CNET First Look
Palm Pre 2 (Verizon Wireless)The Palm Pre 2 is finally available from Verizon, but should you wait for the HP Pre 3? Find out in our First Look.
-Hey everyone, I'm Bonnie Cha, senior editor at cnet.com and I'm here with your first look of the Palm Pre 2 for Verizon Wireless. The Pre 2 was actually announced back in October but it's now just finally being released on Verizon. Unfortunately, the timing of the release isn't the greatest since HP just announced the Pre 3, but the Pre 2 is still worth a look. The design of the phone is very similar to the previous versions of the Pre. It's got the same overall shape, but the edges are a little sharper, and instead of a glossy finish, you now get a soft touch finish all around the edges here. The screen remains the same at 3.1 inches with an HVGA resolution. It's sharp and clear but I have to say that looks quite small now after testing smartphones with 4-inch displays. Part of that reason is because you have a gesture area right below the screen where you can return to the home screen or return to the previous page. The QWERTY keyboards didn't feel all that different from the one on the Palm Pre Plus. I've got pretty small hands, so I don't have a lot of problems using the keyboard. But I think if you've got larger thumbs, it will take some adjustments since the buttons and keyboard space isn't particularly roomy. But the design isn't what's important here, it's the OS. It's been a long time since we've had a webOS device to test out and I've definitely missed it 'cause I think it's a great operating system. The Pre 2 ships with webOS 2.0 which is the latest version and includes a handful of new features. This includes the new stacks functionality. Basically, it expands on the deck-of-cards multitasking capabilities by grouping together similar activities in a stack of cards. This is so you can better manage all of your different tasks. For example, you can see here that my e-mail inbox and a new message are stacked together and here's a music player with the Amazon mp3 store. Palm also enhanced universal search which is now just called Just Type. Basically, you can enter a search term and the system will look through your contacts, e-mails, apps, web, and more. There is also something called Quick Actions that basically lets you start typing an e-mail, text message, or status update anywhere from the phone and then allows you to complete the task with a simple tap of a button. WebOS just keeps getting smarter and the Pre 2 has other great features like a 5-megapixel camera and mobile hotspot capabilities. I think it's a very capable smartphone, but knowing about the HP Pre 3 is coming out this summer with a bigger screen, world phone capabilities, faster processor, and more, I'll be inclined to wait. If you can't though, the Pre 2 is available now for $149.99 with a 2-year contract. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the Palm Pre 2.