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HP Pre 3 official photos show lean, mean webOS smart phone

Besides unveiling its HP TouchPad tablet and HP Veer smart phone, HP took the wrappers off another webOS phone last night, the Pre 3. It's a beefed-up version of previous Pre models.

Stuart Dredge
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If the tiny HP Veer smart phone doesn't float your webOS boat, HP has another new device to tempt you: the HP Pre 3. It's larger and more powerful, with a beefier processor and two cameras, plus a bigger slide-out keyboard.

The processor is a 1.4GHz Snapdragon, compared to the 800MHz one found in the HP Veer. The Pre 3 also has a 3.6-inch touchscreen, a bigger battery and, like the Veer, runs Flash Player 10.1 in its HTML5-friendly Web browser. It can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot too, for up to five other devices.

It also has one more camera than the Veer: a rear-facing 5-megapixel model with LED flash, and a front-facing VGA cam for video calling. Both new webOS devices also play nice with the HP TouchPad tablet, using its touch-to-share feature to share Web addresses.

This seems like something of a gimmick if we're honest, but we're hopeful the feature will be developed further in the future: letting you transfer photos and videos between the devices with a touch, for example.

The language being used by HP about the Pre 3, however, offers strong hints that it's being aimed squarely at suited 'n' booted types who want "a multitasking professional workhorse". Here's HP's smart-phones boss, Jon Rubinstein: "Pre 3 is our premier phone, designed for the speed of business. It enables professionals to accomplish more of their important workday tasks while easily keeping their fingers on the pulse of their personal lives."

Those users will appreciate Pre 3's corporate email and data encryption features, as well as the ability through HP's new Synergy service to hook the device up to their Microsoft Exchange and LinkedIn accounts. HP has also struck a deal with Quickoffice to include its Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite for viewing Word and Excel docs on the go.

HP says we can expect to get our hands on the Pre 3 this summer, although as yet no UK operators have stuck their hands up to say when they'll be selling the device, and for how much.

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As with the new HP Veer, you won't see the Palm logo on the Pre 3.
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The slide-out keyboard is for typing and texting when a touchscreen just won't do.
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As befitting its business audience, the Pre 3 looks solid and robust.
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At 16mm thick, the Pre 3 is still pretty slim.

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