Palm Pixi Review | webOS Nation
 
 

Palm Pixi Review 74

by Dieter Bohn Sun, 15 Nov 2009 10:42 pm EST

The Palm Pixi is a tiny smartphone with enough features and elegance to woo even the most die-hard feature phone user, but current Pre owners will want to stick with what they have.

The $99 Palm Pixi will be unleashed upon the world this Sunday and after using one full-time for two days, I can say it's a great smartphone for anybody who hasn't made the jump past feature phones. The Pixi comes in a tiny, almost bite-able form-factor that's immediately appealing -- all the more so because inside that little frame is the elegance and power of webOS.

For current smartphone owners, however, there are a few compromises that, all combined, lead me to suggest that most those interested in webOS should still opt for the more powerful Pre.

Read on for our full review!

What is the Pixi?

Let's start by laying out what the Pixi is -- and what it is not. For many of you reading this, the following paragraph has nothing you don't already know. Let's get some of the basics out of the way first.

The Pixi is Palm's latest webOS smartphone, available exclusively on Sprint for now. It is a followup to the original Palm Pre in some senses, although it's not strictly a successor, more like a little brother or sister. The Pixi has a 'candybar' form factor, which means that it is a simple slab with a full QWERTY keyboard sitting underneath a screen. Because it runs webOS, it can run multiple applications in 'cards' at the same time, pull in multiple Google, Yahoo, Exchange, LinkedIn, and Yahoo accounts with Synergy - getting all of your email, calendars, and contacts in a single place. You can do web browsing, IM, email, YouTube, SMS, MMS, Facebook, turn-by-turn GPS Navigation, take pictures (with a flash) and more. It has a small (320x400) capacitive touchscreen that you can use with your fingers instead of a stylus. You can play your music and videos on it and listen via the built-in, standard 3.5mm headset jack. In short, it's a full-featured smartphone that can do most things full-featured smartphones can do these days, but in a package that's more affordable and with an OS that's easy to learn and use.

If you're unfamiliar with webOS and want to learn more, we have covered it quite extensively in both our Palm Pre Guide and Palm Pre Review. All the basics are there, from Synergy to Universal Search to Multitasking and why it matters.

Here's what Pixi is not: it's not a hardcore power-user's smartphone. It lacks certain features that power users demand, including a very fast processor, WiFi, and a large screen. We'll get back to those three compromises later in the review, but the bottom line is that if you're already a Pre owner or are looking for a lot of power in your smartphone, you'll be making a few compromises in order to get into this form factor.

That form factor is something I need to dwell on a bit, because the Pixi is small, it's tiny, it's thin. Until you hold it in your hand it's difficult to get across, but ounce for ounce and inch for inch, I'm not sure I've ever seen as elegant and powerful a phone in a size this small. Here's a brief video where I try to get that across:

[YouTube Link]

Hardware and Design

The Pixi clocks in at a svelte (seriously, I'm going to run out of adjectives for 'small' soon) 2.17" x 4.37" x 0.43". It's the thinnest phone Palm has ever made and they say it's 10% thinner than the iPhone, but that's comparing it to the iPhone's thickest point. The Pixi does have some slight rounding on the back, making it feel great in the hand.

Actually, what makes the Pixi feel great in the hand is how narrow it is - 2.17 inches. It's narrower than the Pre and much narrower than the iPhone or Droid, in fact it's narrower than just about any smartphone out there barring the Centro or the Pearl. A Pixie is a small sprite and the Pixi fits that bill. People: it's really small.

Palm has combined the diminutive form factor with a relatively minimalist design. The front of the phone is a flat sheet of black plastic with only the QWERTY keyboard for buttons at the bottom. The majority of the phone is taken up by the capacitive touchscreen, above which you'll find the speaker, Sprint logo, and if you look closely, two barely visible sensors for light and proximity. The microphone is also scurried away on the front of the phone, a tiny hole to the left of the OPT key.

The left and bottom of the phone are blank, just sloping curves. The right side has volume buttons and Palm's signature ringer switch, which allows you to set the phone to vibrate quickly. On my review-unit the ringer switch seems a little fiddly - flexing or pressing near it seems to move the switch just a little bit and temporarily toggles vibrate mode. I've spoken to several other people with Pixi phones and nobody else reports that issue, so mine could be an isolated case. Also on the right side is the microUSB charging port underneath a flap. The flap is a little annoying but it does give the Pixi cleaner lines. It's certainly better than the USB door on the Pre - the Pixi's flap has a tiny magnet on it to ensure it sticks closed.

On the top you have a 3.5 mm headset jack and a power button. You'll be reaching for that power button every time you want to interact with the phone since the keyboard can't activate the screen, so find a position in your hand where you can reach for it easily. Luckily, as you're no doubt tired of reading by now, the Pixi is small.

On the back you have a centered 2 megapixel camera and a flash flanked by two speaker grills. The two speaker grills do give the Pixi some nice symmetry, but in practice only one of them kicks out any appreciable sound. Also on the back is a tiny hole where you can attach a lanyard. The included battery cover is not Touchstone-charger compatible and is smooth black with the Palm logo centered on it.

As I mentioned, the Pixi has a flat, plastic front and it's pretty aggressive at picking up fingerprints and face grease. It doesn't seem too bad about scratching -- but I haven't taken my keys to the thing (yet!). The rest of the device, thankfully, has a matted, 'soft-touch' finish. In fact, the rest of the device is a single piece, the battery cover, that can be a bear to remove so you can replace it with a touchstone battery cover or artist-series cover. Here's an unboxing video where I demonstrate how to deal with it: (Update: The battery cover instructions below are wrong, you want to start on the left side of the Pixi. Here's an updated How To video.)

[YouTube Link]

The fact that Palm went ahead and got rid of all ancillary buttons on the face also feels more elegant than the Pre. There's just keyboard and gestures. In the place of a lighted center button is the gesture area between the keyboard and the screen where you can make your back swipes, up-swipes for card view, or just tap the center to replicate the behavior of the Pre's center button.

One bit of elegance on the front of the device - the keyboard letters are white but the alternate letters are now gray instead of orange - it makes for a much better look for this device. Unless you go and get yourself an artist-series battery cover, the only color on the entire device is the red indicator on the silent switch. Of course, we now have the problem of the official "Orange" button on the Pre being gray on the Pixi. I for one vote that we just start calling the thing 'Opt,' which is what I wanted to call it all along. Yes, it's this sort of nit-picky thing we at PreCentral.net take pride in bringing to your attention.

If you can't tell: I'm in love with the Pixi's form factor. It's itty-bitty-awesome. I've always preferred "front-facing-QWERTY-keyboard" phones ever since the Treo 600 (compare that to the Pixi!), so the Pixi fits that need. There's no sliding mechanism to futz with, which makes the Pixi feel more solid overall than the Pre.

Those 'artist-series' back covers I've referenced are a new thing for Palm. They are limited-run (5000 each) battery covers for the Pixi with unique artwork on them, each signed and numbered. They are available for pre-order now for $49.99, shipping in early December. For that price, you'll be relieved to hear that they are Touchstone compatible. The Touchstone, if you didn't know, is an innovative "inductive charger" that can charge the Pixi using magnets merely by setting the phone down on it.

Keyboard

Making a phone this small comes with tradeoffs and compromises. Chief amongst those for most users will be the physical keyboard: it's also tiny, measuring 1.75" across by 0.9" tall in a square shape. That's slightly smaller than the Pre's keyboard, for those of you keeping track. Palm's been making tiny little keyboards since the Centro, though, and they've learned quite a bit over the years about how to design them. I have plenty of experience with these keyboards and perhaps that skews my perception a bit, but after just an hour or so I am able to fly on the keyboard. Once you find a way to hit the keys that's comfortable for you, that small size is actually a boon because there's less space for your thumbs to travel (one reason I dislike landscape keyboards is they slow me down.)

The keys are very slightly 'rubbery.' If you're a Palm fanatic, the scale of hardness goes thusly, starting with the hardest: Classic Treo, Treo Pro, Pixi, Pre (the Pixi and Pre are very close, though), Centro. Non-Palm-fanatics just need to know that they're firm enough to feel solid under your thumb but have enough 'rubberiness' to them that you can hit them with a fingernail without slipping.

The keys have a gratifying 'click' to them and seem to 'travel' more than they do on the Pre. This is no doubt due to the fact that it's easier to fit a keyboard on a flat slab than it is inside a slider. The keys are slightly squarer and flatter than what you'll find the Pre, too.

I'll sum it up like this: yes, it's small, but you can adjust and eventually it will be second-nature. Definitely give the keyboard a shot before you buy it, but give it an honest shot. I think only the most large, calloused thumbs wouldn't be able to find a groove with it.

webOS

I won't be going over everything in webOS here, but just putting forth a few notes. Again, if you're new to webOS, our Palm Pre Guide is the place to start. I'm covering all the new features in webOS 1.3.1 in a separate article.

As Derek mentioned in his blog post this morning, the Pixi ships with webOS 1.2.9 but is upgradable to webOS 1.3.1 right away over the air (just check your updates app). Pre users have to wait "shortly thereafter," according to Palm. Let's hope that the wait is short indeed. My review unit was running a special build of webOS 1.3.1 that Palm made available to us ahead of the over-the-air update for all Pixi phones.

Overall the setup experience on the Pixi is slightly less than ideal: before you can really and truly get going you need to update the OS over the air, hook up all your Synergy accounts, and then wait through a period of significant OS lagginess as the devices pulls down and processes all that information from the cloud over your EVDO connection. Once it's all done, it's grand, but out-of-the-box most users are going to want to get straight to playing with the device instead of waiting for Synergy to finish doing its thing.

In case you don't want to click over to the full 1.3.1 article, here are the most important new features:

  • Yahoo has been added to Synergy: Email, Contacts, Calendar, and IM
  • Copy, forward, or delete individual text messages and IMs
  • PIN length can now be arbitrarily long and you can set the PIN timeout to any length of time up to a half hour
  • Placeholder images for Flash in the web browser, YouTube videos launch the YouTube app
  • The Music Player now has a time 'scrubber' that pops up when you hold down the FF or RW button.
  • The 'underpinnings' for the Facebook app are here, which is a way of saying Pre users won't get it until they get 1.3.1.

The most notable non-feature in webOS 1.3.1: it doesn't sync directly with iTunes 9.0.2.

Performance and Speed

It's difficult to say whether speed is improved or not on webOS 1.3.1 since I'm comparing it to the Pre, which has a faster processor. I am tempted to say that 1.3.1 is faster in places. The Phone app in particular is much faster for me, there are definitely improvements there. I do find things are fast enough as long as you keep the number of open cards under 5. Overall it's a usable experience and better than I expected given that the Pixi's processor is known to be slower than the Pre's. The main thing is to remember to close cards that you're not using.

I have, of course, experienced some noticeable lag and can tell the difference in speed between the Pixi and the Pre. The Pixi seems to slow down inexplicably and then catch itself and speed up again in a way that's mysterious to me. With the Pre, I can pretty much always attribute a slowdown to a known quantity like having too many cards open or running a particularly resource-hungry app. With the Pixi it's harder to pin down sometimes. I wouldn't turn anybody away from the Pixi because of its speed and performance -- except for Pre users, see below.

I am aware that the Pixi's chipset includes a graphics processing unit (a chip dedicated just for graphics instead of a general processor) and that webOS doesn't yet fully utilize GPUs to their fullest. So I hold out hope that we could see some fairly significant speed improvements on the Pixi in the not-too-distant future. For what it's worth, I loaded up Perfect Bounce on both the Pixi and the Pre and the game's performance seemed identical on both devices.

Sprint

The Pixi is exclusive to Sprint for the time being and I think that's a real pity. That said, it does need to be said that you can save a significant amount of money over Verizon or T-Mobile over the life of a two year contract. I've griped before that at $99 with a $100 mail-in rebate, the 'out-the-door' $199 price for the Pixi is much too high for the target demographic for this phone. If Sprint and Palm can get the total cost of ownership message across, that worry is significantly mitigated.

Like the Pre before it, the Pixi requires an Everything Data plan. Now that Sprint has their cheap Any Mobile Any Time plans, concerns over plan pricing on Sprint aren't as big of a factor for me. As I mentioned, they cost significantly less than the competition.

Call Quality, Sound Quality

Call quality on the Pixi is quite good in my testing so far - clear and loud without much distortion at maximum volume. Overall the Pixi seems to pick up Sprint signal as well as any other Sprint phone I've used.

The speakerphone, on the other hand, isn't anything to get enthused about. It's loud enough for me and sounds like a cell phone's speaker. It's slightly quieter than the Pre's speaker, but does the job.

Camera

The Pixi has a 2 megapixel camera with a flash and it's a disappointment. It doesn't compare well with the Palm Pre's camera (which has more advanced image processing) or the iPhone 3GS's camera. Like the Pre, the Pixi cannot record video.

A picture says a thousand words, right? Here are three, taken at the same time with the Pixi, Pre, and iPhone 3GS.

Palm Pixi Image Sample
Palm Pixi Photo
Palm Pre Image Sample
Palm Pre Photo
iPhone Image Sample
iPhone 3GS Photo

I'm not good at talking about images, but here goes: the Pixi's image seems unnecessarily pixelated and, what's worse, significantly overexposed to my eyes. While these photos were taken on a cloudy day and I therefore think both the Pre and iPhone 3GS's images could stand to have a little more brightness, their images could easily be fixed up with some simple photo editing software. I can forgive the Pixi having a slightly lower-quality image overall, it does have fewer megapixels, but even a camera with a low megapixel count should be able to do better. The Pixi's picture is (literally) a washout.

It'll do for quick shots, but I wish it were better.

Specs

I've gone this far without listing the specs for the Pixi by design. It's not that I want to bury the fact that they're not very impressive, it's more that they aren't really the point of the phone. We're a gadget blog, though, so the standard smartphone metrics matter to us and likely they matter to you, the vast majority of our dear readers. So here they be, with some commentary:

Sprint EVDO Rev A

If you're in an area with good Sprint signal, it's stupendous. If you're not, the lack of WiFi is going to hurt more than usual. I should note that the Pixi, like all Sprint phones, cannot do simultaneous voice and data. I refer you to the WiFi rant below.

Display: 2.63" Capacitive Touch Screen, 320x400

A lot to say about this screen. First up, it has 80 fewer rows of pixels than the Pre's 320x480 screen. This means that a large handful of 3rd party apps are incompatible with the Pixi until they're updated. It also means that you just plain have less real-estate for viewing web pages, reading emails, and so on. In practice it's not all that bad, to be honest, but as a Pre user it's noticeable.

The fact that the screen is only 2.63" inches diagonally means that you'll need to hit your targets a little more accurately with your finger. Thankfully it seems clear that Palm was prepared for this from the get-go on the webOS, all the buttons and other UI elements are plenty large on the Pixi. Text is also sufficiently large even for my rapidly failing eyes.

Finally, the screen on the Pixi is in serious need of a brightness boost. It only appears to be about half as bright as the Pre's screen. This is surely a battery saving measure, heck, it might be a heat measure given how much is crammed into such a small space. It's not a deal-breaker for me, I can still see the screen fine at medium brightness, but compared to the Pre the colors look a little washed out. (Note that the difference is not as extreme as the picture above makes it out to be, it's an effect from the camera)

GPS

The Pixi does indeed have GPS and also tower-assisted location. In my testing it picks up both about as fast as the Pre does, which is to say pretty quick. Sprint Navigation is included too, so you get voice-assisted turn-by-turn directions out of the box. Score.

Bluetooth: 2.1 + EDR + A2DP

Bluetooth performance is better than average on the Pixi, both in terms of range and sound quality. As I mention in the webOS 1.3.1 article, Palm has also fixed some bugs with A2DP and it should work with a wider array of devices -- like my car stereo, finally.

Sensors: Light, Proximity, Accelerometer

All three are here. The screen auto-adjusts brightness based on ambient conditions. The screen turns off when you put the Pixi to your face. The screen rotates in some apps (but not, sadly, email) when you turn the Pixi on its side.

Memory: 8 gigs

Palm is of course mum on RAM, if you're wondering about what's there for running apps. Storage-wise, it's nice to see that the rumors of the Pixi only having 4 gigs of internal storage turned out to be wrong.

Ports: MicroUSB, 3.5mm Headset Jack

They're there, they're standard. It's a relief to not have to complain about non-standard ports on Palm devices anymore. USB disk mode works well, Media Sync with iTunes 9.0.2 does not work at all.

Chipset: Qualcomm MSM7627

Palm claims that the Pixi is the first smartphone to use this exact class of chipset from Qualcomm. It's apparently clocked at 600Mhz, but honestly what matters is performance. As I mentioned in the speed section above, it could be better and there's hope that it can be someday if Palm can start using the GPU on the chipset.

I'm not sure where else to mention this, but the Pixi does get warm when charging on the Touchstone, enough to make you take note. I haven't experienced it getting too hot in normal use.

WiFi: none

As Palm fans, we lived through the long time in the desert with the original PalmOS, which was incapable of working well with more than one radio for data at a time. Then, as now, there are a few reasons usually put forth for not including WiFi:

  • 3G speeds are so great now, you don't really need WiFi
  • For the target market for this device, WiFi isn't a necessity
  • WiFi costs too much for this device, need to keep the cost down

Initially, with the Pixi, I heard its $100 price point, I looked at how gosh darn tiny the thing was, and then I accepted those three points as valid. A part of me still does: I will be recommending the Pixi to some of my friends and family despite the lack of WiFi.

I'll just say it: leaving WiFi out of the Pixi was a serious blunder. The first really big blunder I've seen Palm make since their resurgence. Every smartphone is a exercise in compromise - the Pixi more so than most because of its small size, but excluding WiFi was one compromise too far.

Battery: 1150mAh

The Pixi uses the exact same battery at the Pre. Palm specs it as lasting for 350 hours of standby time, 50 more than the Pre. That's due to the slightly less power-hungry processor and possibly the dimmer screen. Of course, no webOS user gets those kinds of numbers, which assume no data is coming in or out during that time.

I've only had the Pixi in my hands for about two days, but my gut feeling so far is that the Pixi gets slightly better battery life than the Pre. I'm confident in saying that it should get an average user through an average day of light email, light web browsing, and a few calls. Heavy data users or callers will want to pack a spare battery, just as they do with the Pre.

Who should get the Pixi?

The Pixi is Palm's best attempt yet to broaden their base of smartphone users by picking up former feature-phone users. Its competition isn't meant to be so much the iPhone 3GS, the Droid, or even the Pre - though in reality, of course, they are a healthy part of the competition. Palm wants to position it more as a killer of the 'near-smartphones' out there, your Samsung Instincts and LG Rumors and whatnot. By that metric, the Pixi absolutely wins.

The Pixi is a good phone for anybody looking to step up to a their first smartphone without breaking the bank. As a phone for SMS, IM, some Facebook, and web browsing, it's great and stands well above any non-smartphone or 'near-smartphone.' Centro owners: You are going to love this phone.

Should Pre owners switch to the Pixi?

No.

Wow, really?

Ok, ok, if you're completely over the moon for the form factor, I wouldn't blame you for switching from the Pre to the Pixi. To my mind, however, there are three important compromises in the Pixi that combine to keep me from recommending it to any Pre owner who doesn't wear skinny jeans every day. I've mentioned this in our podcast several times, but it's time I put it down in writing. These compromises are:

  • Lack of WiFi
  • Slower processor
  • Smaller screen

If you remove any one of those three compromises, I might myself seriously consider switching from the Pre to the Pixi for its size and the fact that it has the form factor I like best on smartphones. Taken together, though, they add up to an easy decision for me.

My snarky answer for "Who should get a Pixi" is this: somebody who wants a great smartphone on Sprint but doesn't have the extra fifty bucks to spring for a Pre. $99 after mail-in rebate is a mere $50 less than the Pre on Sprint. For all the reasons I've enumerated above, the Pre is a superior phone when compared to the Pixi. The Pixi's main differentiating feature is its tiny size and the convenience of having the QWERTY keyboard immediately accessible, but let's face it, the Pre is awfully small itself.

Conclusion

Now that I've worked all of the gripes out of my system, it's time to come back to the main thing. The Pixi is a marvel of a little smartphone. It's tiny, fun, and does more than a lot of phones at its price. That price is just very close to the ever-lowering cost of high-end smartphones.

If the Pre didn't woo Palm Centro owners, the Pixi has a much better shot. The only question is whether or not it will achieve its real goal: winning new users who have never used a smartphone. I think it has a shot.

 

Pros

Small

Cons

No WiFi

74 Comments

Will the Pixi have Tweek / Homebrew ability like the Pre?

I love my Pre and am thinking the Pixi would be great for the wife. If she doesn't like something about it, like I hated lack of text fwd, I would like to say "There's a tweek for that!"

Thanks for the thorough review, very helpful.

Yes, it will.

I thought there was only 4GB of memory in the Pixi? Is that a typo?

Neat!

The industrial design looks great. It is a bit small for me, but there are plenty of people who will prefer this form factor over the Pre. If I was a Sprint customer with a feature phone with upgrade eligibility, I would take a long look at the Pixi.

I guess I know what santa is bringing the wife this year.

x

The phone doesnt ship with the touchstone compatible back? I thought most of the talk about the pixi stated how it came with it out of the box and was its primary back. Maybe im mistaken....

I don't believe so. Many owners who are getting the cheap WebOS phone, probably won't pony up for a $50 touchstone. It wouldn't make sense to ship with it standard, just as many Pre users probably don't have a touchstone.

Not a good idea. Many centro owners upgraded to the Pre and saw it as a centro replacement. Still needs to be said that the Centro debuted as one of the highest resolution screens available especially compared to Treos or WM phones.

Yep, same resolution as Treo but since the screen was smaller, it was sharper. Centro was also more optimized, had some bug fixes that weren't fixed in treos, came with extras like ptunes, and basically the best palm OS device. Coming from a Treo, you did not compromise getting a Centro. You came out ahead. (other than a smaller kb).

That situation is different today. The pre, iphone, droid, etc all have better screens. Pre is faster. Pre has wifi.

The Pixi aims at too similar a target market as the Pre. The cost of each phone isn't distinctive enough to be significant.

As a second webOS device, the pressure is on Palm to make the best choice that helps them. This isn't it. A much better choice would have been the highest end slab or landscape slider they could put together.

Many think Palm would or should never deviate from offering a portrait kb, but that's old Palm. Old Palm left the building and also left behind their strengths such as calendar, PIMs, desktop sync, etc.

Landscape keyboard sucks. Deal with it.

Sadly, many have dealt with it by returning their Pre's or ignoring Palm altogether.

Just curious...this website is called "Pre Central". Why am I reading so much fluff here about the Pixie. I don't care about the Pixie. I own a Pre.

...just sayin'....

Just like Treocentral covered all things PalmOS, Precentral covers all things webOS.

I'm excited for palm. I own a Pre but I can see how others might like this. What palm needs is two more form factors - one phone with a landscape slider keyboard, and one with only a large touch-screen without any keyboard like the iPhone, and all working on webOS. With these four form factors, Palm will have something for most people.

Great review, Dieter. I've been waiting eagerly for this.

So torn. Absolutely in love with that form factor. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Give up a little bit of that skinniness for an extended battery and still have a true beauty.

Hard to give up the WiFi, though. It comes in handy traveling and potentially for MyTether. Ugh! Decisions, decisions.

I usually like to tether with USB, because it keeps the Phone topped off in charge at the same time. I don't see WiFi as a big tether loss because of that. However, if you are tethering an iPhone or some other non-PC, because they don't have cell coverage, the WiFi is required on MyTether.

Wait... I thought MyTether on Pre only worked over WiFi? Does it include USB now as well? *searches*

I'm GLAD the brightness is lower on the Pixi. I run my Pre 95% of the time at 0% and it is too bright by far in dark environments.

I'm competely agreed with Dieter - as a centro/treo owner I love the 'instant access' of the keyboard in this form factor. If the Pixi had a 320x480 screen, WiFi and a better processor I'd choose it over the Pre.

Oh, they'd have to change the name too....

I am buying it Sunday for my 15 year olds birthday. She has had BB's and some other media oriented phone on Verizon. She broke her iPod and I suggested this instead. She likes my Pre, but my main reason to buy this is it seems way more rugged and the iPod isn't the first thing she has broken. I hope it holds up well for music, and is a good build.

I'm buying three for the rest of my family (I have a Pre) and I agree with Meltedwire about it appearing more rugged than the Pre. My kids would kill the Pre quickly:)

I couldn't imagine giving my kid a Pixi. That's terrible. No wifi..which would suck in my area. Crappy camera which only means she'd be sending me crappy pics. Poor screen that she'd go blind on trying to read.

I got her an iphone instead. At least i can share apps. With a Pixi, you have to rebuy any they might want.

Just stopped by sprint store ....what a phone.....hands down Palm rocks......Jon Rubenstein for President.....Smooth , tiny....every other women/girl will have one, that is my call of the year....Keep up the good work Palm

seems like the pixi is more for girls and people that are new to the smartphone game. i REALLY want/wanted this thing but the more im reading and seeing the more i feel getting a pre again may be better for me ...

Not to be picky, but is this correct??

"the physical keyboard: it's also tiny, measuring 1.75" across by 0.9" tall in a square shape."

That's about the size of my thumb. Also, if it's square shaped, it should be 1.75 X 1.75 or 0.90 X 0.90.

Just curious.

the keyboard is very good....i have big hands and when i played with it today it was fine more than just fine..check it out on sunday

Such a cute little phone.
I'll stick with my Pre, of course, but I just want to go out and touch one.

i love my pre and the pixi would be great for my wife you give a great review thanks

Dieter, great review. I'll bet your tired of typing =)

im pretty sure the pixi ISNT a chic phone so all these "oh the pixi would be great for my wife" comments are getting annoying lol.

im back on the pixi bandwagon; its such a cute little powerhouse !

If it had wifi, i'd ditch my pre in a second!

Just ordered my Pixi this morning, Switching from the HTC Touch Pro (I hate that phone!) I use to have a Treo 755....So back to Palm I go :) Will Pixi get its on web page like this one? Will you sell Pixi accessories? I really want the touchstone!

i don't understand why all these pre owners want the pixi...
the pre has a WAY BETTER screen, speaker, and camera.
the pixi has a great form factor but im returning mine this week and getting a pre (:

I don't quite get the whole, male/female thing, it is a phone! I bought a Pre on launch day and went through 4 before giving up. All of them were plagued with hardware issues such as powering off from loose battery (even with paper "fix"), oreo getting to the point of nearly coming apart, average of 5-10 dead pixels all over the screen, one screen cracked from heat...just terrible quality but I loved webOS. This phone is the answer to me, I can live without wifi, screen is good size, and in my honest observations it seems just as fast as the pre. I tried to other night to kill it by opening every app I could, it made it to 8 before saying too many cards yet still functioned quite fluidly. Anyways, I am impressed and I just tell everyone I have a Palm P120 for sake of sounding more manly than the name Pixi, which is the only feminine part of this phone.

Just spent 30 minutes playing with Pixi at a local corporate store. Definitely like the form factor -- so light and thin -- and I found the keyboard to be easy to use. Didn't notice any real lag, albeit it might be a very different story once contacts, e-mails, etc. are loaded on. Could I live without wi-fi? Maybe. Would the convenience of the small form factor outweigh the loss of Pre's "sexy" shape and sheen? Maybe.

For me, the screen would be the real adjustment, and I'm not just talking about its size. Soooo much dimmer than Pre and not nearly as crisp to these eyes, nor are colors as vivid.

I left the store admiring Pixi, but... enough to buy one? Hmmmm.

I've been a Palm user for about 8 or 9yrs. Since Palm 600. I purchased the Pre on opening week -- it was an upgrade from Palm 755p. I do not regret purchasing this phone. I have not had any problems with it. Now that we have text fowarding -- this is the BOMB phone. I will purchase the Pixi for my teenage daughter, but would never downgrade from the Pre.

hint -- do regular updates to the Pre...

current gripe: I cant change my text beep (I hate it) they don't give you total control over that... WHY PRE WHY!?!

i seriously thought about getting the Pixi. at first i didn't hear anything about it till i went to palm's website and saw it had replaced Pre's home screen lol. i read some things on it, and said "i would rather have this than the pre!" so i started looking more things up. then i came across the "no WiFi" thing.. my heart sank...

though it isn't like i can't live without WiFi. i'm currently using the Black Berry Curve 8330.. worst phone ever made in my opinion. but it doesn't have WiFi and neither did any of my other phones. so i'm used to not having it. but since i'm living in a dorm room down at college, i would kind of like to have wifi. sprint doesnt have "great" service where my dorm is. usually just enough to be able to make calls, send txts, check emails, use yahoo and windows live messanger (the ONLY two amazing features for the BB). i tried using GPS with it once down there, it was able to find my position using GPS, but it didn't have enough data coverage to load the map around me!

so with that said, i think i'd rather have WiFi with my next phone. could use GPS for the location, and WiFi to download the maps! haha! though, i dont think it is a "sprint" fault for the coverage. i've found this is something strangly common in southern ohio: if you are near a school, your coverage goes to hell. but as soon as you move a mile or two away from the school, perfect EVDO or 3G signal. ODD!

anyway, this is getting a bit long lol. so ill leave by saying that i am happy that i bought my Pre now, even though i love the Pixi's look and feel so much more. my Pre should arrive around Monday or Tuesday (12/22-23/09) and i SOOO can't wait!

Amazing review. Very helpful!
I am a fellow smartphone user, but I have never had a Palm before, but recently seeing the commercials, I really want to switch. I am a phone fanatic, and am only 14! I have gone through 10 phones in the past 3 year, all of which- well more like a great majority of which- were smartphones. Right now I have a BlackBerry Curve 8330, and I have to say, it sucks. It is not all that great. A 2MP camera with flash, and very minimal apps. It is not a phone for a 14 year old, but only a phone for a business man who has no interests in the fun apps that other phones have to offer. From the pictures above of the Palm Pixi, it has better picture quality than a comparably BlackBerry Curve 8330. I am definitely considering switching.
I have had my eye on the Palm Pre also. My friend had it until she switched to the Droid Eris, and she was just raving about it. She actually let me play around with it, and the touch screen was AMAZING! I have yet to go into my local Sprint store and pay with it, but having had the first iPhone with its "unbearable until you get used to it keyboard" with its responsive touch screen, and having had a BlackBerry Curve with its absurdly small keys, I think I would love the Pixi. I TRULY love phones, and that's why ,y parents got mad at me for making them spend a bunch of money on smartphones over the years.
I also love phones that have the option of playing music- which is the reason behind me buying an iPhone. My BlackBerry plays music also, which is the only reason I have stuck with it for as long as I did. I think it is great how companies now integrate headphone ports onto their phones to appeal to their fellow music-loving consumer. There;s something abut phones with standard-sized headphone ports that makes me want to gravitate to them. Not to be bias, but from the sound of it, it sounds as though the people at precentral.net really know what they are talking about! It sounds as though either the Palm Pre or the Palm Pixi woukd be perfect competition for the comparable AT&T iPhone or Verizon's Droid series. For the Pre, the responsive touchscreen, full- easy to use QWERTY keyboard, and high quality camera is a perfect competitor for the world's iPhones and Droids. For the Pixi, it is a better match on both the phones in a lower priced market- all the bang (on a lesser scale), for less money.

OFFICIALLY, Palm now rules! I am so glad that they decided to re-enter the smartphone world after taking a near/over 3 year leave.

how do i update facebook on my palm pixi?..i cant seem to figure it out

Go to your menu screen (the Up Arrow looking thingy), then scroll all the way over to the right side and look for a giftbox icon that says "Updates". Tap that to open it then it should automatically start searching for updates. The newest version at the moment is 1.3.5.1 so if that's what you have downloaded and installed you should be good to go for now.. If you need anymore help feel free to message me and I'll do my best to assist you.


- Noctis

I was told by a Sprint Rep. that even though Wi-Fi is not available for the Pixi, soon enough there will be a download to enable video taping on top of the 2 mega-pixel camera. Can this be so ?

A fascinating thesis...All I could say is I might be thinking of buying Palm Pixie, but isn't it a bit too thick for a phone of such kind? If it is almost $400 I think I'd rather save till I satisfy my Apple mania:)

Hi,
That's a great info. I can see that you are putting a lot of time and effort into your blog. Keep posting the good work.

I am one of the ones that switched from a pre to a pixi, and heres why. I am on the road all the time, and responding to emails, and generally using the navigator ad nauseam. with the pre i dont like the slider mechanism, the buttons were bigger but less responsive, and frankly, the pre might look better, but for what I use it for, the pixi is the form factor I love. I came from a blackberry curve into palm territory, and i will never go back. with that said, yes there are really some glaring examples if you use some of the features like wifi, etc, but i find that the processr is just as fast if not more smooth than the pre, and this is post 1.4 update. Also i hear about megapixels etc on the phone. the phone you are using can have 100 megapixels but if it doesnt RENDER right, and the processor cant do the light balance you will have frustration abound. i use the camera and video recorder and i have had no issues. also and this was the closing thing for me the keyboard is sooooo much more responsive and faster, due to not having the bevels. add to that that you dont have to worry about 2 hand operation while driving with that god awful sliding mechanism, I am sold

To the reviewers comment: The only question is whether or not it will achieve its real goal: winning new users who have never used a smartphone. I think it has a shot.

As a non-smart phone user, I can say YES! Pixi hits the mark!!

I may be a little late to the game, but better late that never...especially with the Pixi.

The review is right on! This is a great little "starter" smart phone. The sales guy at Sprint was really pushing the blackberry curve, which is a great phone, but it's still point and click. I wanted a "smartphone" phone, and the pixi is perfect. Truthfully, I'm a very simple phone user, I didn't even pay for Web access on my last LG flip phone. But now that I've got my little pixi, and it's sooo functional (all my email accounts, contacts, IM, SMS, etc., etc., merged in one spot) it's like I'm back in the game of life...wow! I didn't know what I was missing. And the best part is saying to all the iPhone users around me...'oh, your phone can't do that, what a shame...my Pixi can...hehehe!

once again that keyboard is way to small compared to the 800w

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I came from a blackberry curve into palm territory, and i will never go back. with that said, yes there are really some glaring examples if you use some of the features like wifi, etc, but i find that the processr is just as fast if not more smooth than the pre, and this is post 1.4 update. Also i hear about megapixels etc on the phone. the phone you are using can have 100 megapixels but if it doesnt RENDER right, and the processor cant do the light balance you will have frustration abound. i use the camera and video recorder and i have had no issues. also and this was the closing thing for me the keyboard is sooooo much more responsive and faster, due to not having the bevels. add to that that you dont have to worry about 2 hand operation while driving with that god awful sliding mechanism, I am sold. zenmed reviews | facial scar treatments | scar removal cream

Just spent 30 minutes using Pixi at a community business shop. Surely much like the form element -- thus light and slim -- and also I came across laptop keyboards for being user friendly. Didn't observe virtually any actual be, even if it could be a really various tale when contacts, e-mails, and many others. are usually filled upon. Can I reside without wi-fi? Perhaps. Would the comfort of the small form factor outnumber loosing Pre's "sexy" design and shine? Possibly.

To me, the particular screen would be the true adjusting, and I'm not merely discussing the sizing. Soooo very much dimmer than Before and never virtually while crisp to the telltale face, nor tend to be hues because vivid.

i was wondering if anyone could tell me how to make the texting ringtone on the palm pixi longer?

If so could you please give me step by step directions please :)

I love the build of this phone. This is really my type of build, design, theme and color of the phone. slap chop

Really stylish, Palm tries to keep the pace with modern fashion for smartphones. The interface seems to be user-friendly.

The main features that distinguish Palm phones are simplicity, convenience in use and wide range of available options. Pixi has all these features. It's stylish, convenient, powerful, user-friendly and easy-to use. HYIP monitor

Cool phones. I wanna have one of these !

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I want to buy this phones and for that looking an article on it.After reading this article I have decided to buy it immediately but I want to know more and more about it like as price,warranty etc and inform me at
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This is an amazing gadget and I think it is worth the price.

I have a palm-pixi phone and I am impressed to see its features.It,s sprint,call and sound,camera every things are too acceptable for a moderated person.If any one want to buy this phone then he can get advice from me.I am always ready to help him.

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really a good article.I was told by a Sprint Rep. that even though Wi-Fi is not available for the Pixi, soon enough there will be a download to enable video taping on top of the 2 mega-pixel camera.
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Palm pixi rocks my world. Way better than iPhone, but I still like my Droid X best. Maybe after Setting up a Lottery Syndicate I'll be able to afford all 3!

Wow! i jus loved it! want to buy it as well. Very beautiful it is!!

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The industrial design looks great. It is a bit small for me, but there are plenty of people who will prefer this form factor over the Pre. If I was a Sprint customer with a feature phone with upgrade eligibility, I would take a long look at the Pixi.
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I have a palm-pixi phone and I am impressed to see its features.It,s sprint,call and sound,camera every things are too acceptable for a moderated person.angry birds online.If any one want to buy this phone then he can get advice from me.I am always ready to help him.

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The whole thing with palm devices is that they are made for everyone but react to you as an individual. The keyboard and size are what draw me to the phone I had a pcd venture once and to be honest I loved it. I'm the type of person that mostly stays in contact with others through either my email, facebook account or text messages. So the keyboard is awesome. So when it boils down to it I love it hands down.