The Palm Pre’s little brother, the playfully-named Palm Pixi, is slated to flutter onto Sprint’s smartphone lineup November 15. We were lucky enough to get our hands on Palm’s second webOS-powered handset, and offer another humble contribution to the unboxing ‘geek porn’ phenomenon — and, of course, some first impressions of the Pixi.
The Pixi is more or less a somewhat stripped down version of the more premium Palm Pre. The handset adopts a surprisingly thin candy bar form factor instead of the Pre’s unique slider format. It’s a fairly inconspicuous looking device, and wouldn’t necessarily jump out at you in a crowd of smartphones.
Those who weren’t a huge fan of the Pre’s keyboard may be disappointed to see the Pixi armed with a very similar keyboard. While the keyboard is very much the same, the keys are more raised than they are on the Pre (the Pre’s keys need to be able to slide under the top half of the device) and feel more ‘clicky’ — making for a better overall typing experience.
Presumably as a cost-saving measure, Palm opted to forego WiFi on the Pixi. The Pixi also has a 2-megapixel camera — a 1-megapixel downgrade from the Pre. Reports are that the Pixi will be able to handle less open cards than the Pre, and also has a slower processor than its older sibling. A final significant change between the Pre and Pixi comes in the form of display size and resolution. The Pre sports a 3.1-inch, 320×480 pixel display while the Pixi is equipped with a smaller and slightly lower resolution 2.63-inch, 320×480 pixel screen.
Truth be told, the Pixi actually offers greater functionality than the Pre right out-of-the-box. In addition to Google, Facebook, and Microsoft Exchange integration, the Pixi adds LinkedIn and Yahoo! support to the mix. Just as Palm’s Synergy would automatically integrate Google, Facebook and Exchange contacts, the Pixi will let users inegrate LinkedIn contacts. The device also now supports Yahoo! instant messenger.
Though the Pixi is said to sport enhanced Facebook integration, there was no sign of a Facebook app residing on the phone (running webOS 22.214.171.124). Our guess — and it’s nothing more than a guess — is that the Facebook app will magically appear along with another webOS update (1.3?) around the time of the Pixi’s official launch.
And, perhaps it’s just because it’s fresh out-the-box and wants to show off a bit for the camera, but the Pixi (despite a slower processor) actually seems a tad bit snappier than the Pre. Chock it up to the latest version of webOS, or the fact that we didn’t put any accounts on the Pixi just yet?