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Palm Pixi Review

Palm Pixi

Posted: , posted by PhoneArena Team

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User Interface, Phonebook and Organizer:

*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.

Palm Pixi is the second device to feature webOS - Palm Pixi Review
Palm Pixi is the second device to feature webOS - Palm Pixi Review

Palm Pixi is the second device to feature webOS


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.

Palm Pixi Review

The calendar now offers Yahoo sync as well to go along with Google, Facebook and Exchange.  Tasks, Notes, Clock and Calculator all remain unchanged.

Palm Pixi Review


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.

Palm Pixi Review
Message forwardingis now enabled as well - Palm Pixi Review
 

Message forwarding
is now enabled as well


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.

Music playback - Palm Pixi Review

Music playback


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.

Outdoor pictures - Palm Pixi Review
Outdoor pictures - Palm Pixi Review
Outdoor pictures - Palm Pixi Review
Outdoor pictures - Palm Pixi Review

Outdoor pictures


Strong light - Indoor samples with flash - Palm Pixi Review
Medium light - Indoor samples with flash - Palm Pixi Review
Low light - Indoor samples with flash - Palm Pixi Review

Strong light

Medium light

Low light

Indoor samples with flash



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.

Palm Pixi features the same wonderful WebKit browser - Palm Pixi Review
Palm Pixi features the same wonderful WebKit browser - Palm Pixi Review
Palm Pixi features the same wonderful WebKit browser - Palm Pixi Review

Palm Pixi features the same wonderful WebKit browser


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.

Palm’s App Catalog is growing rapidly - Palm Pixi Review

Palm’s App Catalog is growing rapidly


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PhoneArena rating:
9Excellent
Display2.6 inches, 320 x 400 pixels (195 ppi) TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Hardware
Single core
Size4.37 x 2.17 x 0.43 inches
(111 x 55 x 10.8 mm)
3.51 oz  (100 g)
Battery1150 mAh, 5 hours talk time

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