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HP Pre 3

HP Pre 3 webOS smartphone

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Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: On the cards

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