"We are excited to offer the new Palm Pixi to our customers in time for the holiday season, and it's a great addition to Sprint's industry-leading device portfolio," Sprint Senior Vice President Kevin Packingham said in a statement Oct. 26.
Packingham continued, "Simply put, this phone is fun and easy to use; with its multitouch screen and full QWERTY keyboard, it's a great device for messaging and social networking at a price everyone can enjoy, and [it] delivers so many of the great features people love about Palm Pre in a fantastic new form factor, making it a huge hit for consumers."
With the Pre, Palm attempted to one-up the iPhone by pairing a large touch screen with a slide-out keyboard. With the Pixi, Palm has again included both, though the touch screen is significantly smaller-measuring 2.63 inches, with a resolution of 320 by 400 pixels-enabling the keyboard to fit below it. The Pixi weighs 3.26 ounces and measures 4.37 by 2.17 by 0.43 inches.
The Pixi will run on Sprint's Mobile Broadband Network, which the carrier describes as offering more than twice the coverage in square miles of AT&T's 3G network, and more than 15 times that of T-Mobile's network.
The smartphone will run Palm's WebOS mobile platform, which lets users keep multiple applications open at once and easily sort through them like a deck of cards. And like the Pre, Pixi will feature universal search, letting users search for data on the device or the Web, including sites such as Google Maps, Twitter and Wikipedia.
Also on board is Palm Synergy 3, which enables users to link contacts from a variety of sources, offers layered calendars for a single view of personal, work and other events, and combines various conversations with a contact in a chat-style view, regardless of the type of interaction. Palm says there will also be a new Facebook application on the Pixi, for quick updates and status checks.
The Pixi comes with 8GB of internal memory, a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.1 and Microsoft ActiveSync technology for syncing the device with a PC. And while it comes with a charger, it's compatible with the sold-separately Touchstone charger-which, like an electric toothbrush, charges through induction.
The Pixi will be priced at $99.99 with a two-year service agreement, after a $50 instant rebate and a $100 mail-in rebate. It'll sell at Sprint stores, Best Buy, RadioShack and some Wal-Mart stores. Pixi requires activation of a pricing plan that includes unlimited data, and Sprint's unlimited calling, texting, e-mailing and Web browsing begins at $69.99.
New customers may want to take advantage of Sprint's Ready Now service, which pairs customers with a retail associate who can clarify ways to customize the device and answer questions-either at the time of purchase or during a scheduled appointment.
In preparation for the Pixi's debut, Palm recently reduced the price of the Pre by $50, bringing the price to $149.99. The Palm WebOS developer program is expected to begin in December, and from Oct. 26 through 28 Sprint is hosting its ninth annual developer conference in Santa Clara, Calif.