Quick Review: Palm Pre 2

Summary:  The Palm Pre2 was the last phone released by the technology pioneer, Palm, Inc. prior to its acquisition by HP.  Running a unique, and ahead of its time OS called webOS, the Palm Pre2 addressed a number of shortcomings in the previous Palm Pre phone and increased interest in the platform.

Released in October 2010 in Europe and one month later in November in the United States, it provided a more advanced flat Gorilla-glass screen (in place of the curved plastic of the original Palm Pre), a faster processor and an upgraded camera.  In addition, although minimal by 2014 standards, the 16GB of flash RAM provided substantial space for music, movies, and more in 2010, especially considering the fact that, when optimized, webOS apps were and continue to be smaller than most iOS and Android equivalents.  Unfortunately, webOS was backed with fewer resources and hampered by its release more than 3 years after the Apple iPhone.  The lack of supported integration with Apple’s immensely popular iTunes music store was another significant disadvantage.

Optimal Market: Users who were heavily invested in the webOS ecosystem, and/or who were heavy users of a physical keyboard (e.g. former Blackberry users).

Sub-optimal market:  At the time, users who needed critical apps, such as Skype, Documents to Go, and more.  Users who are significantly invested in Apple’s or Google’s ecosystem of apps, hardware, and services would have found this device to be less than ideal.

Considerations:

  • Physical Keyboard:  With a removable battery and a physical keyboard, the Palm Pre2 was especially appealing to road warriors who had previously been enamored of Blackberry devices.
  • Removable Battery:  Due to the removable battery, users could quickly continue working while away from power for an extended period.  This appealed to heavy travelers.
  • Wireless Charging:  This device used Palm’s unique TouchStone charging capability to become one of the first devices to support the highly convenient, if somewhat slower, ability to charge wirelessly.
  • webOS Platform End of Life:  While webOS was never a fully accepted platform, it was ahead of its time in some areas.  Unfortunately, webOS is no longer supported by HP, with the HP app store (App Catalog) no longer being available as of 2015.  As such, the native OS on this phone will retain its limited usefulness.

Requirements (any one of the following):

  • Runs webOS.

Approximate Retail Price:  $100 (used)-$150 (new)

Purchase Link (Amazon):  Palm Pre2 Smartphone (Unavailable)

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