Palm Pre 2 webOS smartphone

Palm Pre 2 review: The Palm Pre 2 has outdated hardware compared to its rivals, but webOS' handling of multitasking and notifications is excellent

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Palm Pre 2
  • Palm Pre 2
  • Palm Pre 2
  • Palm Pre 2
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Superb multitasking and Web browsing
  • Excellent notifications and elegant UI
  • Full QWERTY keyboard

Cons

  • Below average build quality
  • Small display
  • Sluggish performance

Bottom Line

The Palm Pre 2 webOS phone handles multitasking and notifications with ease and has an elegant and intuitive interface. However its below average build quality, small display and sluggish performance make it difficult to recommend over iPhone and Android alternatives.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

The Palm Pre 2 smartphone isn't distributed in Australia, but its webOS operating system will soon make its way into the HP Pre 3 and HP Veer smartphones thanks to HP's acquisition of Palm last year. The Palm Pre 2 has dated hardware compared to its rivals, but webOS' handling of multitasking and notifications as well as its elegant interface are very appealing.

Read our comprehensive Palm Pre Plus review, and our detailed previews of the HP Pre 3 and HP Veer smartphones.

The Palm Pre 2 is best described as a slight enhancement of the Palm Pre Plus. It features the same body that looks like a large pebble and slides up to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard. However, the glossy black plastic of the Pre Plus has been dumped for a better feeling rubber-style finish, while the Pre 2 display is flatter, providing a more ergonomic feel. Also gone is the cheap feeling micro-USB port cover. Build quality is improved when compared to its predecessor, but the Palm Pre 2's hardware remains inferior to the likes of the iPhone 4 and the HTC Desire.

The Palm Pre 2 uses 'Gorilla Glass' which Palm claims make it less prone to scratches and marks. The 3.1in display is clear and vibrant, but lags well behind the competition and can't produce the same crisp text or vivid colour. The smaller display also dampens the mobile Web experience, even if webOS generally handles most other tasks well.

The Palm Pre 2 Pre is relatively easy to type on once your fingers get used to the keyboard layout — those with larger fingers will find it a bit cramped, and the raised edges surrounding the keyboard can dig into your fingers while typing. The Palm Pre 2 also gets an upgraded 5-megapixel camera compared to its predecessor's 3Mp snapper, and a 1GHz processor compared to the Pre Plus' 500MHz CPU.

In addition to slightly upgraded hardware, the Palm Pre 2 also has the latest version of webOS. It adds to the already superb multitasking and notifications system by introducing 'stacks', enhancing the card system by allowing multiple cards per application. The latest version of webOS also uses a comprehensive universal search tool called 'just type', a new launcher, enhanced text editing and spelling correction, support for Flash Web browsing and is claimed to offer a faster start-up time.

The Palm Pre 2 retains the Pre Plus' excellent "gesture area" which is much more effective than tapping back on the top left corner of the screen or pressing the home button, as you would on an iPhone. It also handles notifications with ease, and its Web browser is excellent at handling tabs; these are launched as separate cards and can be closed and switched just as you would any application.

The Palm Pre 2 and webOS are not perfect; you can't customise notification tones, text correction remains inferior to competitors, the e-mail app offers limited functionality and general performance (particularly opening applications) is sluggish. Despite these issues, the Palm Pre 2's handling of multitasking and notifications, as well as its elegant interface, are very appealing features.

The Palm Pre 2 is not officially sold in Australia, but a model that will work on Telstra's Next G network can be purchased through online retailer MobiCity.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: HP, Palm, webOS, mobile phones, Palm Pre, smartphones
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?