Palm Pre 2 hands on

Just as Pocket-lint revealed that it would, HP has announced the UK arrival of the Palm Pre 2.

And we were invited to take a look at the webOS 2.0 touting device ahead of it becoming available in stores on 15 November (and perhaps even earlier via Palm.com).

And, at first glance, it looks just like the Palm Pre Plus - only sleeker.

And that's because it's boasting a glass capacitive screen, instead of the Plus' plastic one - so it's much flatter and more refined.

It's not just on the outside that the hardware has been revamped. The CPU has been doubled to 1GHz and the camera jumps from 3 to 5-megapixels.

And, of course, there's the new OS on board, bringing with it a raft of new features including enhanced multitasking due to the inclusion of a new "stacks" feature, where you can pile related cards, and the introduction of Just Type to replace the universal search.

There's also more Synergy options in webOS 2.0 and Flash 10.1 is installed so you can enjoy YouTube on the go.

Andrea Palisca, senior product manager at Palm, explained to Pocket-lint that the mix of new hardware and software means a better user experience.

"The biggest benefit to users will be the performance increase", he said. "Coupled with webOS 2.0, which has been optimised and re-architectured to be much faster overall, it really brings to life the webOS experience".

Palisca also explained how developers will have much more access to the Pre 2's main functions, including Synergy, Just Type and the launcher. This is a totally different approach to Apple, who shut off access to iOS' key processes.

"It's a web-connected device", he said. "We just can't keep up, integrating with all the services that are out there. We have to let third parties build this ecosystem and make it highly integrated.

"Developers can become really creative with what they can do with the opportunities available to them".

The Palm Pre 2 will cost £399 and will be officially available on 15 November. It's a SIM-free device at the moment, with no network partnerships announced.

The original Palm Pre came out with O2 in the UK to great fanfare, so we questioned the network as to why it wasn't on board with the sequel's launch.

We were told: "We’ve always offered our customers a choice of experiences when they come to buy a new phone and we were excited to add webOS and the Palm Pre to our range. We’re still fans of webOS - the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus are available from us today - but won’t be taking the Palm Pre 2".

Sounds like a polite way of saying "not interested" if you ask us. Only time will tell to see if other networks come on board.

And you can read exactly what we think of the Palm Pre 2 in our comprehensive review, which is coming soon.



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