As of November 15th, the Palm Pixi has been at large. The question on most people’s minds are how it stacks up against the Palm Pre. Palm has obviously attempted to make a few trade offs in order to appeal to a different demo. The way I see it, the Pixi will be to the Pre what netbooks are to the laptop: an abbreviated, cheaper, more portable version of the hardware with the same operating system and a longer battery life; designed for people that prefer, well, abbreviations.
The Palm Pixi’s most noticeable difference is its slower processor. The Palm Pixi’s Qualcomm MSM7627 processor clocked to 600Mhz pales in comparison to the Palm Pre’s OMAP3, but the trade-off here is a longer battery life. Battery life is really a measurement of portability, making Pixi already more portable, although a bit sluggish. Being a Pre user, I already feel like webOS can be sluggish at times. This brings us to the next Pixi Perk: the only phone with the latest webOS software: version 1.3.1
With version 1.3.1 of the most advanced mobile OS on the planet, there are promised revisions in code to make things work more efficiently, which helps to cancel out the processor downgrade a bit. While the Pixi enjoys webOS 1.3.1, Palm Pre has to wait, an obvious value-add tactic from Palm in hopes to give Pixi a little traction in the most hostile environment for new smart phone releases in the short history of mobile devices.
The other 1000-pound-gorilla-in-the-room-trade-off we see here is a reduced screen size in order for the phone to be thinner than the iPhone; this trade off is thanks to a full QWERTY keyboard that doesn’t add to the thickness of the phone by being a slide-out, but by taking up the real estate where the screen would be otherwise. If you’re like me and need a real QWERTY, then this trade-off is ridiculously poor. Most people I know would take the 3.1″ Pre screen over the 2.65″ Pixi screen even if it meant a few more centimeters in width. If you don’t care about having a real keyboard, and you don’t mind paying 40% on average more a month, then you should go with iPhone.
Oh yeah, and iPhone has about a thousand percent more apps. Probably more. You really get what you pay for in this deal, although I’m sticking with Palm still. The apps are catching up, and most of my friends with iPhones admit that they only use a couple percent of their apps anyway, but of course, that’s all anecdotal (just trying to avoid those dogmatic iPhone fan boy mantras in the comments).