May 4, 2011 at 12:40 PM ET
The HP Veer 4G will be available May 15, sold exclusively by AT&T for $99.99 with a two-year contract.
The 3.63-ounce Veer is the computer maker's first phone using the user-friendly webOS operating system, used on Palm devices. HP bought Palm last year. HP also announced a tablet, the TouchPad, earlier this year, but it will not be out until this summer.
AT&T describes the phone as good choice for "feature phone or quick messaging phone users looking for all of the features and capabilities of a smartphone without compromising on size and style," and says it will be the "smallest full-featured HP webOS smartphone to date and AT&T’s first to run the latest version of webOS software."
The Veer has the "4G," or fourth-generation, wireless label, but there's an asterisk by that from AT&T, which is now buildings its 4G network: "4G speeds delivered by HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul. Available in limited areas. Availability increasing with ongoing backhaul deployment. Requires 4G device and compatible voice and data plans. Learn more at att.com/network." (And, to learn more about what 4G is, or isn't, read "Is 4G for me?')
GigaOM notes that the "small size of the Veer 4G may underwhelm some, but it’s only the first of the new webOS handsets that will be launching this year. And along with the diminutive size, which some will actually see as positive, the up-front cost is priced to match this small but capable smartphone. In fact, this little handset may be the perfect complement to the larger HP TouchPad, a 9.7-inch tablet that runs on the same platform: WebOS handsets can interact with the TouchPad through HP’s Touchstone wireless technology. You can start browsing, for example, on the Veer 4G and continue viewing the same website on the TouchPad by tapping the two devices together."