If you're in the market for a smartphone that isn't an iPhone, and you don't think that you're ever going to want to listen to music on said phone, the Veer 4G ($100) might be worth a look. However, due to the poor experience with the headphone jack, and high price (compared to the iPhone 3GS), I really can't recommend this phone.
According to HP, the small size of the Veer shouldn't translate to a lack of functionality. The phone has a 2.6-inch 320x400 multitouch display, an 800Mhz CPU, 512Mb of RAM, and 8GB of flash storage. But it's the size of the Veer that is easily its most impressive feature. It's hard to describe how small it is — you just have to hold it in your hand to see. It's so small that I was frequently worrying about losing it. I don't think it's possible to make a phone much smaller (maybe you could do this size, but thinner). I did like carrying it around, and as I have shifted more of my non-Mac time to the iPad, I could see having a smaller, less powerful phone that is something of a "tablet companion." That being said, I think that for all-around use, the 3.5-inch display in the iPhone is probably the sweet spot, in terms of still being pocketable, yet providing a good size for use. Yet there might be a killer product in the space — I could see how people might prefer a smaller phone, like the Veer.
See more from areitz's review after the break.
The keyboard, however, was a bit strange for me. After nearly four years of continuous iPhone use, I am quite used to an on-screen keyboard. So, it took me awhile to get used to having a hardware keyboard around. But my typing speed and accuracy seemed to be fine (especially since webOS will auto-correct mistakes). Although, some of the built-in autocorrections are lacking out of the box. For example, the Veer doesn't have the word "Veer" in its dictionary. This is one of those small, hyper-attention-to-detail things that Apple always does. My iPhone always knows the correct spelling for other Apple products, and when new products come out, this is always updated. For example, when I first got my iPhone, there was no iPad. But after the iPad was released, the next software update for my phone brought that spelling along with it. Anyway (enough about the iPhone!), it is simple enough to add new words to the dictionary.
One great thing about the Veer (that the iPhone lacks), is that the phone will vibrate when it auto-corrects a word. So if you are focusing on the keyboard, and not watching the text on screen, you'll get a nice notification of something that you might need to take a look at. I frequently have this problem on the iPhone, and have gotten in the habit of really proofreading what I've just written, but even then, unintended autocorrections do slip through. One final bit about this — if you do decide to change an autocorrected word, you can't just backspace over it and fix it (like on iPhone). You have to tap word (it will be highlighted with a grey underline), to go back to what you typed. Not a huge problem, once you get used to it.
Read the rest of areitz's review, including more about the touchscreen, the headphone jack, and webOS over on his blog!