Palm Pixi Plus review:

Palm Pixi Plus

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Clear, vivid display; responsive touchscreen; Qwerty keyboard; well-designed, beautiful user interface; merges your info from social networks and the cloud; good connectivity, including 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS; slim; subtle good looks.

The Bad Very sluggish at times; keyboard may be too small for some; short battery life; no memory-expansion slot; App Catalogue is still painfully empty compared to its competitors.

The Bottom Line The Palm Pixi Plus packs a triple threat of great connectivity, heaps of features and a fresh touchscreen user interface into a smart, subtle-looking case. Sadly, it's very slow at times and its app store is one of the poorest out there

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.3 Overall

The Palm Pixi Plus may have the name of a little pink fairy, but it looks more like a rubbery black seal. Its minimalist looks, full Qwerty keyboard and glossy touchscreen, combined with the webOS software we loved on the Palm Pre, make the Pixi one to seriously consider if you're looking to upgrade to a smart phone.

The Pixi Plus comes out on 28 May exclusively on O2, from free on a £25-a-month, two-year contract.

Packing the Pixi
The Palm Pre was a refreshing take on touchscreens, with a gorgeous, smooth user interface and a tiny slide-out keyboard. But the Pre wasn't cheap -- and its successor the Pre Plus certainly won't be -- and that's where the Pixi comes pirouetting into the picture.

The Pixi has the same small, rubbery keys on its keyboard, but this is no slider -- it's a traditional candybar shape. We think that's an improvement, since the slider on the Pre tends to become wobbly over time, and it has some sharp, plasticky edges. Despite being less expensive, the Pixi feels more solid and well made, with a rubbery back that looks smart and is comfortable to hold.

The buttons are small, so might not suit those with sausage fingers.

The Pixi makes room for the keyboard by chopping the screen down to 66mm (2.6 inches). That means less room for Web pages and apps, but thanks to a decent 320x400-pixel resolution, it's still very usable, and text remains sharp and readable.

Most of us like the Pixi's keyboard -- although the keys are small, they're easy to find because they stick out from the phone, and they have a satisfying click. If you have huge mega-thumbs, however, you might find them too close together when you're trying to type with two digits.

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