Hands-On: Palm Pre 2
Palm let Phone Scoop spend a few moments with its forthcoming smartphone, the Pre 2. The new hardware makes modest improvements, but it's webOS 2.0 that really impresses.
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The Palm Pre 2 is almost indistinguishable from its predecessor, the Palm Pre. The overall form factor is the same. It's a vertical slider with a touch screen. The most obvious changes to the Pre 2's appearance are the new bevel around the front glass surface, which, by the way, is now Gorilla Glass.
The overall fit and feel of the Pre 2 is solid. It is still skinned in black plastics, and its small, puckish size make it easy and comfortable to hold.
Palm has done away with the button that was on the original Pre, and the Pre 2 is similar to the Pre Plus, which has a gesture area below the display for additional touch actions.
The display looks identical to the original, and the volume toggle, power/lock key, and silencing switch are all identical.
The biggest and most welcome improvement to the hardware is the keyboard. Palm, changed the shape of the keys, and gave them much better travel and feedback. It still feels a bit cramped, but typing is much more satisfying on the revised hardware.
As disappointed as I am with the overall same-ness when comparing the Pre to the new Pre 2, the real changes were made under the hood.
The Pre 2 has a 1GHz processor, and the webOS 2.0 platform absolutely FLIES now. There is absolutely no delay when performance UI actions, such as multitasking, sorting through cards, and swiping around the menus. The speed improvements are real, and definitely appreciated.
Other webOS 2.0 updates are harder to define. The most obvious is the new Stacks feature. Stacks allows users to group cards based on activity or subject matter, and sort through tasks faster. It lets users tie-together actions and my first impression is that once users get over the learning curve, they'll come to rely on Stacks for multitasking.
The other big change up is the new search feature. Now, users have a lot more control over what and how webOS performs searches, and it appears to be fairly powerful.
The Pre 2 is going to be available soon from SFR in France. The model on hand was a prototype, and Palm asked that we note it is not a final, production model.
i don't see that much improvement
iDont Care said:
It's like HP wants it to fail. I mean $hit they could have at least put a front facing camera on the thing. Geez
This phone really does escape you, doesn't it?
Did Verizon cripple the GPS on your Pre 2?