All you need is a little Pixi dust…

Palm, Inc.’s latest entry-level smartphone looks to compete with Apple’s iPhone 3G

After launching the Pre this past summer to compete with Apple’s iPhone and other touch phones, Palm, Inc. is preparing to launch their latest device, the Palm Pixi.

The Pixi is designed to be a slimmed-down version of the Palm Pre: a smaller display with a lower screen resolution (80 pixels shorter), a less-powerful camera (lowered to 2 megapixels from 3), and lack of Wifi support.

By reducing these features, Palm should be able to introduce the Pixi at a very reasonable price. If they want to remain competitive with Apple, the $99 price point would be most advised, since the iPhone 3G shares a similar price and feature set.

How will the Pixi stand against the iPhone 3G? Both feature two of the best mobile operating systems; the Pixi will run WebOS, just as the Pre does, and the iPhone runs a variant of Mac OS X. Both phones also have the same amount of memory, similar screen size, and cameras.

There are major differences, however. The Pixi has a full QWERTY keyboard, while the iPhone only has an onscreen touch keyboard. After experiencing the Pre, I found it difficult to type on its small keyboard; I can only imagine that the Pixi would have a similar experience. I would much rather use the iPhone’s onscreen keyboard, thanks to its ability to rotate, hide, change key sets, and it also has great predictive text feature.

Another connectivity. Both phones are 3G capable, meaning they’ll be able to run on the fastest cellular networks in the country; however, the Pixi lacks WiFi support. WiFi can be a very beneficial feature, especially in situations where you would like to download larger amounts of data that would normally take a large amount of time, even over the fastest cellular networks.

Will the Pixi gain Palm ground against Apple? Only time will tell. My guess is that it will only make a marginal impact; consumers looking to renew their Sprint contracts may definitely jump on the chance for a new touch phone, but I don’t see a reason to choose the Pixi over the iPhone.

The Pixi is expected to be released this winter on the Sprint network. For more information on the Pixi, visit

A comparison of the Pixi, Pre, and iPhone 3G
Palm Pixi Palm Pre Apple iPhone 3G
Style Candy Bar Slider Candy Bar
Dimensions 55 x 111 x 11mm 60 x 101 x 17mm 61 x 114 x 12mm
Weight 3.51oz 4.76oz 4.1oz
U.S. Network Sprint Sprint AT&T
Screen 2.63”, 320 x 400px 3.1”, 320 x 480px 3.5”, 320 x 480px
Camera 2 Megapixel, LED Flash 3 Megapixel, LED Flash 2 Megapixel, No Flash
WiFi None 802.11 b/g 802.11 b/g
Input Gesture Area, Full QWERTY Keyboard Gesture Area, Full QWERTY Keyboard, Trackball Keyboard On-Screen
Storage 8GB 8GB 8GB
Price Unknown $150 $99