The Good The Palm Pixi Plus brings the addition of Wi-Fi and the capability to use the smartphone as a mobile hot spot. The sleek handset also offers Bluetooth, 3G, and GPS. The multitasking features of Palm WebOS continues to be one of the highlights.
The Bad The smartphone can be sluggish. The camera lacks editing options, and picture quality is pretty poor. No expansion slot.
The Bottom Line While not a major overhaul, the Palm Pixi Plus adds built-in Wi-Fi and gives customers making the jump from a feature phone to a smartphone even more functionality without breaking the bank.
Palm Pixi Plus (Verizon Wireless)
Announced alongside the Palm Pre Plus at CES 2010, the Palm Pixi Plus will be making its way to Verizon shelves on January 25. Like its Sprint counterpart, the Pixi Plus is aimed at those ready to make the jump from a feature phone to a smartphone and although it doesn't bring quite as many upgrades or enhancements as the Pre Plus, it has one major feature that the Sprint Palm Pixi doesn't have, and that's integrated Wi-Fi. The extra connectivity is most certainly a welcome addition and Verizon and Palm sweeten the deal even more by allowing you to use the smartphone as a Wi-Fi router with a new mobile hot spot app.
The smartphone can be sluggish at times, so don't expect this to be your business sidekick. However, it's a good fit for first-time smartphone users, offering ease of use and all the basic organizing features and then some. Unlike the entry-level RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530, you also get the benefit of a multitouch screen and a better browser. The Palm Pixi Plus will cost $99.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate a bit more justifiable. Of course, be aware that on top of this price you will need to sign up for voice and data plans (Verizon recently revamped its voice plans, which starts at $39.99 per month for 450 anytime minutes nationwide (you can find the new prices here), while Verizon's unlimited data plan remains $29.99 per month) and if you want to use the mobile hot spot feature, that will also cost you an additional $40 per month.
The Palm Pixi Plus is nearly identical in design to the Sprint Palm Pixi, sharing the same dimensions, 2.63-inch multitouch screen, and full QWERTY keyboard. Verizon also packages the Pixi Plus with the same accessories, which include a travel charger, a USB cable, and reference material. However, in addition to the limited-edition artist series backplates, you can also choose from one of five new colored back covers, available in blue, green, orange, pink, or black. Each costs $29.99 (the artists series cost $49.99 each) and all are compatible with the Touchstone charging dock.
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