Print 70 comment(s) - last by omnicronx.. on Oct 22 at 2:40 PM

  (Source: HP/Palm)

HP's Palm Pre 2 features webOS 2.0 and improved internals, but only packs a tiny 3.1-inch 320x480 display.  (Source: HP/Palm)
New device features a tiny 320x480 and won't launch in the U.S. until next month -- what is HP thinking?

Today Palm ended weeks of speculation unveiling the Palm Pre 2 (previously code-named Mansion) and its new webOS 2.0.  HP has shown its hand and it appears as underwhelming at best.

On the surface the device itself seems reasonably well-equipped, containing the kind of high-end hardware you'd find on a high-end Android phone.  The phone packs a 1 GHz processor (doubling the original Pre's processor which was underclocked to 500 MHz).  The camera is bumped from 3 MP to 5 MP.  Memory holds steady at 512 MB -- the same as the Pre Plus.  And the Flash storage -- 16 GB -- is also identical to the Pre Plus'.

The biggest disappointment is the screen.  The Pre 2 still packs the same 3.1-inch 320x480  HVGA display as its predecessor, at a time when Android and Apple have graduated to higher resolutions.  Other potential downside is the lack of microSD support and the lack of support for the latest/fastest 802.11n wireless standard.

If this was Hewlett-Packard's grand scheme to use its recent acquisition Palm to make a splash on the smart phone market, something seems to be missing. 

Compare Palm's launch today with Microsoft's launch of Windows Phone 7 next month and you'll realize that Palm is at a distinct disadvantage.  Palm only has one new handset -- Microsoft has nine (as does Android, for that matter).  Palm supports apps (including Angry Birds and Oprah Mobile!), Skype, Bluetooth, and VPN, but Microsoft is expected to support these things as well (and Android already does).

One of the only advantages that Palm holds over Microsoft is that webOS 2.0, features a refined version of true multitasking, which is available for both third party and built-in apps.  Windows Phone 7 is expected to only support multitasking for built-in apps, not for third party apps.  Then again, the iOS and Android platforms already support true multitasking, so Palm is hardly in a league of its own here.

The success or failure of the Pre 2 ultimately matters little to HP, other than perhaps as a matter of pride (it's chief rival Dell is designing/launching multiple upcoming Android and Windows Phone 7 smart phones).  HP can afford to sustain Palm even if the experiment isn't working out, in interest of one day trying to conquer the phone market.

But in the face of a fast-advancing smart phone market, HP needs to do something at some point if it ever wants to get ahead -- more handsets -- better hardware than its competitors -- some decisive advantage.  That something is not the Palm Pre 2 -- a single smart phone with a tiny, low-resolution screen and lack of brand recognition. 

But HP seems determined to go its own way and will launch the device into the packed market anyways.  The Pre 2 will launch Friday in France and in "coming months" in the United States and Canada.

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Interum Release
By omnicronx on 10/19/2010 11:52:02 AM , Rating: 2
Something gives me a feeling this is an interim release for Palm, just to keep them relevant until their new devices hit next year. (Their have been spotting's of a higher resolution Palm device recently)

I would also like to point out that the Pre screen while small, is quite good :) Unlike most Android phones, and pre iPhone4, it has always had a nice 24bit display and great contrast ratio and colour reproduction. Some Android phones (ex Droid X) do have them, but don't take advantage of it in many of their apps which are only 16 bit.. such as the photo app. The EVO and incredible and Nexus one are just plain old 16 bit displays.

Certainly does the Pre 2 does fall short if this was expected to be their flagship device for the next year, but I don't think that is the case. (Could perhaps even to boost sales during the holiday season who knows).

RE: Interum Release
By VitalyTheUnknown on 10/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: Interum Release
By inighthawki on 10/19/2010 2:28:38 PM , Rating: 3
8-bit? I don't know what year you're living in but I've had 32-bit color on my LCD panels for quite some time now...

RE: Interum Release
By DM0407 on 10/19/2010 3:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
All monitors produce only three colors, RGB. The color pallet is determined by the GPU. 8bit color is only 64 unique colors, which is less than a Crayola box.

How's your NES looking on that new flat screen?

RE: Interum Release
By VitalyTheUnknown on 10/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Interum Release
By inighthawki on 10/19/2010 7:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for copy and pasting information from another website. We all know what color depth and dithering is.

Also, you completely changed the definition of the OP's comment. He referred to 16-bit color as the total color depth, not the 8v6 bit you are talking about. It is you who sounds like an idiot intermixing two definitions then blaming others for not understanding.

RE: Interum Release
By VitalyTheUnknown on 10/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Interum Release
By inighthawki on 10/19/2010 8:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to:
The EVO and incredible and Nexus one are just plain old 16 bit displays.

to which you responded with:
Most LCD panels for TV and computer monitors are 8 bit and you are not satisfied with 16 bit on tiny 3.2-4.3 inch screens, this is ridiculous.

to which you took out of context and changed definitions. Also I would apologize since I did not think before osting that when in fact I meant 24-bit. I am very used to working in 32-bit color models specifying an alpha channel in graphics programming.

RE: Interum Release
By dsumanik on 10/20/10, Rating: 0
RE: Interum Release
By omnicronx on 10/22/2010 2:40:57 PM , Rating: 2
I think he means the digital processor that comes with your LCD.. 8bit was the standard for a very long time. This confuses people all the time.

It refers to the amount of discrete colors (well its more or less levels of intensity for each color) each sub pixel (i.e R, G, and B) can produce. 8 bit (2^8) is 256 variations per sub pixel. 10 bit (2^10) is 1024 and so on..

Not the same thing though as color depth as you've nicely pointed out ;)

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