Palm today introduced the Palm Pixi phone, a lower-priced smartphone in the same family as its popular Palm Pre smartphone.
The company plans to start sales of the Pixi, a candy bar-shaped multimedia handset with a full keyboard, ahead of the holiday shopping season. Like Palm's popular Pre, Sprint Nextel will be the exclusive provider in the United States.
"With Palm webOS, we're creating a new, more intuitive smartphone experience defined by unmatched simplicity and usefulness," said Jon Rubinstein, Palm chairman and chief executive officer. "Palm Pixi brings this unique experience to a broader range of people who want enhanced messaging and social networking in a design that lets them express their personal style."
In addition to linking users' information from Google, Facebook and Exchange ActiveSync, Palm Pixi adds Yahoo and LinkedIn integration to Palm Synergy and assembles it all in a single view. Users can get your Yahoo! contacts, calendar and IM, and access to their LinkedIn contacts, including job titles. Synergy on Palm Pixi makes messaging easier by showing the conversations with the same person in one chat-style thread, so users can start a conversation on AIM Instant Messenger, Google Talk or Yahoo Messenger and continue it by text message later.
A new Facebook application will be available with Palm Pixi so users can see and comment on all the latest news from their friends, as well as easily update their status. The phone also comes with a full QWERTY keyboard and the multi-touch screen that lets users move back and forth between open applications using natural gestures.
For those who want to express themselves with some extra style, Palm is introducing the Palm Pixi Artist Series. These numbered, limited-edition back covers let users change designs to suit their mood.
Palm media sync can be used to to customize a phone with music, photos and videos from iTunes (Versions 8.1.1-8.2.1), or use the on-device Amazon MP3 store to purchase individual songs or full albums over-the-air.
For Palm, the new phone may have to fight for attention in a week when two bigger rivals, Motorola and Apple, are also introducing new products.
Apple on Wednesday will update its iPod line in its annual fall preview for the holiday season.
That will be followed Thursday by Motorola's hotly anticipated announcement of new phones -- based on Google's Android mobile software.
Palm Pixi Features
- High-speed connectivity (EVDO Rev. A)
- 2.63-inch multi-touch screen with a vibrant 18-bit color 320x400 resolution TFT display
- Gesture area, which enables simple, intuitive gestures for navigation
- Exposed QWERTY keyboard
- Messaging support (IM, SMS and MMS capabilities), including Google Talk, AIM and Yahoo! IM
- Desktop-class web browser
- Integrated GPS
- Multimedia options, including pictures, video playback and music, and featuring a 2-megapixel fixed-focus camera with LED flash, and a standard 3.5mm headset jack
- Email, including Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) (for access to corporate Microsoft Exchange servers), as well as personal email support (Google push, Yahoo! push, POP3, IMAP)
- Bluetooth(R) 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support
- 8GB of internal user storage (~7GB user available)
- USB mass storage mode
- MicroUSB connector with USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
- The first handset to launch with Qualcomm's high-performance MSM7627 chipset
- Proximity sensor, which automatically disables the touch screen and turns off the display whenever you put the phone up to your ear
- Light sensor, which dims the display if the ambient light is dark, such as at night or in a movie theater, to reduce power usage
- Accelerometer, which automatically orients web pages and photos to your perspective
- Ringer switch, which easily silences the device with one touch
- Removable, rechargeable 1150 mAh battery
- Dimensions: 55mm (W) x 111mm (L) x 10.85mm (D) [2.17 in. (W) x 4.37 in. (L) x 0.43 in. (D)]
- Weight: 99.5 grams (3.51 ounces)
The Palm Pixi phone is scheduled to be available from Sprint in time for the holidays. Pricing for the phone, as well as the limited-edition Palm Pixi Artist Series covers, will be announced closer to availability.