HP Veer 4G Review
HP indeed managed to turn some heads in the industry during their “Think Beyond” event back in February, where they unveiled their treasure trove of new webOS devices ranging from small, medium, and large offerings. Starting with their smallest bundle, the HP Veer 4G is headed to AT&T’s lineup bringing along its cute form factor, while still paying homage to some of the Palm Pre’s legacy with its miniaturized appearance. For a smartphone, the HP Veer 4G definitely comes off as being approachable thanks to its diminutive size, but let’s hope that its size doesn’t hinder it from making it usable with most operations.
- HP Veer 4G
- Proprietary USB Cable
- Wall Charger
- Get Started Guide
- 3.5mm headset jack adapter
Impressively, the HP Veer 4G is one amazingly compact smartphone that basically looks like a miniaturized Palm Pre – but it feels much more sturdy than its forefather. Literally able to fit comfortably within the palm of our hand, thanks to its rounded edges, the handset retains that pebble like appearance with its contrasting white exterior and completely clean looking polished display. Moreover, we’re digging its tough plastic construction mainly because dirt and debris stand no chance when it comes to sticking on. Clearly, it’s better constructed than the original Pre, while there is still a little bit of weight (3.63 oz) with this surprising ultra-compact model.
You can compare the HP Veer 4G with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Due to its tiny size, we’re greeted with only a 2.6” capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 400 pixels and support for 262k colors. Blatantly, the tight spacing undoubtedly limits our interaction, especially when it comes to scrolling and pinch zooming. Although text might look clear and distinguishable in the app panel, it’s rather difficult to make out with the web browser – thus requiring us to zoom-in as much as possible. Thankfully though, we like its natural looking color production and great viewing angles, which combine together to allow us to still view stuff on screen under direct sunlight.
Below the display, we find the handset’s gesture area, which is used to execute a variety of functions, and even act as the handset’s notification system as well by illuminating when messages come in. Sadly though, especially being an HSPA+ enabled device, the HP Veer 4G lacks a front-facing camera.
Requiring some force to get its keyboard exposed, we’re presented with the familiar 4-row keyboard layout that’s been the staple of all webOS smartphones thus far. Without a doubt, buttons are extremely cramped, which makes it a challenge to use for anyone with larger fingers, but we like the acceptable feedback that buttons exhibit when they’re pressed. Mainly due to its small size, our output in speed typing is indeed limited.
Quite distinguishable to the finger and well sized since it juts out from the left edge of the handset, we’re bummed to find out that the volume rocker has a stiff feel to it when pressed. Additionally, we’re not fans of the proprietary data/charging port on the right side, as opposed to finding something more traditional like a microUSB port. However, there are magnets on there to allow either the USB cable or 3.5mm headset adapter to fasten tightly onto it.
On the top edge, there’s a spot for a lanyard, plastic cutout that hides the SIM card slot, vibrate switch, and the handset’s prominent and tactile dedicated power button.
Flipping it over, we find only the handset’s 5-megapixel fixed focused camera, which regretfully omits a flash – with the speakerphone grill positioned directly next to it. Unlike previous webOS devices, there is no easy way to access its battery, which really requires you to meticulously pry off its rear cover. After carefully removing it, the rear cover is still attached to a ribbon cable and the battery is protected by a metal plate.