Hands-On: Palm Pixi at New York Fashion Week
The Pixi was announced last week as a cheaper, more style-friendly alternative to the Pre. The body is the slimmest Palm has ever produced. Solid in the hand, the phone is light and curved, keeping with the stylish look of the Pre. Unlike the Pre, however, there isn't a sliding keyboard, and the QWERTY board is teensy-tiny, perfect for a model or a petite gal, but a little ungainly for anyone else. Even so, the phone was solid and light, and felt easy to hold. The most eye-catching addition (and the reason the device made its appearance at the stylish event) is the choice of five different customized artist back covers that snap on and off.
The touch screen was surprisingly responsive, and the only time we resorted to the buttons themselves was for typing or dialing. Scrolling through the menu, the interface itself was, well, incredibly cute. Well-designed, warm, and easy to navigate, the webOS that the Pixi shares with the Pre is much more eye-friendly than RIM's BlackBerry OS and a bit easier to navigate than the iPhone.
With a smaller screen and no Wi-Fi capability, the Pixi lacks many of the media-heavy features of the Pre (it does have fast 3G mobile broadband built in, but Wi-Fi can often be much faster for downloading music and movies). The Pixi gets integrated chat, a native Facebook app, and improved Synergy integration with Yahoo! and LinkedIn, which means this is much more of a lifestyle oriented phone (think a netbook compared to a laptop... but an adorable, easy-to-use, still spacious netbook). Basically, the Pixi's processor is a downgrade from the Pre, but for its targeted audience -- style-conscious consumers who need to stay connected but not be constantly downloading or GPS-enabled -- it's just right.