How would you create the perfect webOS device?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: July 29, 2012

In my earlier article today, I brought up webOS, and how the battery wasn’t all that great. I mentioned the Palm Pre and Pre Plus, but I could have also included the Pixi Plus in there, too. I’ve used all the webOS-based devices that managed to make their way State-side (which means I didn’t get any time with the Pre 3, unfortunately), and my time with those devices was pretty great. Yes, the battery life on the handsets wasn’t great, but that didn’t matter to me. Using webOS was worth it.

What’s interesting to me about that statement, is that there were a lot of things going against webOS. It didn’t really get any better with any subsequent handset launch, either. While the original Pre was heralded as a great device, especially with its portrait slide-out keyboard and smooth stone look, after using it for a little while, it quickly became apparent that the physical design wasn’t the best after all.

The Pixi and Pixi Plus were great devices. Actually, if I had to be perfectly honest, I’d say that I liked those two webOS-based devices more than I liked the Pres. I’d prefer a larger display on the Pixi, but other than that the Pixi wins in my book. That keyboard was just so good.

It’s a sad state, even now, that thinking about the past is the only way that we can really keep appreciating webOS. There doesn’t look to be any major future for the platform, so all we have are hypothetical situations. All we have are our dreams.

So that’s exactly what I want to gain access to this afternoon. I want to talk to all the webOS fans out there. I know you exist. I know that there’s quite a few of you out there, too. You’re like me: you went to a different platform because there’s no other option.

So let’s dream a little. Even if we can guess webOS won't revitalzied in 2012.

Let’s build the perfect webOS-based smartphone. After all, webOS was just too early for its time, I think. It didn’t get a fair shake. It really did lead the way in multitasking, but it was hindered by the technology of the time. Could you imagine how truly great webOS would be today with the hardware that we have now? Impressive wouldn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

But I’m torn on form factor, to be honest. I like the TouchPad from HP running webOS, but at the same time I think webOS almost needs a physical keyboard, with a space between it and the touchscreen for the gesture area. Gestures and webOS go together, so I think we need to keep that. That should go without saying.

Starting from the inside out, if I had the ability to create the perfect webOS-based device, I’d start with the Qualcomm MSM8960 1.5GHz dual-core processor. I think this particular chipset has proven its worth in its time within the Galaxy S III here in the States, and would be able to power webOS quite nicely throughout the day without having to worry about any kind of stuttering. That, coupled with at least 2GB of RAM? Pure magic.

As far as the phone itself? I think I’d go with a larger Pixi Plus. Something with like a 3.8-inch display, with maybe a Super LCD to boot. Like we see on the HTC One X now. I’d still want that chiclet keyboard that’s on the Pixi Plus now, but it would obviously be made bigger and more accessible. LTE-connectivity, with all of the bells and whistles like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS.

I think I’d want it to be manufactured by HTC or Nokia. With the former’s One Series, and the latter’s Lumia 900, they’ve shown an entirely new level of design elements and top-tier craftsmanship.

At the base level, I think that’s something that could make webOS come back in a big way into the smartphone race. With BlackBerry OS apparently on its way to finding the door out, there could be some room for webOS to climb the ladder again. A race at the bottom between Microsoft and whoever took control of webOS would be pretty fantastic, if you ask me.

So how would you build your perfect webOS? What would you include? Add? Is there anything you’d take away? Let me know in the comments below!

Products mentioned