We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Smartphones Reviews
15,604 Reviews

Palm Pixi Plus review

TBC

Manufacturer: Palm

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The "Plus" in the Palm Pixi Plus smartphone really means one thing: the addition of Wi-Fi connectivity.

The "Plus" in the Palm Pixi Plus smartphone really means one thing: the addition of Wi-Fi connectivity.

Other than that, the phone is identical in specs and design to its predecessor the Palm Pixi. While the keyboard isn't perfect and WebOS performance can be sluggish, the Palm Pixi Plus is a solid, inexpensive smartphone - and Wi-Fi only bolsters its abilities.

Because there are so few differences between the Palm Pixi Plus and the original Pixi in hardware and software, we have focused here mainly on the updates and new features. For a closer look at WebOS and the hardware specs, see our in-depth review of the Palm Pixi as well as the Palm Pre.

The lightweight Palm Pixi Plus feels really nice in the hand, thanks to its rubberized back and slim body. It's also superpocketable, measuring 56x112x10mm. Like the Pre Plus, the handset offers a touch area with a light-up bar; you simply tap it to shrink an app to card view.

Although it is narrower, the Palm Pixi Plus's keyboard is slightly easier to use than the Pre Plus's. Yes, it feels a bit cramped, but it doesn't have the sharp bezel lips (which sometimes interfere with typing) found on the Pre Plus's slide-out keyboard. As we noted in our original review of the Pixi, we really wish that Palm had rethought the keyboard design for a phone that's marketed toward heavy messagers - it is simply too small.

Another issue is that, unlike the Pre Plus, the Palm Pixi Plus did not get a storage boost. You're still restricted to 8GB of internal memory. While 8GB isn't bad, people who are planning to keep a large music collection and download a lot of apps onto the device might opt for the 16GB Pre Plus.

The Pixi Plus runs WebOS 1.3, but users will be able to upgrade to 1.4 via an over-the-air update in February. The WebOS 1.4 update will deliver video capture to the Palm Pixi Plus (and to other members of the WebOS family).

According to Palm, the update will also improve performance and battery life. We hope the performance improvement will be significant: navigating through the Pixi Plus's menus can be a bit slow. The touchscreen also occasionally lagged when we tried to open up an app. We'll update this review with WebOS 1.4's new features when they become available.

Unlike the Palm Pre and Pre Plus, the Palm Pixi Plus won't be able to download Adobe Flash Player 10.1 right away due to some unspecified hardware issues. While this is unfortunate, watching video clips longer than three minutes on the Pixi Plus' 2.6-inch display is less than desirable, so perhaps Flash isn't that big of a loss.

Call quality over the network was also quite good on the Pixi Plus.

The Palm Pixi Plus is currently available only in the US, and there's no word of when it will be out in the UK.

In the States, the addition of Wi-Fi also gives you access to Verizon's 3G Mobile Hotspot application. Basically, this app lets you turn your Palm Pixi Plus into a Wi-Fi access point for up to five other devices such as your netbook or portable media player. Setting it up is as simple as downloading the free app and connecting to a Wi-Fi network.

We were able to connect five devices with no issues. While connected to the Mobile Hotspot, we could still receive phone calls without interruption. If one of your devices goes idle (like another smartphone, for example), the Mobile Hotspot will disconnect it from the network. Once you activate it, however, it reconnects instantly. The range is pretty decent, too. As long as your devices are in the same room, they'll stay connected.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

NEW! Explore PC Advisor's virtual BlackBerry smartphone

Palm Pixi Plus Expert Verdict »
CDMA dual band (1900/800MHz) mobile phone
1xEV-DO rev.A
3G Capable
111x55x10.8mm
92g
Li-Ion battery
20x400 pixels, 262 144 colours, TFT, 2.63in, Capacitive, Multi-touch touchscreen
2.0 megapixels camera, LED flash
plays MPEG4, H.263, H.264, MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WAV, AMR
8192MB storage
WebOS 1.3.5
Predictive Text Input, full qwerty keyboard
microUSB, 802.11b/802.11g, 2.1 Stereo Bluetooth, 3.5mm
PhoneBook
PIM
IMAP/POP3/SMTP/Microsoft Exchange/Microsoft Direct Push email
GPS
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

If you want an unobtrusive smartphone for messaging and social networking, however, the lithe Palm Pixi Plus is a good fit - even if the keyboard needs some work.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Palm Pixi review

    Palm Pixi

    Palm's newest webOS smartphone, the Palm Pixi, is a slimmed down version of the Palm Pre in both specs and design.

  • Palm Pre Plus review

    Palm Pre Plus

    The Palm Pre Plus is really more of an update of the original Pre than a completely new product.

  • Palm Pre review

    Palm Pre

    The long-awaited Palm Pre lives up to its pre-launch hype with a responsive touchscreen and an engaging interface, but a few hardware design flaws keep it from being the perfect smartphone - can it compete with the Apple iPhone 3G, T-Mobile G1 and BlackBerry smartphones? Actually, we think it can: read on to find out why...

  • HP TouchPad review

    HP TouchPad

    The HP TouchPad, a WebOS tablet, is taking on the dominance of Apple's iPad, and has much to impress.

  • Palm Treo Pro review

    Palm Treo Pro

    The Palm Treo Pro integrates Centro design elements with the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system, with features of contemporary BlackBerrys, to produce a sleek smartphone built with the image-conscious corporate user in mind.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs iPhone 5S comparison review: Metal smartphones fight

IDG UK Sites

Gateway to your kingdom: why everybody should check and update their broadband router

IDG UK Sites

Fonts review

IDG UK Sites

Best Mac? Complete Apple Mac buyers guide for 2014