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Palm Pixi Plus review

Palm Pixi Plus
Our Rating :

Smart design and the intuitive webOS interface are let down by awful battery life and a lack of decent apps, and at £30 per month it's also over-priced


webOS, 2.6in 320×400 display

The new Palm Pixi Plus is a compact smartphone running Palm’s innovative webOS. The case is sturdy, with a rubberised back shell, and the front of the phone is edge-to-edge clear plastic, so the screen merges with the glossy black surround. It’s not as pretty as the larger Palm Pre, but the design will certainly stand out.

Underneath the screen is a swipe area where you can perform gestures to control webOS, and beneath this is a QWERTY keypad. It’s not as precise as a BlackBerry’s keyboard, but the clear rubber buttons have a distinct click which provides good feedback.

WebOS is a multi-tasking OS built for touchscreens, and it’s intuitive and smooth. A small ribbon at the bottom of the display holds four main shortcuts and the application launcher, and it can be activated at any time by swiping upwards from the area beneath the screen.

Palm has bundled some decent apps to start with – there’s a copy of DocView for office documents and a PDF viewer, as well as Google Maps, although without support for turn-by-turn navigation. Palm’s App Catalog offers more apps, but the choice is limited and far inferior to Apple’s App Store or Android’s Market in both quality and quantity.

WebOS’s strength however is in social aggregation. The Contacts, Email and Calendar apps integrate data from various accounts including Microsoft Exchange, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Yahoo!, and you can merge contacts from these accounts easily.

There’s 7GB of usable internal storage (out of 8GB fitted), but no memory card slot. The 2-megapixel camera doesn’t take brilliant shots or videos, but at least there’s a flash to improve low-light snaps. Battery life is extremely poor, lasting only eight hours in our light usage testing, so you’ll need to plug the Pixi in at every opportunity. Most annoyingly, when the battery is too low, you can’t turn the phone on without charging it first.

Palm’s excellent hardware and clever social aggregation software is undermined by the poor battery life and the lack of decent apps to expand the phone’s utility. It’s only available on contract with O2 currently, and at £30 per month there are far better phones you can get for your money, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Portal.


Rating **


Main display size 2.6in
Native resolution 320×400
Second Display No
CCD effective megapixels 2.0-megapixel
Flash LED
Video recording format MP4
Connectivity Bluetooth, USB, WiFi
GPS yes
Internal memory 7168MB
Memory card support none
Memory card included N/A
Operating frequencies GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
Wireless data EDGE, HSDPA
Size 112x56x11mm
Weight 94g


Operating system webOS
Microsoft Office compatibility Word/Excel/PowerPoint/PDF viewers
Email client POP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format support MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR, QCELP, WAV
Video playback formats MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV
FM Radio no
Web Browser Webkit
Accessories charger, USB cable
Talk time 5.5 hours
Standby time 14.6 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback) 8h 1m

Buying Information

Price on contract £30-per-month, 18-month contract
SIM-free supplier N/A
Contract/prepay supplier

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