It has been more than six months since HP officially took the wraps off of the Pre3 and it looks like the company is finally getting ready to bring the phone to market. Pre-orders for an unlocked model of the Pre3 have started on HP’s official German website, but don’t get too excited: the German variant has a QWERTZ keyboard instead of the QWERTY layout we’re accustomed to. Other specs include a 1.4GHz Qualcomm processor, a 3.6-inch 800 x 480-pixel resolution display and a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording HD video. The German Pre3 is priced at €349 ($500) and HP expects the phone to ship within one to two weeks. We expect to hear more about U.S. availability shortly now that the device is launching in other parts of the world. More →
Last week, Woot dropped the price of HP’s webOS-powered TouchPad tablet to just $379.99, the lowest price the tablet had seen yet. Despite such an attractive offering, only 612 people purchased the tablet during the Woot sale on August 5th. That’s roughly 25% of the 2,288 Motorola XOOM tablets Woot sold in a single day last month. We suspect HP has struggled to attract consumers because it took 140 days to deliver the device to market — a lengthy time frame that certainly watered down consumer interest. It also probably also doesn’t help that HP has struggled to bring the Pre3, which can share websites seamlessly with the TouchPad using Touchstone, to store shelves. Perhaps the 1.5GHz processor-packing 4G version due to hit AT&T later this year will fare better. In the meantime, HP officially cut the price of the TouchPad to $399.99 for the 16GB version and $499.99 for the 32GB model following a sale that was initially advertised as ending earlier this week. More →
HP updated its Pre3 website with changes that suggest the company has swapped out the phone’s single-core processor for a dual-core chip. The site now includes a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chip in the phone’s spec sheet, as opposed to the original 1.4GHz Scorpion CPU that was originally listed. In June the Pre3 began popping up on U.K. retail websites with a July 8th launch date, but that day has come and gone and the Pre3 has yet to make an appearance. Perhaps the processor tweak has been responsible for the delay, but that’s not yet clear. Additionally, it doesn’t appear that the company has tweaked any of the phone’s other specifications. The Pre3 passed through the FCC in May and it is expected to launch on Verizon Wireless in the U.S. Unfortunately, we’re still not sure when the device will actually hit store shelves. More →
In my review of the HP TouchPad, which we published last night, I went off on a tangent about the “touch-to-share” functionality Hewlett-Packard introduced with the TouchPad tablet and the Pre 3 smartphone. I think it bears repeating. In a nutshell, touch-to-share allows the user to tap a webOS smartphone to the TouchPad in order to push any URL in an open browser page from one device to the other. I wrote at length about this feature, which is still in its infancy but exhibits tremendous potential. But the real value for touch-to-share goes far beyond the technology itself. The feature is great and HP can take it in a million different directions, but the bigger picture here is that touch-to-share can become an amazing way for HP to differentiate its tablet from the competition in a way that might actually pique consumers’ interest. Tech companies are so concerned with catching up right now that they forgot a very important piece of the puzzle: valuable differentiation. Flash, for example, is not a way for a company to differentiate its products — just ask the senior RIM executive who recently made a plea for RIM to step up its game. Companies are so concerned with pushing media tablets out to market that they’re forgetting to give consumers a reason to buy them over the market leader, the Apple iPad. If an Apple competitor ever wants to see real, long-term success with a tablet line, valuable differentiated features like a mature touch-to-share solution are paramount. With that, hit the break for my thoughts on the technology, as originally seen in our review of the HP TouchPad. More →
It has been exactly 140 days since Hewlett-Packard first unveiled the TouchPad, and I think of it as the first device to emerge from a post-acquisition Palm team that has really been tested over the past few years. To be fair, it will actually be the third webOS device to launch since HP took over Palm, but the the Pre 2 was a leftover from before the deal went through and the Veer never should have been been released. But yes, the Palm team has been through a lot: from botched acquisition talks, to the brink of collapse, to resurrection through Elevation Partners’ investments, to a brilliant new web-based mobile operating system, to the announcement of the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse, to BGR exclusively reviewing the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse before any other site on the planet, to the launch of the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse, to the failure of the phone that would save its business from the brink of collapse, and finally, to HP. Can a company that once lead the industry come back to regain mind share, market share and profit share following a roller coaster ride like that? Hit the break to find out if the TouchPad pushes the company’s mobile business in the right direction or if it is another dud from a company that could be dominating the market.
HP’s webOS is already tightly integrated with a number of services but now it appears that the OS will soon offer Skype integration, too. According to leaked screenshots, users will soon be able to choose to route their calls directly through Skype from the phonebook application, an option that will no doubt save international callers a big chunk of change. Similarly, users may also be able to place Skype video calls, allowing them to use the front-facing camera on the Pre 3 for video chats. It’s unclear when the integration will be introduced, but this has us more excited than ever for the Pre 3 to finally hit store shelves. More →
Hewlett-Packard finally announced details surrounding the launch of its first webOS tablet last week, but nary a peep was made about its upcoming flagship smartphone, the HP Pre 3. The TouchPad tablet will become available in the U.S. on July 1st starting at $499.99, and now it looks like the Pre 3 could launch exactly one week later on July 8th. U.K. retailer £349.99 (about $565) unlocked and contract-free, which is very reasonable for a brand new smartphone. On this side of the pond, we’re still expecting the Pre 3 to launch at $199.99 with a new two-year carrier agreement, and the availability of unlocked units is unknown. We’ve been waiting to get our hands on a production Pre 3 ever since we first saw the sleek smartphone back in early February, and it looks like the wait might almost be over. More →
When Apple finally added cut, copy and paste support to iOS, it made the long and painful wait its customers endured completely worthwhile. Apple’s implementation was so much better than competing platforms, it really wasn’t even in the same league. The UI was fantastic and the operation was both intuitive and precise. This is what we have come to expect from Apple when it corrects its past mistakes and omissions. And yet with the introduction of a completely revamped notification system in iOS 5, the Cupertino-based technology giant took a different approach: it did not lead, it followed. I’ll elaborate… More →
The Federal Communications Commission recently released documents outlining the testing and approval of Hewlett-Packard’s upcoming flagship smartphone, the HP Pre 3. Beyond the idea that the public release of these documents could mean that an official announcement isn’t far away, the documents also reveal that the CDMA version of the Pre 3, thought to be coming soon to Verizon Wireless, also includes global GSM compatibility. This would make Verizon’s version of the anticipated webOS phone a world phone. The FCC had previously released documents covering the approval of a GSM-only Pre 3 model thought to be headed soon to AT&T. BGR took a hands-on look at the Pre 3 back in February at HP’s Think Beyond event, and we called the device “the webOS smartphone we’ve been waiting for.” Unfortunately, it’s now three months later and we’re still waiting. More →
WebOS enthusiast blog PreCentral.net on Thursday published a series of screenshots from HP’s upcoming webOS 3.0 operating system for the TouchPad tablet. The images were pulled from an emulator as opposed to an actual device but we can still see several areas of the OS such as the Web browser, the virtual keyboard, Bing Maps, the music player and the messaging app. BGR took a hands-on look at the HP TouchPad when it was announced in February. We found the tablet to be quite impressive, especially in its integration with webOS-powered HP smartphones. HP’s CEO said in January that the company would be narrowing the gap between device announcements and launches, yet HP still has not announced release details for the TouchPad or the two smartphones announced in early February, the Pre 3 and Veer. Hit the break for more images of webOS 3.0. More →
Enthusiast blog PreCentral has revealed images of two of HP’s latest smartphones, including one unannounced device that would be the first webOS phone without a hardware QWERTY keyboard. There’s little in the way of known specs about this touchscreen-only phone — possibly codenamed “Stingray” — but it does appear that the screen is in the 3.2-inch to 4-inch range, although it’s hard to tell based on the angle of the picture. There also appears to be a front-facing camera on the device, and that would also be a first for HP. The Palm Pre 3 was announced in February — and we’ve already gotten our hands on one — but a new image shows it running on Verizon’s CDMA network. Verizon Wireless hasn’t specifically said whether or not it will carry the Pre 3, but it did offer the first two iterations so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll see this one soon. Hit the jump for the Pre 3 photo. More →
We’ve just scored some hands-on time with HP’s latest and greatest smartphone and needless to say, we have some quick preliminary thoughts and feedback to share. We’re not going to beat around the bush here… this is the webOS smartphone we’ve been waiting for. When Palm debuted webOS on the Palm Pre, we were blown away. The OS was truly a breath of fresh air in a smartphone industry that was starting to look very flat in terms of appealing options. As much as we loved the OS is as disappointed we were in the hardware, however. The build was bad, the keypad was entirely too small and the display was miles behind the competition. The Pixi hardly helped Palm’s case, of course, and the Pre 2 is a phone we would have just as soon seen HP scrap. The Pre 3 is webOS’s saving grace in the near-term smartphone space. The build and feel are as close to perfect as we can hope for, the 3.6-inch 480 x 800-pixel display is sharp and stunning, and the keyboard is finally — finally — spread out and usable. WebOS also screams on this puppy thanks to Qualcomm’s next-generation 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor, offering a fluid UX that rivals even the slickest of smartphones currently on the market. Definitely check out our HP Pre 3 gallery below and don’t forget to view our hands-on impressions of the HP Veer and HP TouchPad as well!
At the company’s highly anticipated media event today, HP announced a pair of new yet familiar smartphones: the Veer and Pre 3. The Veer is a webOS-based smartphone bucking the current industry trend of “bigger is better.” The device has the Pre, pebble-like shape — complete with slide-up keyboard — and a 2.6-inch, 320 x 400 pixel, capacitive touchscreen display. The Veer is powered by a Snapdragon 7230 processor running at 800MHz, has an HSPA+ radio, and sports Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 +ERD, 8GB of internal storage, rear-facing camera (no flash) and mobile hotspot capabilities. The device will be available “this spring.”
Next, the company rolled out the Pre 3. The newest Pre maintains its familiar form and packs a 3.6-inch capacitive touchscreen display with 480 x 800 pixel resolution and gesture area, the “largest QWERTY keyboard”, 1.4GHz Qualcomm processor, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 +ERD, 8GB or 16GB of on-board storage, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and HD video recording capabilities, Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, and a front-facing VGA camera for video-calling. The device will be available in HSPA+ and CDMA Rev. A flavors sometime “this summer.”
Both the Veer and the Pre 3 are listed as having “the same amount of RAM as the Pre 2″ — 512MB.
Not that radically different from the current webOS smartphones out there, but some nice spec upgrades. The timeline is a little too lengthy (summer for a revamped Pre?) for our tastes… what do you think?