Palm Pre 2 (CDMA)

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Reviewed by alphacheez (Currently owns)

The Pre2 is a great device for WebOS fanatics. I use my Pre2 on a VZW MVNO (PagePlus via Kitty Wireless) which means my phone bill is only $30/month which has 2100 minutes of talk and 3000 text messages but only includes 100 MB of data . Since I'm usually around wifi the small data allowance is no problem and the Pre2 is very good at recognizing wifi hotspots and allowing you to log in easily.

The hardware is solid with the keyboard sliding mechanism feeling very nice and the performance is vastly superior to the Pixi Plus used previously. I can type faster on the hardware keyboard than I could on my iPhone 3g software keyboard though it's not quite as nice and clicky as the Pixi Plus.

Sometimes I'll find the phone has chewed through 40% of its battery over a couple hours even when "asleep" though usually battery life is no problem lasting a full day without needing a charge and lasting many days with light use. I have 3 touchstone inductive chargers throughout my apartment so I just toss the Pre2 (which includes the inductive charger back) on one of those when I remember.

The 3rd party app ecosystem is very limited compared to Android or iOS but the homebrew community and Preware are great and let you customize the phone in many useful ways. Some of these allow many shortcuts in the main menu including brightness controls, bluetooth and data connection toggles and wifi configuration as well as a flashlight function that turns on the LED camera "flash" to work as a very nice short range flashlight for lighting your path and looking for stuff in dark corners. You can also do things like overclock the processor and get apps from outside the official app catalog.

The gesture interface is great in a way that makes me want all other phone/tablet/desktop OSes to copy it. Notifications are another great example of where WebOS gets it right by having notification icons show up at the bottom of the screen and letting you either go to the appropriate app or swipe them away. Other OS vendors are taking note and making their systems behave similarly.

Adobe Flash more often than not it is too sluggish to be worthwhile. The rest of the browser is more fluid than my iPhone 3g or Palm Pixi but there are some sites that have text too small and require pinching and zooming combined with scrolling around beyond double-tap zooming.

The resolution and size of the display are too low by modern smartphone standards and limit the web experience possible on the device but apps are designed to work with this resolution.

I would recommend this phone to people who love WebOS and would like a cheap off contract phone for use with an MVNO or prepaid plan, it is better than the lowend android or feature phones offered with many of these plans.

The Breakdown

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  • 8
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  • 10
  • Design 8
  • Display 6
  • Camera(s) 6
  • Reception / call quality 8
  • Performance 8
  • Software 8
  • Battery life 6
  • Ecosystem 3
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