Palm Pixi Review
The Palm Pre was arguably the most anticipated device of the year, and for the most part it hit the mark. So how do you follow up the device that is supposed to turn your company around? Meet the Palm Pixi. This little sprite takes almost everything we love about the Pre and wraps it up in a smaller package. Much smaller. Like, sets a new standard small. Some features are lost in translation, most notably Wi-Fi, and the screen has shrunk a bit, but the Pixi still embodies what we love about webOS and at $99 we can’t really complain.
Like we said this thing is small, and it feels amazing. Few CDMA phones have dove into GSM size, phones like the SLVR and UpStage, but never a smartphone. When the Centro came out a few years back we were impressed with the size, but Pixi takes this to a whole new level. The only phone that compares in size is the E71x, and while Pixi is a touch thicker it is shorter and more narrow. It’s also nearly an entire ounce lighter.
You can compare the Palm Pixi with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
With no moving parts the Pixi has a much sturdier feel than the Pre. It is so small and light that it effortlessly slides into the pockets of even the skinniest of jeans. One casualty of the size is the display, which measures in at 2.63” and has a resolution of 320x400 pixels. It also has only 262K colors, whereas the Pre has 16M, but the difference is not terribly noticeable. The capacitive display seems more responsive this time, sometimes too much as panning and zooming on the web results in unintentional link clicks at times. It is plenty bright though, and very usable.
The physical button found in the Pre’s gesture area has been replaced with a capacitive LED stripe on the Palm Pixi, but pressing it still minimizes the current app. Below is the keyboard, which has again shrunk, but is more usable than the Pre’s. Keys have a much better feel, and offer a very positive click. We didn’t have many issues with the Palm Pre’s keyboard, but found ourselves enjoying the one of the Pixi much more. We were immediately typing quicker and more accurately. Unfortunately correction software is still sparse, though we needed it much less now.
Like the Pre, there are only a few buttons on the sides. Along the right is the volume rocker, above that is the vibrate toggle and on the top left is the power button. Towards the bottom of the left side is the covered microUSB port, which is quite frankly a pain to open. Touchstone recommended. The back door is more of a cover than a door, and wraps around the sides of the phone. It is also a pain to get opened, but thankfully it is coated in soft touch paint like the Pre’s Touchstone back. There will be several different designer doors offered. The layout is simple: the 2MP camera and LED flash are centered at the top in-between two speaker cutouts, only the right of which is functional.
We love the Palm Pixi’s design, more than the one of the Pre actually. The Pre is definitely the premium device of the two with a larger, more vibrant screen and better specs, but the Pixi just feels so wonderful in the hand. We can’t quite believe just how small this thing is, and as much as we tell you it can’t be appreciated until you actually hold one in your hand. Despite being the low-cost alternative, Palm has knocked the design out of the park with the Pixi.