Palm Pixi Review
*We covered webOS in detail in our Palm Pre review, if you’re not familiar with it please check it out!
Pixi is the second device to feature webOS, and for the most part it is unchanged. Our unit is running 1.3.1, but there have been several software updates in the past few days so we can’t say that will be the final launch version. Palm has been very responsive with software updates, and this appears to continue with the Pixi. Whatever version it launches with, we expect it to be available for the Pre at the same time. The interface seems to be a bit snappier as well, something Palm has hinted at, but there were a few things that felt a little slower. We can't rule out that there may be a placebo effect going here as well.
Synergy is in full effect here, and as promised is now more robust. The phonebook syncs with Google, Facebook and Exchange, but now Yahoo and LinkedIn have been added as well. As always contacts are automatically linked between the different services, preventing multiple entries for the same person, and if one slips through the cracks it can be manually linked.
now offers Yahoo sync as well to go along with Google, Facebook and Exchange. Tasks, Notes, Clock and Calculator all remain unchanged. The calendar
Messaging, Multimedia and Camera:
The Pixi features the same unified messaging that Pre does. You can start a conversation via a contact with SMS and switch to IM part way through and it will all show in the same thread. Yahoo Messenger has been added this time around. Message forwarding is now enabled as well, simply tap on the message and you have the option to forward, copy text or delete it.
Perhaps Palm has decided to give up on iTunes syncing, or maybe they just haven’t implemented the work-around yet, but either way the Pixi does not sync with the latest version of iTunes. The Media Sync option is still there however, so we tend to think they have something up their sleeve still. In the mean time other work arounds can be used, or you can simply drag and drop music files onto Pixi in USB mode. The media player remains unchanged, as does the video player.
The Pixi has a 2MP camera with flash, a step down from the Pre’s 3.2MP shooter. The two phones share the same barebones interface with the flash being the only option. The results were pretty poor: color saturation was too exaggerated, details were extremely blurry and the camera was only usable in good lighting conditions, despite the LED flash. Pre was by no means a standout, but it was acceptable. Pixi’s camera is a disappointment. Video capture is still not available.
Connectivity and Software:
The Palm Pixi runs over Sprint’s speedy Rev. A network, but does not offer Wi-Fi for those not blessed with 3G coverage. We don’t find much use for Wi-Fi on our devices and therefore don’t find the exclusion to be a big deal, but then again we’re well covered with 3G. You’ll find the same wonderful WebKit browser, but the smaller screen is definitely noticeable here. In options you now have an option to set your default search provider, though at this time Google is the only option. There is now a placeholder for Flash videos; on the Pre these areas simply showed up as a blank spot. We know Flash is coming, and it would look like Palm is getting ready.
The Pixi runs on Qualcomm’s MSM7627 chipset, unlike the TI OMAP3430 the Pre runs on. The MSM7627 chipset has two ARM cores on a single chip, including one dedicated 600MHz applications processor, and a separate 400MHz modem processor to take care of some dirty work. There's also a 200MHz, OpenGL 2.0-supporting GPU that should be capable of handling some advanced 3D graphics (once this is allowed by the platform, of course). Finally, a 320MHz application DSP is there to handle multimedia, including full 30 fps WVGA video encoding/decoding. Like the Pre, the Pixi has 8GB of internal memory with no expansion available.
When the Palm Pixi was announced it mentioned a native Facebook client, but thus far there is none. Included software is identical and includes Sprint apps like Navigation, NFL and NASCAR clients, as well as Office and PDF readers. Palm’s App Catalog is growing rapidly, and now features over 300 entries. Still just a spec compared to the 100K+ in the App Store and 10K offered in the Android Market, but it’s a far cry from the 18 that were available at the Pre’s launch. There is a thriving homebrew community as well that roughly doubles the number of apps, along with a number of wonderful tweaks to the OS.
1. Doakie (Posts: 1321; Member since: 06 May 2009)
Well Pixi is tempting. I just returned my very($278 after tax) expensive Instinct HD. Now I'm back on the market to make a good companion to a sexy phone. The Pixi is actually what got me to solidify my return. The IHDs expensive price combined with the still buggy instinct ui made me angry, but the option for a $99 Webos phone made me return it. I'll be getting it in a few days. My Centro with its unstable version of JVM running Opera Mini just doesn't cut it anymore. Good thing I still have the G1 as a work phone.
2. InstinctDemon (Posts: 74; Member since: 09 Nov 2009)
The Pixi is a good phone for a person on a budget!
3. jhoff80 (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Nov 2009)
The Pre does not have a 1400mAh battery, but a 1050mAh one. I believe the Pixi does use the same 1050mAh battery though.
12. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
Hello! We apologize for the mistake. Indeed, the battery of the Pre is not 1400mAh; however, it is 1150mAh. The Palm Pixi uses the same 1150mAh battery.
13. jpdaballa (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 Nov 2009)
However, you can purchase a bigger battery for the pre without changing the back cover, you can buy a 1400mah battery from either amzer or mugen, or a 1350 to the more known seidio...... The reason I belive palm does not originally sell with this size battery is so the phone could be sold for cheaper prices, so you are not entirely wrong :P I am currently using the mugen 1400 mah battery for the pre and it adds about 2 hours of life time throughout a days use. Just thought that I would add my .02 Btw these batteries can be used in the pixi to
4. cyberbullet (Posts: 12; Member since: 27 Apr 2009)
Palm just loves this tired old form factor dont they? Its like they have some 70 year old man who is set in his ways designing most of their phones. The Pre was the only change in form factor from this company in half a decade! And now we get more of the same Small screen on top of "ok" kb. I dont care what Palm is doing with devices out there from HTC, Samsung, Nokia, even Blackberry that have better form factors. One by one all of the legacy Palm users are being won over to other devices. Palms future is very uncertain IMO
5. dwaynewilliams (Posts: 4; Member since: 11 Nov 2009)
I don't see the market for this device. It isn't better than the Pre and the Pre is selling for $99 in most places. Why would you buy a device with less features for the same price? Plus, there are a lot of devices selling for $99 or less that are better than the Pre. I think that it will be a disappointment fir Palm. If the form factor were bigger and the keyboard was a lot better with the features of the Pre, it would have been able to compete with the BlackBerrys on the market and some of the new WinMo devices. The Pixi will be competing with lower end messaging devices with a slightly higher price. Doesn't make sense.
6. cyberbullet (Posts: 12; Member since: 27 Apr 2009)
exactly! Someone is going to be forced into paying for monthly data plan for a phone with the same or maybe less capabilities than the samsung rogue, or the env touch. And with a very tired form factor.
9. mr. anderson (Posts: 92; Member since: 16 Apr 2009)
um, really? the pre, pixi and any webos phone is infinitely more capable than dumphones like the rogue and env touch. its a true smartphone, with advanced features like multitouch and true web browsing. and as for a market for the pixi, you only need to look at the centro. its small, touchscreen and has a full keyboard. most people don't know how to use it, at least the pixi is more consumer-centric
14. jpdaballa (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 Nov 2009)
I think the candy bar styling of the phone will attract consumers that don't like the fact that the pre is a slider.... just look at how well the Palm Centro did
15. Kiltlifter (Posts: 742; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
Neo, I mean Mr. Anderson, I agree with you bashing the blatant vzw rep stating the samsung rogue and the enV Touch offer the same capabilities. The pre's webOS is infinitely better than and BREW/Feature phone available. He wouldn't say that if VZW had the Pre of the Pixi, but he has to bash a great phone b/c it isn't on the VZW network. But let the Apple bashing continue as I hate apple so I could care less who gets the phone when at&T is the exclusive US carrier anymore, I will hate everyone that owns one ,independent of carrier, equally. Microsoft>Apple HTC>Apple Pre/Pixi>iPhone Android>Apple Feature Phones>Apple
19. smartypence (unregistered)
I know that with Verizon the Palms are great options because of mandatory plan changes happening at the change of the year. A data plan will be mandatory HOWEVER the Palms are also the only phones that you do not have to pay for the service of using as a mobile hotspot. So it does make sense to go with the Palms (and I've been a loyal LG customer for ever- I'm in the process of 'testing the upgrades' I'd gotten b/c if they dont work well as phones out in the middle of nowhere as LG can than I'm just going to scrap the idea for now) just because you can use to go online w/your comp. and not have to pay a separate ISP. As for the 'form factor' I like that the keyboard is within your prime thumb area (moreso for the Pre) and as for the form factor not being different just about every phone has a very VERY similar form save for the dimensions. Its long enough to fit comfortably in the hand and does have a great talking tactility while being held. The TPE cover is also pleasing to the hand. The Pre is pretty different especially when open, the contour is quite nice and there are no 'death grip' issues in any way you hold it. I hope Palms can make a comeback- BBeries are attractive but have so many extra charges for this that and the other...not worth it. I wound up
7. joshwithachance (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Nov 2009)
the mean reason people would choose this over the pre is build quality. the pre has been out for a while now and there's massive issues with the hardware still: like dead pixels, light leaks, oreo effect, etc. with no moving parts the pixi is going to be more stable and lots of people LIKE candybar style phones. i for one am going to pick one of these bad boys up on sunday (:
8. Ebonyks (Posts: 20; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)
Note to pre users: the oreo effect can be fixed by firmly pressing on all four corners of the pre, and gently sliding the slider back and forth a few times. It fixed mine in a jiffy. It seems some of the build problems have been resolved with the pre, but the idea of reducing physical hardware is tempting. Any slider is going to endure wear, and opens up an opportunity for mechanical problems. I like the pixi's build, but am still sticking with the pre personally.
16. Kiltlifter (Posts: 742; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
I agree a slider no matter how good it is built, will ultimately fail, the more moving parts (i.e. Keys, buttons, sliding mechanisms) the higher the prbability of error because even if all parts are 99% reliable, 30-50 parts = like a 70% reliable device). Palm needs to make a HTC HD2 clone of the WebOS phone and like a 1500mah battery. That would be sick. Lose the keyboard and focus more on the OS.
10. AZNphoneGeek (Posts: 200; Member since: 15 May 2009)
i didn't read this article all the way through and skimmed most of it. what stood out as a great point though is the keyboard feels really great. it has a lot of feedback for the key depressions, more so than the pre. good work on this palm. now FIX the next gen of pre's
11. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
I understand Phonearena's reviews aren't meant for comparison... but honestly, how did the pixi get a higher score than the droid??? No wifi, 2 mp camera, tiny screen, etc... I am no longer putting any stock into these scores, they make no sense
17. Kiltlifter (Posts: 742; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
If you would just read their review guidelines, they write review for the phones for carriers compared to other phones by type and by that same carrier. So when the Pre got a 9.9 rating it was becuase it blew away anything sprint had in its line-up and it was a revolutionary OS. The pixi got a 9, becuase the only addition to sprint's line-up worth mentioning since the pre wer the TP2 and the Hero. If the pixi or the Pre were on VZW right now, I bet they would get a lower rating, but not by much. And honestly, the droid is cool, but the Pre is still a superior phone.
18. krusenkevin (Posts: 7; Member since: 29 Oct 2009)
The specs state that Pixi allows for voice commands, dialing, and recording, which I don't believe is any more true of Pixi than it is of Pre.