Taking a First Look at the Pixi, The Palm Pre's Little Brother

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Taking a First Look at the Pixi, The Palm Pre's Little Brother

Palm is hoping that its upcoming smartphone, the Pixi, will help it expand the market-share it already earned with the release of the Palm Pre earlier this year. Touted in some quarters as a potential iPhone killer, the Pre included a fully QWERTY keyboard, multi-touch screen, and a sleek form-factor - all elements continued with the Pixi, due for release sometime in the fourth quarter of 2009.At a recent Pepcom event in New York City, eWEEK had the chance to examine the Pixi and see how it compared to Palm's earlier high-profile smartphone. With a slim form-factor and an interface linking to many consumer applications such as Facebook, the Pixi has the potential to sell in generous numbers during the holiday season; businesses already utilizing Sprint's network may also consider adopting the device for everyday use.

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Palm is marketing the Pixi as a distinctly consumer device that bleeds over into business functionality, by integrating services such as Facebook, Yahoo and LinkedIn. Sprint will continue to have exclusive rights as the Pixi's carrier.

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The Pixi includes a 2.63-inch 320x400 multi-touch screen and full QWERTY keyboard. It also features GPS and 8GB of internal storage, as well as a Qualcomm MSM62 chipset.

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The Pixi lacks the Pre's sliding QWERTY keyboard, giving it a longer but slimmer form-factor than its big brother.

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The Pixi's volume control can be utilized not only for calls, but also for music. For the moment, users can download music using an Amazon MP3 App; while Palm has attempted to give its devices the ability to sync with Apple's iTunes, Apple seems determined to defeat that functionality by whatever means necessary.

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The Pixi has a standard-issue 3.5mm headphone jack - no surprise.

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The Pixi boasts a 2-megapixel camera with flash, integrated into a rubberized back designed to prevent the device from slipping on a smooth surface or being scratched.

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In order to boost the Pixi's consumer image, Palm commissioned artists, including Jeremy Fish and Michelle White, to create numbered, limited-edition back covers.

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