It's the Palm Pre 2!

It's the best smartphone you've never heard of: the Palm Pre, the comeback model of veteran smartphone makers Palm, was much loved by reviewers when it debuted in early 2009, but didn't sell that well.

Now, a proper sequel is finally coming out. The Palm Pre 2 will be released in France on Friday, and Palm - now owned by HP, after a whopping $1.2 billion buyout - say it'll come to the US and the rest of Europe 'in the coming months.' It's a subtle upgrade, but includes a 1GHz processor, taking the Pre up in the speed camp to around iPhone 4 territory.

What's more, the Pre 2 comes with WebOS 2, the sequel to the original's much-loved operating system. With more sophisticated multitasking, better performance and a host of little tweaks, it looks slick.

Will any of this be enough to restore Palm to its former glories as a leader in the smartphone market? We'll have to see, but having one of the world's largest PC manufacturers on your side can't hurt, right?

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