At one time, Palm was “the” name in the handheld market and while it was not strictly a phone, it could be synchronized with your desktop computer so that one could receive and place emails, although phone calls were out of the question but that has changed now as Palm has joined the ranks for those offering AT&T’s GSM WiFi phone service.
In the mid- to late-1990s, the name Palm and its operating system were the powerhouses in the handheld market. With the right dock hooked to your desktop and the right software, one could send and receive emails, as well as text. One could also create documents and, if your PC had a mailing system and could use the Microsoft Mail Exchange server, one could mail those documents to another user who could then sync his or her Palm device and take the document along in their Palm handheld.
Now Palm has entered the Internet phone market with its Pixi Plus, a very reasonably priced and sized Internet-based phone that gives one access to the entire AT&T GSM/EDGE/GPRS quad-band phone spectrum at 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz and its UMTS/HSDPA dual-band service at 850 and 1900 MHz. This spectrum will not work with CDMA-based networks offered by Verizon, Sprint or Alltel.
Like Blackberrys, one of the features that users who like real keyboards will find an attraction is its full, front-mounted QWERTY-style keyboard. Using this backlighted keyboard, one can easily send text messages or email messages quite quickly, while touchscreen-based keyboards can be very slow if you must use a stylus to generate the message. The keyboard is also compatible with the social media sites Facebook, Google and Linked-In
The Pixi is a surprisingly good phone at an attractive price. It’s about average-sized at 4.37 by 0.43 by 2.17 inches, weighing a total of 3.2 ounces. Don’t let its size and weight fool you, the Pixi offers you talk time of about five-and-a-half hours before it needs a trip to the charging cable.
Its high-contrast color display is about two-and-a-half inches and can act as a touchscreen, if necessary as can all small phones. That display unlocks the world of AT&T’s 20,000-plus national hotspots to you as this is a WiFi 802.11 phone. This makes the Pixi compatible with AT&T’s Navigator GPS system that gives you turn-by-turn directions to a site.
The Pixi can be equipped with up to 8 GB of internal memory and features a 2 MP camera/camcorder. Given the number of applications that are built in to the Pixi, you will find that you have more internal memory available for video or images than you think. Remember, though, that the 2 MP camera is good for home snaps or quick shots. It is not meant for high resolution video (usually a 3.2 MP camera is best for home photography as this is roughly 640 by 480 – VGA standard – and shows up best on other camera or computer systems). Still, a 2 MP automatic camera/camcorder – a device that allows you to take videos – is a nice addition, especially when you can use the entire screen as the viewfinder for the Pixi.
Finally, the Palm Pixi shows that Bluetooth is for more than just answering a headset/phone or pairing with your vehicle’s phone system, you can use it to stream audio. Bluetooth operates in a specific range of frequencies and since it is an RF-based system, you can take any audio source to which you might happen to be listening, such as an audio service, and then allows you to stream the audio through another, remote Bluetooth device. It is a nice feature that rounds out a a very nice offering at a price that won’t break the bank but which will still work well.