Palm Pixi Review

by Reads (48,655)


  • Pros

    • Very small size
    • Gorgeous display
    • Excellent for email and web
  • Cons

    • Cramped keyboard
    • Barely acceptable camera

The Palm Pixi is the second webOS device, and is in many ways meant to be a successor to the Palm Centro. It isn’t a high-powered smartphone, but it does more than your typical featurephone.

For just $99 (or as little as $24.99 from when purchased with a new service plan) it is a good performer that can help keep you organized and connected while on the go.


The Pixi is aptly named, because this device is svelte and rather petite. It’s tall and narrow, very thin, and amazingly light. When I first took it out of the box I started looking around for the battery, because I just couldn’t believe it was already in the phone — but it was. The Pixi is the sort of device that you can slip into a pocket and forget that it’s actually there, which is especially good for folks (like me) who try to avoid carrying a purse or bag.

Palm PixiThe phone is made entirely of plastic, with a minimal design aesthetic. The exterior is all black, with clear hard plastic keys on the keyboard located underneath the screen. The sides and back of the device are finished in matte black, with a soft texture that improves grip and combats fingerprints.

The only buttons aside from the keyboard are the power button on the top edge of the device and the volume controls on the right side. The headphone jack is on the top, and the charging port is on the right side.

I really like the fact that the charging port is covered, providing some extra protection against dust and accidental splashes, but it is a bit frustrating. When I pry it open with my fingernail, the seamless, seemingly spring-loaded port cover just snaps closed again before I can get a grip on it. I’m sure I’ll get better with practice, but it was a surprising annoyance.

The 2.63-inch multi-touch display really is nice. It’s relatively small, but text and graphics are crisp and clean. Colors are vibrant, and photos look really great.

I was also surprised to find that the screen is quite visible outside, even in direct sunlight. I have had plenty of frustrations with other devices I’ve tested, and have spent more time than I wished trying to angle displays, turn my back to the sun, find a spot of shade, anything(!) to make the screen visible when I needed to make a call or read a text message. The Pixi’s display is clear and readable in all conditions, and is a real standout.

The area between the display and the keyboard is the gesture area, where most of your navigation will take place. Swipe backward to go back to the previous screen; up into the display to flick away (close) applications, etc.

I found the display to be quite responsive, and I didn’t have any issues with my gestures and taps being misinterpreted.

The keyboard is very, very small, and the keys are very close together. This is NOT the sort of device I would recommend to a heavy texter, because they would probably go insane. After using the phone for a week I still find myself “typing” with my fingernails instead of my fingers.

I really don’t have any accuracy issues, and I have a fairly reasonable rate of speed with few errors. I just don’t want to spend a lot of time with this keyboard. It’s not a deal-breaker, unless you’re looking for a fabulous physical QWERTY keyboard experience. I can send texts, enter web addresses, and write e-mails, and it’s fine for casual use, but that’s about it due to my lack of comfort with the key spacing and the material out of which the keys were made.

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