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HP Pre 3

HP Pre 3 webOS smartphone

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Review So it’s come to this. After a potentially brand-saving buyout by HP and the launch of a well-received – at least critically, if not commercially – operating system with webOS, Palm is finally on the way out.

HP Pre 3

End of the line: HP's Pre 3

Recently, HP announced that it is discontinuing webOS and besides the Touchpad, the other casualty is its brand new top-of-the-range Pre 3 smartphone, which never really hit the shelves big time here in the UK.

Indeed, reviewing the HP Pre 3 initially seemed a daft idea if you couldn’t buy one, but sources are appearing, in particular, Carphone Warehouse. So if you fancy a really rather exclusive smartphone and a piece of history, the HP Pre 3 has it all, and it turns out to be a pretty good all-rounder too.

HP Pre 3

Bigger than its predecessor, but 1mm slimmer

The new model looks like a slightly stretched version of the Palm Pre 2, with a bigger keyboard and larger screen. It retains that cute, curved design with rubberised plastic casing, and though it’s a little larger than its predecessor, it’s also ever so slightly thinner, measuring 64 x 111 x 16mm and 156g.

Around the sides are a volume rocker and micro USB power/sync slot, with a power/sleep button, mute switch and 3.5mm headphone jack on top. The touch screen has gone from 3.1 to 3.6in and the resolution’s been upped to 800 x 480 pixels from the PRe 2's 320 x 480. It’s sharper and bigger, all the better for viewing websites and movies – what’s not to like?

HP Pre 3

The feel of the rubbery keys might not suit all users, but hit the spot all the same

The slide-out Qwerty keyboard has a touch of the Marmites about it – not everyone likes the feel of the sticky, rubbery buttons. On a practical level though, it’s fine. There are 35 keys in all, larger than on the Pre 2 and well spaced. They offer a satisfying amount of feedback with a reassuring click when you connect, and the number keys are arranged in standard keypad layout, which makes it easier to reach them with one thumb.

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Next page: On the cards

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