The Palm Pre 2's history starts, unsurprisingly, with the original Palm Pre. When it launched, many had high hopes for it to be the device that rivalled the iPhone for slickness and ease of use.

Unfortunately, sales never really bore this out, but the webOS-powered phone received an iterative update in the Palm Pre Plus.

Now we have the Palm Pre 2. The HP webOS operating system has had an upgrade to version 2.0, which brings a host of new features.

The addition of Flash 10.1 is one of the biggest changes, though the most obvious difference for general use will probably be the new Stacks feature, which groups multitasking cards together to make it even easier to browse your apps.

Palm pre 2

There are some handy behind-the-scenes changes, such as HP Synergy for tying apps into your Messaging, Contact and Calendars, which will enable Facebook instant messaging to be added to the unified Messaging app.

Internally, the processor has been boosted to 1GHz, bringing it up to the standard of modern smartphones such as the HTC Desire HD and Samsung Galaxy S. The camera has also been upgraded, now shooting at five megapixels, rather than its predecessor's three.

So will all these changes mean this latest version of the Pre is more than just the small update the Pre Plus was?

Palm pre 2

There's still all of the good old specifications knocking around too, of course. 3G data connectivity, Wi-Fi access for speedy browsing and the physical keyboard all return, along with Palm's App Catalog for expanding your software collection.

The Palm Pre 2 is available unlocked for £399. It's not subsidised through networks at the time of writing.