HP Debuts Palm Pre 2 with 1-GHz Processor and webOS 2.0

HP on Tuesday introduced the Palm Pre 2 and its refreshed operating system webOS 2.0. Unlike Microsoft, which just had its Windows Phone 7 launch event last week, or Apple, who has a launch event for each new iPhone, HP has decided to go low-key with its Palm Pre 2 announcement, perhaps because the phone doesn’t look much different from its predecessor.

The Palm Pre 2 looks almost identical to the first Palm Pre, but this time around it will include the revamped webOS 2.0, a 1-GHz processor, and a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and video recording. The phone has the same 320 x 480 HVGA screen and 16GB of memory as the Palm Pre Plus. The Palm Pre 2 will first debut in France on Friday and then launch on Verizon Wireless in the U.S. in “the coming months,” according to HP. Fans can sign up for more info about the Pre 2 at www.palm.com/pre2.

Unlike the incremental nature of the Palm Pre 2 hardware upgrade, webOS 2.0 looks like a major re-working of the OS. It will offer Adobe Flash content in the browser, enhanced multitasking with a new Stacks feature that groups open apps together, a better version of Just Type that makes it easier to start e-mails and texts, and Skype Mobile for Skype-to-Skype calls.

We’re disappointed that the Palm Pre 2 doesn’t look like a major upgrade, especially when compared to the latest offerings from the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7 platforms, but we do like the power of webOS and can’t wait to try 2.0. We’ll just have to keep waiting for our dream Palm phone—a Pre HD running webOS 2.0 with a bigger, high-resolution screen, an 8-megapixel camera with high-def recording, and an enhanced keyboard.

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