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Hands On: Palm Pixi

Article Comments  22  

Sep 9, 2009, 5:45 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Phone Scoop takes Palm's new Pixi webOS phone for a whirl. The Pixi earns high marks for its small footprint and usable operating system, but Palm had to make too many compromises on certain features.

Palm Pixi 

The Pixi is the latest webOS phone from Palm and it takes things in a somewhat new direction. As the Centro was a step back from the full-powered Treo line of smartphones, so, too, is the Pixi a step back from the Pre.

The size and weight of the Pixi is incredible. So small. So light. Fantastic feel in the hand. The small form factor is thin and will certainly go anywhere you want it to.

 

PixiPix

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The front of the Pixi has a 320 x 400 pixel capacitive touch display. The display looks great, very bright and colorful. Similar to the Pre, below the display is an area where users can swipe up, down, left or right to perform different actions. Below this is the keyboard.

The keyboard feels very similar to the Palm Centro. The buttons are tiny nubbins that are very hard to tell apart. The keys are smaller, and more compressed when compared to the Pre, but they do have better travel and feedback. This device is not for the fat fingered. The keys offer a nice click, but I felt that the entire design was a bit too cramped for my tastes.

The backplate -- which has a toughened soft touch coating -- is removable and can be replaced with a backplate that is compatible with Palm's inductive Touchstone charger. Palm is also offering five customized backplates that were designed by up-and-coming California artists. They'll let users make the Pixi a bit more personal and expressive.

The ringer mute switch, volume toggle and mircoUSB port are all on the right side of the phone. They were easy to find and felt good. The hatch covering the microUSB port was a bit tricky to open.

The Pixi comes with 8GB of internal memory. There's no microSD slot to make that any bigger. Some might be disappointed by this. I know that I am definitely disappointed that Palm deleted Wi-Fi. They told me that it was to keep costs of the device down (Pixi will most likely retail for $99), and Palm also doesn't believe that the targeted user segment (teens) is all that interested in Wi-Fi. I beg to differ.

The Pixi also downgrades the Pre's camera to 2 megapixels. It still works very fast (even with the flash on), but 2 megapixels seems to be the bare minimum for smartphones these days. Again, price point came into play here. Another, less-talked-about downgrade is the processor. Palm is using a Qualcomm chipset in the Pixi that has a lower clock speed than the Pre, but it does offer better power management.

The Pixi will be sold via Sprint at some point before the holidays. It will come with a new Facebook application developed for webOS, as well as better integration on the software side of things with respect to contacts management.

Pixi Video 

Here is a video tour of the new Palm Pixi. We take an in-depth look at the hardware and the new Facebook application for webOS. You can watch it here:



Or visit YouTube for more viewing and sharing options.

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Subject Author Date
will this phone will be same as palm pre? latint81 Sep 20, 2009, 10:14 PM
Will this phone require a "Simply Everything" plan? chad5871 Sep 10, 2009, 8:54 PM
Wi-Fi really that big a deal for teenagers? Phone_Revenger Sep 14, 2009, 3:43 PM
oh you do? trojandrew Sep 10, 2009, 1:11 PM
Gesture Area = Waste of Space pauldg Sep 9, 2009, 11:41 PM
Need a new hand model.  CLOSED bluecoyote Sep 9, 2009, 7:10 PM
Pixi Ryoh12 Sep 10, 2009, 1:46 PM
 
 
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