[ 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 Plus for Verizon Wireless. As most of you probably know this phone was announced at CES 2010 along with the Palm Pre Plus and both bring some extra features and enhancements that its Sprint counterparts don't. The Palm Pixie Plus here doesn't offer quite as many changes as the Palm Pre Plus but it does add a major feature that was lacking on the Sprint Pixie and that's Wi-Fi. Even though the Pixie is aimed more at first time smartphone buyers we think Wi-Fi should be on entry level devices so it's great to see it on here. Even better you can use the Palm Pixie Plus as a Wi-Fi router. When the phone launches on January 25th you'll be able to download an app called Palm Mobile Hot Spot from the Palm App catalogue which lets you connect up to 5 devices and get internet access on them. Just be aware that you will have to sign up for a mobile hotspot plan which costs $40 per month and that's on top of your voice and data plans so it definitely can add up. Unfortunately the app wasn't loaded on our review unit here but again it's a nice feature to have and it is exclusive to Verizon's Pre and Pixie. Other features of the Palm Pixie Plus include a 3G, Bluetooth and GPS and you can use Verizon's VZ Navigator application to get turn by turn voice directions. Palm Synergy feature also allows you to synchronize and merge information from multiple accounts including: Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Linkedin and Outlook. Also has a 2 megapixel camera on back here. Video recording is coming to all web devices sometime in February with the release of Web OS 1.4. You'll also get a flash 10 plug-in so you'll be able to view Flash content right from your phones web browser. The overall design of the phone is pretty much identical to the Sprint Pixie. Its exactly the same size and it's really compact and light but the trade off is you get a bit of a smaller screen compared to the Pre's. Still you get multi-touch capabilities and you can use the pinch gesture to easily zoom in and out of web pages, pictures and so forth and there's also a gesture area below the screen that allows you to turn to a previous screen, launch new apps, or bring you back to the deck of cards which one of the greatest features about the Palm web OS since it easily let's you switch between all your running applications. The keyboard is small in terms of button size but it has a nice tactile feedback and it's easier to use than the original Pre's since your thumbs aren't budding up against any raised edges and last but not least Palm is offering new colored back covers in blue, orange, pink, and plain old black here. This is in addition to the artist series covers and they're all compatible with the touchstone charging dock. Like I mentioned earlier the Palm Pixie Plus will be available on January 25th for 99.99 with a 2-year contract. I initially complained about this price for the Sprint Pixie because I thought it was way too expensive for what it offered, especially compared to the competition but I think with the addition of Wi-Fi here it's a little more justified. This is definitely a good fit for first time smartphone users. It's pretty easy to use and offers all the basic organizing features and then some, but it's not the fastest device so if you're looking for more power and want to stay within that price range you might want to consider the Droid Aris. [ BAckgorund music ] >> Bonnie Cha: I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the Palm Pixie Plus for Verizon Wireless. [ Music ]
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