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Palm Pixi

>> Thursday, October 8, 2009

Overall, Palm Pixi is slimmer than both the iPhone 3GS and the Palm Pre. The phone itself is covered in a rubbery, soft touch material the back actually flexes and snaps off like a piece of Tupperware and the keys are much clickier and more satisfying to type on than the Pre's keys. On the back, there's a 2 megapixel camera with LED flash, as compared to the Pre's 3 megapixel unit. Palm says Palm Pixi is designed for messaging, and see the company's point.

As RIM's BlackBerry discovered a long time ago, the candybar form factor is perfect for messaging, because the keyboard is always exposed (and doesn't have hinges or ridges getting in its way.) Palm Pixi feels comfortable, well balanced, and just about the right size in the hand. Because of the lack of ridges around the edge, the keyboard feels larger, even though it isn't folks with big fingers will still probably find the keys to be too small. Palm Pixi is based on the Qualcomm MSM7627 chipset, which is designed for lower cost smartphones.

Rather than using a separate application and baseband (phone) processor like the Pre does, the MSM7627 unifies both functions in one chip. That makes for slimmer, cheaper, and cooler running phones, but the downside is lower video performance. Because Palm Pixi has a 320 by 400 touch screen as opposed to the Pre's 320 by 480 display, many of the standard WebOS interface items are a little bit compressed. They're well designed, though, so you don't notice until someone points out to you that the buttons on the phone keypad, for instance, are a bit more compressed. The

smaller screen did become noticeable with Web browsing, though you see less of a Web page at a time than you do on the Pre. The interface was just as responsive as the Pre's, though, and all the WebOS items were in the same place. Palm ditched the Pre's home button in favor of a virtual home button an area right below the screen that lights up in a little white line. It worked just like the Pre's home button. Palm Pixi comes with 8GB of built-in storage, but no removable memory. The battery is removable, though.

You can sync it with various PC and Mac apps including iTunes, although Palm has been having a bit of a cat and mouse game with Apple over that one. Although Palm Pixi's back doesn't work with Palm's Touchstone inductive charger, Palm will separately sell six "artist backs" that do work with the Touchstone each one was designed by a different California based artist. Palm Pixi has GPS and stereo Bluetooth, but not Wi-Fi, unfortunately. Palm dodged the question of why it left out the Wi-Fi, but they implied it was a cost consideration. Instead of Wi-Fi, Palm Pixi connects using Sprint's EVDO Rev A network (or it roams on Verizon's network when Sprint's network isn't available.)


dhemz October 9, 2009 at 6:38 PM  

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