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Palm Pre 2

One thing we always liked on the Pre and Pre Plus was the way the screen's curved corners reflected the curves of the device itself and the white-on-black of the top and bottom notification areas makes the text look like its hovering outside the screen. This is something that's been carried over to the Palm Pre 2 and its just as joyous to look at, even if the curved corners do waste a few pixels.

The LCD screen itself is decent if unexceptional quality. It's sharp, produces bright colours and has adequate viewing angles. It's no Retina display but is still nice to use.

The Palm Pre 2's camera has also been bolstered from 3.2 megapixels to 5 megapixels. It has an LED flash but lacks both autofocus and HD video. Given that WebOS doesn't have shortcuts on its homepage, this is one device that could really do with a hardware shutter button for quickly activating the camera but sadly this is also lacking. The camera app is nice enough to use but is severely lacking in options. All told, this really isn't one of this phones highlights.

So far the Palm Pre 2 doesn’t look like much of an upgrade but the single most important thing, aside from the new software is a new faster processor. Up to 1GHz from 600MHz on previous devices, it feels considerably snappier making all the lovely animations of WebOS fast and slick. In this regard, it really is lovely to use.

Also helping to improve performance is the new software, which now properly supports using the phone's graphics chip to keep the interface ticking over nicely. The overall look and feel has been smartened up as well.

Most prominent in this regard is the new Stacks feature. Just to give a quick bit of background, WebOS is very multi-tasking centric with apps displayed as cards on the homescreen that you can swipe left and right between. Stacks now allows you to stack related cards on top of each other. So you can keep all your web browser cards in one stack and all emails in another. It greatly neatens things up and makes multi-tasking even easier. That said, it could still do with a little bit of fine tuning as it can be a little awkward to pull out cards from the stack and rearrange them.

Also added is support for Adobe Flash in the web browser and it seems to work very well - better than on many Android devices in fact. Like Android you can, and should for better overall phone performance and battery life, make the flash content only load when you select it.

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