just making the phones equal, in qhich case there's no real difference, right? If we normalize things like carrier and price, I think I’d still go with the Pre 2. It’s mostly a matter of the app selection, as the Pixi/Veer-sized screen just doesn’t have as good of a selection of PDK apps as the Pre-size. Of course, that could cause problems down the road when I switch to a Pre 3…

Ulairi asks…

Am I able to put my Pre 2 SIM card into the Veer?

Yes, it takes a mini-SIM (that being the standard size of SIM used these days; a straight "SIM card" is actually a credit-card sized beast). Of course, the Veer is an exclusive to AT&T, so I expect it’s likely also carrier locked.

Joe asks…

What version and build number of webOS did you review on the HP Veer?

The Veer I reviewed was running webOS 2.1.2, Build 2296. This is likely to be the release version.

Lancepr asks…

How is the GPS? Does it lock fast and accurate in YPmobile and Google Maps?

GPS is quite fast. Loading Google Maps doesn’t take that long over the HSPA+ network (it’s notably faster than on Sprint’s 3G) and by the time it’s up I already had an initial lock, followed a few seconds later by a more precise location.

kkhanmd asks…

How does boot time compare to Pixi?

From a cold start, the Pixi takes approximately two minutes to boot. I just shut down and turned the Veer back on and it took 1:52 to boot. So it’s pretty close to the same (right around where the Pre 2 takes to boot as well).

blinktreo asks…

How do you find the typing? I've got reasonably big hands, and my Pre- is pretty capable, but I can't imagine going much smaller.

I’ve got fairly normal-sized hands (I think?), and I have had no problems typing on the Veer. It was a surprisingly easy adjustment, and by surprisingly easy adjustment I mean there was no adjusting at all. Of course, your hands and mileage may vary.

ukdoc asks…

Does the Veer support whole device encryption? My work Exchange server requires this - the Pre 2 doesn't and I badly need a new phone.

I’m afraid it does not, sorry. Perhaps a future version of webOS will.

idigress asks…

How do you feel about the white finish? Do you think it will be prone to scuffing or discoloration? I haven't made up my mind about which color to get.

I’ll be honest, I’ve dropped the Veer three times and it’s come up unscathed every time. My only qualm with the white finish is that it’s not as soft-touch grippy as the black. As for discoloration, I really can’t say for sure, though I know any discolored white plastics I’ve had before always cleaned up nicely with a bit of isopropyl alcohol.

circadian asks…

Have you tested it with Bluetooth headphones, and how is the quality of sound? I recognize that that has as much if not more to do with the headphones.

I’ve tried the Veer with a Plantronics BackBeat Bluetooth headphones (the best consumer-grade Bluetooth headphones on the market, if you ask me) and it sounded great.

brendilon asks…

How likely does it seem that someone could 'Veerinstein' one of these babies onto Sprint?

Impossible. The “Plussing” and “2-ing” process of bringing a newer phone onto Sprint relied upon the shared parts compatibility of the Pre, Pre Plus, and Pre 2. In particular, the comms board and antennas. The Veer does not share any compatible parts with any other webOS phone, and thus won’t be hackable onto Sprint.

Nightburn asks…

Does it come with a pouch like the original Pre? If so, can you post a picture of it?

No, it does not come with a pouch. Yes, you may have a picture of the pouch that doesn’t exist. Here you go:

Chickenlegs asks…

Does it sport any type of MiFi or hotspot capabilities?

Yes, the Veer comes with Mobile Hotspot preinstalled, though it does require a compatible service plan through AT&T.

nyallj asks…

If you buy an off-contract phone on AT&T, do they unlock it? Or would they unlock it if you mentioned you're going overseas?

Generally, no. You can always ask, but it doesn’t seem likely.

Linger asks…

Can you install Preware on the Veer yet? How many patches and homebrew apps work?

Yes. WebOS Quick Install recognizes the Veer as “broadway-linux” and Preware installs and launches just fine. From the PreCentral, WebOS Internals feeds, Beta, and Web feeds, there are 983 apps and one patch. The reason for the absence of patches is because they haven’t yet been tested for compatibility with webOS 2.1.2 on the Veer, so they aren’t recognized as available for the version of the OS. That one patch probably shouldn't be showing as it is.

Mike5 asks…

Joshua Topolsky’s review said the Veer was slow, hung up and froze often. But PreCentral nor any of the other reviewers have mentioned this; in fact, most reviewers seem quite happy with the speed/snappiness of the Veer. Did you all experience any of the hang ups, freezing of the screen, or slowness that this guy mentioned, or were you overall happy with the performance of the Veer?

Only occasionally did the Veer seem to lag on me, and that was when I was asking it do a lot at once (like run multiple PDK games). Like the Pre 2, it would hang up momentarily if I received multiple emails at once, but by and large performance was roughly on part with what I get on my Pre 2. Which is to say it’s snappy and relatively fast, but still has it’s stupid moments.

gollyzila asks…

Based on the Veer's $100 price, what do you predict the Pre 3 to sell at?

Probably right at $199.99, though really I'm just guessing. $99.99 is a fair price for the Veer, I can say that much.

Dtreo asks…

Does it smell exactly like a panda?

I went to the zoo to verify, and yes, it does. I’m told the black one smells like a gorilla.

cmilette asks…

I know this might be a stupid question, but can you put it in USB drive mode? If so, is the file transfer somewhat faster than normal USB connections (since it utilizes that spell pin-cord thingy).

Yes, it goes into USB drive mode. No, it’s not any faster. The magnetic pin connection is merely a different arrangement for the same five pins that make up a micro-USB port.

Nightfish asks…

How loud is the speaker and how good are the ringtones? I tend to have my phone in my jacket and sometimes miss calls because the phone is not loud enough.

The speaker is surprisingly loud. It’s not going to make you go deaf, but it's loud enough for the things you'll use a smartphone speaker for (speakerphone, impromptu music listening, etc) The problem is where the volume is set – alerts and system sounds are almost unforgiveably quiet in comparison to ringtones and media audio.

MAdam asks…

In your review, you complained that the headphone-cable-down adapter interfered with typing and it's design made it impossible to attach up-side-down. However, Laptopmag.com's review complains that the headphone-cable-up adapter interferes with the power button and has the photos to prove it. Are there two headphone adapters floating around in meatspace?

I’m not going to say that Laptop Mag got it wrong, but in every other instance I’ve seen, including my own personal experience with the review Veer and the Veer at Think Beyond, the headphone adapter points down and only down. The magnets will attract upside down and latch on and the phone will recognize that the headphone adapter is there, but the pin connections don’t meet and audio isn’t transmitted to the headphones.

nyallj asks…

Nobody's talking about QuickOffice on the phone which HP says is supposed to come pre-installed. Is it there? How is it working if so?

The version of QuickOffice preinstalled on the Veer is just like that in webOS 2.0: it’s a viewer and nothing more. We long for a full-featured document editor just like you.

Proximity asks…

Is it possible (for a boxer) to slide-close the Veer with his biceps?

At least with our Veer, the case proved to be too slick to do it without using another hand to hold it in the crook of the elbow.

Rnp asks…

Is there some sign of Touch-To-Share?

None that’s readily evident. HP says the hardware is there and it just needs a webOS update to enable it, and we’ll take their word for it.

What about other languages options?

As this is a US-released device, the options are English and Español.

iTunes Sync? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. That’s been gone for a long while, and it’s not coming back any time soon. Maybe.

Can you use one profile in two devices?

Sadly, no, at least not yet. It’s another thing HP has promised is coming eventually, and we can’t wait for the day it’s actually available (it’ll make reviewing phones so much easier).

Thanks to everybody who submitted thier questions! If you have any further questions about the Veer, post them in the comments here and we'll do our best to answer what we realistically can.