Palm Pixi review

The follow-up to the Palm Pre is lighter, easier to use and just as web-enabled

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palm pixi

We were impressed with the Webkit-powered browser on the Palm Pre and the Pixi follows this same mould.

Web pages do not necessarily load lightening-fast as they do on the iPhone or just about any Android-powered handset, but once they do load, the pages are formatted correctly.

Lack of updates

Once again, in the past 5-6 months, we would have expected Palm to add a few extras to the browser beyond what was offered with the Pre, perhaps some sort of new technology for working with Adobe Flash pages to one-up the iPhone (besides the woefully incompatible Flash Lite).

Most sites took several seconds to load over a 3G connection, an eternity compared to other smartphones.

We tested our colleague's website, and while the site eventually appeared and the text was formatted correctly, the load time was over five seconds, which is just too slow for a smartphone.

We're not sure what is happening on the phone that caused this delay, but it is likely trying to format the entire page rather than incrementally adding text and images.

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INTERNET: Sites – once they finally appeared – looked great in terms of formatting


The 2-megapixel camera on the Pixi is a low point, not necessarily because of how the Pixi handles the photos (since you can add them easily to text messages, store them in a photo roll and attach them to emails), but just due to the low quality.

There are smartphones with 2 megapixels that work reasonable well in various lighting conditions (say, the iPhone 3G) and there are 2-megapixel cameraphones that outright fail to impress.


The Pixi is in the latter category. Shots looked gray and muddy, if not completely out of focus. There are no extra controls over white balance or zoom. In fact, all you can do is set whether there is an auto-flash based on lighting, no flash, or always-on flash.

palm pixi

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We doubt anyone would buy the Pixi to use it as a real digital camera, but even as a back-up at a sporting event where you just want to capture a late period goal or your friends having too much fun at a party, the Pixi is just not up to the task.


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In fact, the light weight and slim size work against this phone because it is hard to hold it steady long enough for a good shot.

palm pixi

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In keeping with our theory (since Palm did not reveal the RAM allocation compared to the Pre) that the Pixi does not have enough memory to handle media apps as well as other smartphones, the camera app was sluggish and would outright stall at times, especially if we ever attempted to take a few photos one after the other.


Photos had a muddy, fuzzy look in most lighting conditions – unless we snapped photos in direct sunlight.



John Brandon (Twitter, Google+) has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.