Being on AT&T, I got a Pre2 unlocked and loved it. Previously I had the Pre Plus, before that a Centro, before that a Treo 650.
I spent almost a year with the Pre2 and now have my Pre3 for over a year. There are advantages to each.
The Pre 3 has a larger screen and an easier keyboard to type on, but you can get used to both as I did. The 5mp autofocus camera on the Pre3 is much better than the 5mp fixed focus camera on the Pre2. Video recording on the Pre3 is 720p, vs 640x480 on the Pre 2 (same as Pre Plus). The video quality on my Pre3 is better than my Nikon S3000, which to me is impressive. Of course the Pre3 has a front camera and supports Skype video calling as well as Skype messaging.
Having a webOS phone to me, having a spare battery is a must, preferably with a spare battery charger. Your options for the Pre2 would be much better in this regard, as you can use any Pre, Pre Plus, Pre 2 or even Centro batteries and chargers.
The Pre3 makes talking on the phone a much better experience, since it not only has dual microphones, but the front microphone on the Pre3 is on the bottom of the keyboard instead of on the face of the phone. With the Pre, Plus, and 2, when you try to hold the phone on your shoulder you will cover the single front microphone with your cheek making it impossible for the person on the other end to understand what you are saying. This isn't the case with the Pre3, and holding the phone on your shoulder doesn't cause this problem.
If you are on AT&T, having a Pre3 will give you HSPA+, but a Pre2 will only let you use 3G. Freetether works great for both phones.
Battery life will be somewhat better on the Pre3 than on the 2, but in my opinion, neither are very good.
The Pre3 keyboard seems to often double type characters, necessitating frequent corrections or having to re enter passwords on a website when logging in. However, the Pre3 has text assist autocorrect, which I think are also on the Pre2, my memory is starting to fade on whether this feature was there.
The slider is much much more solid on the Pre3, hands down. It feels much more like one piece that slides than two halves that feel like they are wanting to separate from each other. The build quality on the Pre3 is so much better than the Pre2.
A lot of the apps I had on my Pre+ and Pre2 did not transfer over to my Pre3, and I was somewhat disappointed in that. Luckily, my favorite app, NDrive, I was able to get the beta version and download US maps for $35 and I subscribed to one year of live traffic for $12. You should be able to get this app for both the 2 and 3. Its great for device based navigation that requires no data connection and gives you 3D birds eye view and voice turn by turn directions.
The Pre3 performs smoothly, but does not have very good memory management. So when the pre3 works, its smooth. But it does have a tendency to lock up. It has a single core 1.4GHz processor. You can overclock up to 1.9GHz, but it will heat up and really kill the battery. The Pre2 has a single core 1GHz processor, but you can safely overclock to 1.2 without serious battery drain or heat. I was able to have many many more cards open on the Pre2 than I can on the Pre3. One time I opened over 65 cards on the Pre2 and it still didn't lock up. Open 10 cards on the Pre3 and you're in trouble. Also, the web browser often makes my pre3 unresponsive, especially when viewing desktop versions of a websites, such as Facebook. Both the 2 and 3 support flash, which was not supported on the Pre or Pre Plus.
Would I go back to a Pre2? No. But I sometimes do miss some of the things it did better. The Pre3 is a nicely designed phone that may have kept webOS phones as a viable option. The Pre2 has too small of a screen and seems quite thick for a phone with such a small screen. I've learned to use my phone more sparingly as far as multitasking to prevent it from locking up, and Uberkernel helps a lot in this regard.
I have a touchstone charger in my car. When I had a Pre2 the phone was able to stay stuck to the charger magnetically all by itself. With the Pre3, I had to mount the touchstone to a phone vent holder to hold the phone in place since the pre3 has a curved back.
Good luck with whichever you choose!
-- Sent from my Palm Pre3 using Forums