Palm Pre 2 review

We take a look at the Palm Pre 2 – the first HP webOS 2.0-powered smartphone to be launched. Is it good enough to tempt you away from an iPhone, a Blackberry or an Android phone? Read our review to find out.

Palm hasn't really touched the slide-out QWERTY keyboard so it's pretty much the same as the one you got on the Pre and the Pre Plus. This is unfortunate as the small keys aren't ideal for composing long emails or taking notes. It's not awful by any means, but if you're expecting something that will rival the BlackBerry Bold 9800's excellent keyboard you will be gravely disappointed. The slide-out action does feel a lot smoother though.

Palm and HP have substantially improved the other hardware specifications of the Pre 2. The camera is now an impressive five megapixels, which is a vast improvement on the three megapixel model present on its predecessor. The quality of shots that can be taken with it are well above average. There's also 16GB of storage too, which should be more than enough for most users.

The Pre 2 has a 1GHz Texas Instruments Omap 3630 processor which is much faster than the chip used by its predecessor. The obvious benefits of this are palpable as soon as you turn on the Pre 2. There's no lag, the touchscreen is extremely responsive and it makes multitasking run very smoothly. The latter is increasingly important for professional and casual users alike.

Battery life was in line with our expectations. Even with heavy use of 3G data, the battery managed to last a working day with charging every night a necessity. The Touchstone charger, which lets your recharge the Pre 2's battery simply by placing the phone on top of the charger, still costs extra but the necessary charging backplate for the phone is now included in the box with the Pre 2.

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