HP Pre3 turns Palm's smartphone pro

The first HP-branded Pre handset is being promoted as a business-friendly smartphone, thanks to its multitasking features and processing power
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

HP has unveiled the business-focused Pre3, the third iteration in a smartphone line bought up by the company when it acquired Palm last year.

HP Pre3 smartphone

The HP Pre3 uses WebOS operating system, which will also be built into PCs. Photo credit: HP

The original Palm Pre and the Palm Pre 2, were pitched at the general public, but the HP Pre3, announced on Wednesday, is being promoted as an enterprise device. The handset, which uses the WebOS operating system that HP also intends to build into PCs, delivers significant improvements on its predecessors in terms of screen size and resolution, processor power and keyboard size.

"In the suite of WebOS products we're introducing today, Pre3 is our premier phone, designed for the speed of business," Jon Rubinstein, former Palm chief executive and current head of HP's Palm Global Business Unit, said in a statement. "It enables professionals to accomplish more of their important workday tasks while easily keeping their fingers on the pulse of their personal lives."

The handset has a 3.58-inch touchscreen with a 480-by-800-pixel resolution — the Pre 2 had a 3.1-inch, 32-by-480-pixel display — and its processor is clocked at 1.4GHz to the Pre 2's 1GHz. The Pre3 offers what HP calls "business-class email" and encrypted data storage, along with industry-standard VPN support.

The Pre3 supports HTML 5 and Flash 10.1, and has a forward-facing camera for video calls. It will include the Quickoffice Connect mobile productivity suite for Word and Excel editing, and comes with 8GB or 16GB of internal storage.

One exclusive feature announced by HP is the ability to touch the Pre3 against the HP TouchPad, a tablet also revealed by the company on Wednesday, to share web addresses between the two devices. The Pre3 will also be usable as a wireless mobile hotspot to provide connectivity to the TouchPad and other Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

Pricing for the Pre3 has not yet been announced, although the company did say it would be availble sometime this summer. Another newly-announced HP WebOS handset, the tiny Veer, will come out earlier, in the spring.

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