HP announces smaller and larger Pre phones, kills Palm brand

HP held a webOS event today and revealed a couple more smartphones modeled after their Pre line. It looks like they will remain a niche player in the smartphone market and let others compete for the lead.

I started using Palm devices back in 1997 and as of today it appears the Palm brand is dead. HP held their webOS event today down in San Francisco and our own James Kendrick was down covering the event. In regards to smartphones, HP simply announced smaller and larger Palm Pre devices, the Veer and Pre 3, that build on the Palm Pre 2 I looked at a couple months ago. My biggest complaint with the Palm Pre form factor has been the display size so it looks like the Pre 3 may address this, but build quality was also a major factor so I hope HP also addressed this.

HP Veer

I have no idea who was asking, if anyone, for a smaller Palm Pre or Pixi device, but HP decided to roll one out with the Veer. For me, this device is a step backwards as the small display size of the Pre (3.1 inch) and Pixi (2.63 inches) was a major issue for me.

Specifications of the HP Veer (so sad to see the Palm brand not applied here) include:

  • 2.6 inch multitouch 320x400 pixel resolution display
  • Qualcomm 800 MHz processor
  • Quad-band GSM and HSDPA 7.2 (likely just an AT&T device)
  • Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • 5 megapixel camera
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • GPS receiver
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 910 mAh battery
  • 8GB integrated memory (6.5 GB user accessible) with no memory expansion capability
  • Dimensions: 3.31 x 2.15 x 0.59 inches and 3.63 ounces (Yes, it is TINY)

In typical fashion for these announcements, we have no pricing information and a vague spring availability time period.

HP Pre 3

The HP Pre 3 is what one would expect for a standard upgrade to the Pre 2 with very little innovation or thinking outside the box from their previous lineup. I am not saying it had to be the same as all the other large touchscreen slabs, but after a couple of years with the Pre form factor I was thinking they might have come up with something distinctive. This device will have HSPA+ and EVDO Rev. A support so we will likely see it on Verizon and/or Sprint and AT&T. I doubt T-Mobile is getting any webOS love so that is another reason I won't be picking one up.

Specifications for the HP Pre 3 include:

  • Qualcomm 1.4 GHz processor
  • 3.58 inch 480x800 pixel resolution display
  • Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • 5 megapixel camera
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi
  • GPS reciever
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 1230 mAh battery
  • 8GB or 16GB integrated memory with no memory expansion capability
  • Dimensions: 4.37 x 2.52 x 0.63 inches and 5.5 ounces

The Pre 3 looks fine and will appeal to those few webOS fans, but with a new iPhone coming out this summer as well it will likely remain a niche device in the smartphone market.

Are any readers excited about either one of these devices or are you holding out for the next iPhone?