CNET First Look
Palm Pixi (Sprint)Palm and Sprint are ready to launch their second WebOS phone. See what the Palm Pixi has to offer in our First Look video.
[ Background music ] >> Bonnie Cha: Hi I'm Bonnie Cha Senior Editor at CNET.com and today we're taking a first look at the Palm Pixie for Sprint. This is the second web OS phone to come out of Palm and the second one to be offered by Sprint. It's more of a lower end entry device so you're not gonna get as much power as features as a Pre but the Pixie still has plenty to offer the first time smartphone buyer. First things first. I know a lot of people have already made fun the name Pixie including Brian Cooley. >> Brian Cooley: The Pixie, it's like a thin, no slider Palm Pre without Wi-Fi. It better be one dam strong smartphone. >> Bonnie Cha: And I definitely agree it's not a very strong name but when you see how small the device is you can sort of see where they got the idea. The Pixie is the thinnest device that Palm has ever put out and it's really incredible how small the smartphone is. It's light without feeling fragile and it's got a soft touch finish on the back so it doesn't feel as slick or plastic as the Pre. With the compact size there are some tradeoffs though and the most a major one is the screen size. The Pixie has a 2.63 inch capacitive touch screen whereas the Pre had a 3.1 inch display so it's a bit of an adjustment especially when you're checking out web pages or videos. Still it's sharp and bright plus you get the multi touch capabilities so you can use the pinch gestures to zoom in and out of photos, websites and maps and there's a built in accelerometer and proximity sensor. Below the display you can't really see it but there is a gesture area where you can swipe your finger from side to side to return to the previous page. Also Palm got rid of the physical center button that we saw on the Pre that lets you return to the deck of cards view but the function is still there it's just been replaced by a touch sensitive button located in the middle of the gesture area. Below the gesture area there's the Pixies QWERTY keyboard. As you can see it's not at all very spacious and the buttons are actually smaller than the one on the Pre's but they're much easier to use. Part of the reason is because of display design you don't have the raised edges around the keyboard like you did with the Pre so your thumb isn't always bumping against the side edges or the bottom of the screen. Also the buttons are higher on the Pixie and they're not as sticky to press so it's just more comfortable to type and I definitely made fewer mistakes with it. So as I mentioned earlier the Pixie is more of an entry level device so you're not going to get as many features as the Pre. For one thing the smartphone doesn't have Wi-Fi and you also get a lower 2 megapixel camera. The lack of Wi-Fi might be a smart point for a lot of people but the Pixie does work on Sprint's AVEDO Rev A network and you still get the awesome web browser as well as ability to downloads songs from the Amazon MP3 Store over 3G. The 2 megapixel camera is kind of crummy though. Pictures looked really hazy, just disappointing coming from the Pre's excellent camera and there's still no video recording or editing option. So while there are still some missing features the Pixie does bring some new enhancements with an updated OS. Right now the Pre runs Palm Web OS version 1.2.1 but the Pixie is gonna run 1.3.1 which offers Yahoo integration and the Palm Synergy so you can bring over all your Yahoo mail, calendar appointments and IM buddies onto the Pixie. Also you can finally forward text messages as well as flag email, mark them as unread or move them to a folder. There's also gonna be a dedicated Facebook app available through the app catalogue so you can now view your newsfeed, respond to friend requests or comment on a friends status or link. Finally you still get access to a variety of Sprint services, a decent media player and the great deck of cards features for multi tasking. I will say that the Pixie feels a little under powered compared to the Pre. It's using a new Qual Com Chip set that isn't supposed to effect the speed or multi tasking that much but felt like programs took longer to launch and switching between tasks was also sluggish but again since this isn't aimed for the power user I think the Pixie's fine for casual use. It's good for someone who wants to move up from a feature phone to a smartphone or to someone who want phone to support texting or social networking. The 99 99 price tag is pretty fair but I would have liked to see Sprint shave off maybe $10 since there are other smartphones out there for the same price that offer Wi-Fi. [ Background music ] >> Bonnie Cha:Then again Sprint offers some of the more affordable voice and data plans so it's a little bit of a trade off. The Pixie will be available starting November 15th. I'm Bonnie Cha this has been the first look at the Palm Pixie for Sprint. ^M00:04:24 [ Music ]