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Phones.com » Cell Phones » Review of the Palm Pixi

Not much time has passed since the release of the Palm Pre and the smartphone company has released a lighter version of it, the Palm Pixi.  Available on Sprint network, the Palm Pixi may not be as powerful as it predecessor, but features like updated OS, Yahoo integration and enhanced messaging can catch the eye of many first time users.

Look, Design, Feel (/10)

If slenderness is what attracts anyone to a phone, the Pixi is their best bet yet. The phone is slim, and beautifully designed. The front is flat with a glossy black finish, and the back is soft-coated black. The merge is seamless, and therefore very appealing. 

The front has the 2.63 inch screen, the portrait full QWERTY keyboard with a gesture area in between. The Pixi design has eschewed the physical center button for a thin, LED slit which works in just the same way. The right side of the phone has the volume rocker switch, a microUSB port hidden under a hatch, and a vibrate toggle switch. The to has the 3.5mm headset jack and the power button. The back has a 2 megapixel camera with built-in LED flash and flanked by external speakers.

Design Extras: 

There are three patterned back panel for the Pixi, which are currently available for pre-order. There are also the Touchstone compatible ones for the wireless charging dock by Touchstone. The patterns are nice, if the user into that sort of customization.

 

 

 

Features (/10)

The keyboard on the Pixi deserves special mention, as it is really excellent. Considering that the phone is smaller, and consequently the keys are too, this is quite a feat of engineering. The keys are domed with a lot of traction, and in a full QWERTY layout which arranged straight across instead of the curved. The Pixi keyboard has snappy tactile feedback and a definite height boost from previous models.

The gesture area is used for multitasking, a unique webOS concept. When an application is open, the gesture area can be used to convert the application to a card which then displays on the home screen with other open cards. 

In terms of software, the Pixi supports Microsoft Exchange email and other configurable email accounts with POP/IMAP. It also supports combined messaging. There are quite a few bundled applications that are provided by Sprint, like Sprint TV.

The home screen has the same shortcut menu as the Palm Pre: phone, contact, email, calendar, and menu launcher shortcuts lining the bottom of the screen.

There is an accelerometer, proximity sensor, and an ambient light sensor. There are no memory expansion options, so the user is stuck with the 8 GB of storage with which the device comes. That may not be too big a problem, as people who require expansion slots on their devices are not going to opt for this phone - and not only because of that reason.

The camera is low quality at 2 megapixels, but it does manage to take halfway decent photographs. There is no video recording and no photography options to speak off. 

Connectivity (/10)

The main problem with the Pixi is that it has no WiFi, which is quite strange because now even the most basic models come with WiFi. It has most of the other usual suspects, including Bluetooth and GPS. However there is no way the lack of WiFi can be overlooked. 

Performance (/10)

 

The phone takes an inordinate time to start up. The responsiveness, once started is not bad, but it's not great either. In comparison to the Pre, the phone is significantly slower and there are a number of times were the screen has become of unresponsive altogether. The transitions between one application to another, or one screen to another, are extraordinarily slow. Thankfully crashing does not seem to be an issue. 

 

Value for Money (/10)

Available with Sprint, the Palm Pixi definitely cannot be traded as a new buy. Do not mind paying little extra more for a similar phone of the same company that is much better on the features.

Pros

+ Attractive design

+ Excellent keyboard

+ Considering it is meant to be an 'inexpensive' smartphone option, the features are fairly good.

Cons

- No WiFi

- No autofocus and the camera has been downgraded from similar predecessors. 

- No memory expansion slot

- Phone is much slower

Price

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Rating

Style: 7.3
145
Technology: 7.5
149
Efficiency: 7.3
146

Total votes: 239 | Hits: 6055

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