Back in the day, the original Palm Pre was an iconic device despite its delayed launch and Palm's funding problems. WebOS undeniably has one of the most original concepts for a platform with the card-based webOS, but the Pre seemed to be always plagued with problems and the most important one of them is the lack of massive developer support as seen on iOS or Android. The HP Pre 3 marked an important threshold – the end of the Palm era and the transition to HP for webOS. We were eager to take our hands on the upcoming Pre 3 to see if it has the potential to build on the legacy of Palm, so read on.
The HP Pre 3 brings initial relief – the screen is finally bigger than on previous Pre handsets at 3.58” with a WVGA resolution (480 x 800 pixels). Actually, the whole device is notably bigger. But at the same time, 3.6 inches is starting to be considered a bit small in the high-end segment and with its Summer release date the Pre 3 might remain the only flagship handset with such a small screen size. Nevertheless, it is a big improvement and webOS looks even better on the HP Pre 3. And it is not only the looks – the whole experience feels richer. The handset is compatible with the Palm TouchStone wireless charging dock as well.
Of course, this handset is all about the QWERTY keyboard – the bigger size allows for more space between buttons, which contributes to a faster and almost error-free typing. The universal “Just type” search on webOS will let you fully appreciate the presence of a physical keyboard.
But most importantly, we wanted to see smooth transitions and speed on the next Pre. And we have to say that the performance doesn't disappoint – with a mind-blowing 1.4GHz Qualcomm single-core Snapdragon CPU and 512MB of RAM, webOS flies on the Pre 3. The handset also comes with a 5-megapixel shooter with 720p HD video capturing capabilities on the back and a front-facing VGA camera. Connectivity is well covered with support for Wi-Fi b/g/n, as well as Wi-Fi router functionality for up to five devices using HP mobile hotspot. The device's HSDPA bands allow for downloads of up to 7.2 Mbps.
In the software department we will see webOS 2.2. And it is the first Pre with Touch-to-share, which allows you to instantly send content such as URLs to other compatible devices like the HP TouchPad. A well rounded package, isn't it? Finally, the Pre seems to stand a chance among the other smartphone heavyweights. If only it could come out earlier!