Firstly, let us begin by applauding the use of literary assonance in the brave, new name. When HP acquired Palm we imagined the branding and marketing teams had a few sleepless nights trying to decide whether to stick with the Pre moniker, and we have to say that we're glad that they did. Now it's just a matter of time before LucasArts announces the Star Wars C-3-Pre-0 edition, preloaded with the most annoying ringtones imaginable.
HP appears to have picked up the Pre family exactly where Palm had left it, before the former acquired the latter. The Pre 3 features a similar slide-out QWERTY keyboard form factor as previous Pre handsets with matching rounded edges as well. The Pre 3 sports a 3.6-inch WVGA colour display, which is slightly larger than the iPhone's screen, but smaller in size than most of the top-tier smartphones we saw in 2010.
One of the most interesting aspects of the third-gen Pre is that it is one of the first handsets to make use of Qualcomm's new Scorpion processors, clocking in at 1.4GHz. HP matches this power with 512MB RAM, which should keep things running fairly smoothly, and the option of either 8 or 16GB of user accessible storage.
The Pre will run on the latest version of HP's WebOS, which by all reports is an absolute beast at multitasking, thanks to its "card"-based user interface.
We're still waiting to hear from HP about whether the Pre 3 will make its way down under. Technically speaking, the Pre 3's 900/2100MHz HSUPA network capabilities make it compatible with most of Australia's 3G networks. Plus, the familiarity we have with the HP brand gives us hope that at least one of the Aussie telcos will take a punt on getting the Pre brand into the Australian market to shake up the iPhone-Android domination we've been seeing of late with a bit of healthy competition.