HP Pre 3: First look at the latest webOS phone

We got a chance to play with the Pre 3 at HP's 'Think Beyond' event.

While the HP Veer is targeted at first-time smartphone users, the Pre 3 is for the person who wants to do everything on their phone. It has a nice mix of business and multimedia features with the horsepower to do it all. I was only allowed to use the keyboard and a limited number of apps on the Pre 3 in the hands-on area. I got slight deja vu for CES 2009 when Palm launched the first Pre--we couldn't even touch it.

[ TouchPad vs. iPad: Does HP have a chance? ]

Still, the Pre 3 is a nice upgrade from the original Pres. In design alone, the upgrades are apparent. Unlike the original Pres, the Pre 3 doesn't feel plasticky. The hinge on the keyboard feels secure too (the older ones always felt on the verge of snapping) and the soft-touch backing makes it comfortable in hand.

HP made a big deal about the improved, larger keyboard, but I'm still not a huge fan of it. Yes, there seems to be more space between the keys and a larger surface area, but I still felt my fingers cramping as I banged out a message and made a few errors. Click the photo to the left for a close-up look at the keyboard.

In terms of business features, the Pre 3 has VPN and data encryption in addition to Exchange support. It also has a front-facing camera for making video calls. HP announced that the Pre would launch with a Skype app, but they were not demoing it at this event, unfortunately.

For all of your video watching purposes, the Pre 3 sports a 3.6-inch 480-by-800 WVGA display which is two times the resolution of the first Pre. It also has a 5-megapixel camera with HD video capture. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to test out the camera.

The Pre 3 supports HSPA+ (so it is coming to either T-Mobile or AT&T and you better believe it will be marketed as a "4G" phone). It will also support EVDO Rev. A so it can be used as a world phone. Most intriguing, the Pre 3 has a Qualcomm 1.4 GHz processor. In my very limited hands-on time, the Pre 3 seemed pretty speedy, but I really need to do full testing on it.

What do you think of the Pre 3? Is it enough to revive webOS and compete with the likes of the iPhone 4 (and upcoming 5) and the army of Android superphones?

Full PCWorld Coverage...

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesHewlett-PackardPhonesconsumer electronicsPalm

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ginny Mies

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?