The HP Veer 4G, a mini Palm Pre of sorts, will begin selling on the AT&T network for $100 as of May 15. It's the first AT&T phone to run webOS 2.1.
announced that it will begin shipping the HP Veer 4G starting May 15. The
newest smartphone out of Hewlett-Packard's smartphone-savvy Palm division, it's
priced at $100 with a new two-year contract and looks, at a glance, like the
AT&T, the short and squat Veer 4G is as wide and long as a credit card and
as thick as a deck of cards. It's the smallest phone to date to run webOS
platform, and the first on the AT&T network with the update to version 2.1.
majority of our customers are choosing smartphones but they don't all want the
same thing," Michael Woodward, vice president of AT&T's Mobile Device
Portfolio, said in a statement. "HP Veer 4G gives us a highly unique and
feature-rich smartphone for customers who want something a -little' different."
The Veer 4G
features a 2.6-inch multi-touch display with a resolution of 320 by 400 and a
slide-out QWERTY keypad. There's an 800Mhz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a
5-megapixel camera with video capture and geo-tagging and, naturally then, GPS
and the option for navigation services. Additional features include 8GB of
internal storage, email and messaging support, compatibility with HP's
induction-based Touchstone charger, easy access to the webOS App Catalog, and
Stereo Bluetooth 2.1 and WiFi connectivity.
AT&T DataPro 4GB plan, users can turn the phone into a mobile hotspot for
up to five devices.
The Veer 4G
comes with Facebook and YouTube already integrated, and the Web browser-said to
be "advanced," per AT&T-supports Adobe Flash. Also unlike the
iPhone, it'll be immediately available in black or white.
compatible with HSPA+ (Evolved High-Speed Packet Access), the 4G flavor
currently offered by AT&T and T-Mobile. AT&T confirmed to Engadget: "The Veer supports HSDPA [High-Speed
Downlink Packet Access] Cat 10 and HSUPA [High-Speed Uplink Packet Access] Cat
6. For reference, this is the same for the Motorola Atrix 4G and HTC Inspire 4G,
both currently available from AT&T."
the matter of that OS upgrade. According to the Palm developer site, 2.1 is the
biggest WebOS update to date, offering perks for both consumers and developers.
One of these is said to be "stacks," a way of reducing on-screen
clutter for simpler multitasking. Based on the "cards" metaphor that webOS
uses to represent on-screen widgets and applications, users can drag and drop
cards to make stacks, or let the OS do it for them.
Also new is
Just Type, an improvement on the phone's Universal Search capability.
the many Just Type enhancements is a powerful feature called Quick Actions,"
HP explains on its developer site. "Start an
email, create a message, update your status, search your favorite websites-all
without having to launch an app."
HP, wanting to
join PC competitors Apple and Dell in the lucrative smartphone space, last year
purchased the faltering Palm for $1.2 billion. The primary motivation for the
sale, according to HP officials, was webOS, the platform developed by then Palm
CEO and former Apple employee Jon Rubinstein.
purchase, Rubinstein was brought on board to continue overseeing smartphone
production. The first smartphone the team released after the HP sale was the
Palm Pre 2, which wasn't quite the new-and-improved something "other"
that many people were expecting.
himself and his team at a tech event in December, Rubinstein insisted,
according to a report from the Associated Press, "This is just the beginning.
It's not game over."
argue that the only evidence to support that claim is the webOS-running HP
TouchPad tablet that the company introduced in February.
analyst Sarah Rotman Epps wrote in a blog post shortly afterward, "This
product has a chance to beat RIM and any individual
Android tablet, but not Apple, not this year or next."
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.