Palm Pre Plus review

The smartphone market has come a long way since Palm first showed off the Pre at the beginning of 2009. HTC’s Android handsets now rival the best Apple has to offer, and there’s a whole host of bargain basement phones vying for your cash, all offering multitasking, web browsing, and app-downloading loveliness. The Palm Pre Plus – the second generation Pre – has its work cut out.

Anyone hoping for dramatic improvements, though, is going to be disappointed. The only obvious visual difference is the removal of the button from below the screen on the front, leaving more room for the touch-sensitive gesture strip, allowing you to swipe back and forth without anything getting in the way.

Palm Pre Plus open

In the button’s place is a thin horizontal LED that lights up to confirm those gestures – a nice touch.

Subtle changes improve the ergonomics slightly too, with the previously stiff screen-slide mechanism smoothed out, the keyboard raised a touch, and key action made more clicky. Otherwise, the Plus is the same size, shape and dimensions as before, and with the same 3.2in 320 x 480 resolution screen.

Those small ergonomic changes make a bigger difference to usability than you might think. Typing in particular is much more comfortable than before (although the outer edges are still a touch too sharp). It’s also nice to have an extra 8GB for storage – the Pre boasts a total of 16GB now.

Palm Pre Plus keyboard

And webOS makes as good an impression as it did the first time we encountered it. It can be confusing at times, with messages assigned separate tasks from the email inbox, but largely browsing through open applications is elegantly handled and intuitive. The Messaging view is likewise excellent, as are Calendar and Contacts, seamlessly bringing all your Facebook, LinkedIn, Exchange, Yahoo and Google information together in one unified view.

Details

Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £35.00
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider shop.o2.co.uk

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 5hrs 30mins
Standby, quoted 15 days

Physical

Dimensions 60 x 17 x 100.5mm (WDH)
Weight 139g
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard Physical

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 256MB
ROM size 16,000MB
Camera megapixel rating 3.0mp
Front-facing camera? no
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 3.2in
Resolution 320 x 480
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family webOS

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