HP Veer review

It's progress from the Pre, but not without eccentricity

HP Veer
Highly logical messaging is a big bonus

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HP veer

We're not going to discount the HP Veer as a video phone, but the screen is just too small to watch videos, even if they are of skateboarding punk gerbils.

There is a YouTube app on the HP Veer, but we found that it integrated only occasionally on the phone. The app opens when you click a YouTube link in the browser, and when you rotate the phone you can watch videos in landscape mode. YouTube sound quality was quite poor even through our own headphones.

HP veer

The 8GB of storage is adequate for just a few albums and movies. There's no way to add more storage for music or videos, though as one again HP (like its Palm predecessor) has eschewed a microSD slot for expansion.

WebOS certainly shows promise with its somewhat limited multitasking – you can start a movie or TV show and then minimise that card and come back to it later.

There's an Amazon MP3 client for buying songs but no way to rent or purchase movies unless you do so beforehand on a computer and copy them over.

HP veer

Like all of the apps on the HP Veer, the music player is functional and works well, but offers no real surprises or innovation. The webOS platform hasn't attracted too many big name developers, but at least there's a Pandora client for playing music.

Unlike most Android phones, there's no widget architecture to drop the music app onto a home screen, although you can place the music app icon on the app bar below the main screen for quick access. The player supports common formats such as MP3, AAC and WAV.

HP veer

Playback on the Veer is another beast entirely. Sound quality was distorted and lacked power no matter which external player we tried – including playback in a car and an MP3 dock.

The video player worked well, but again has a limited value on such a small phone. There's no way to run an HDMI cable from the HP Veer to your HD TV for movie playback - although we doubt the demographic HP is aiming the Veer at would really be hankering to do this.

The main point when it comes to media is this: the small screen makes movie watching something you would do only when you're extremely desperate.

The Photo app is just passable – the one new feature with webOS 2.0 is that you can set photos to play in a slideshow when you dock the phone or charge it. Swiping through photos works well, but the 800MHz processor did introduce some lag compared to a faster, more powerful phone, such as the Samsung Galaxy S2.

There's no FM radio option on the Veer, and we found no options for DLNA streaming - merely higlighting how the Veer is not really a phone designed for the media aficionados out there.

John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.