Screen size is a big topic of debate at the moment with many users wanting four-inch and larger screens on their next smartphone and as such the Pixi Plus' 2.6inch one seems positively miserly, as does its resolution of 320 x 400 pixels. However, it's still superior to many other budget smartphone displays and is perfectly adequate for general use. It has accurate colours, adequate viewing angles, and good sharpness – the size just means you have to scroll around a bit more than you might like to read large web pages and such like.
In terms of touch-sensing it's again very usable, even if the wobbly plastic surface isn't quite as responsive or nice to the touch as glass ones. This responsive feel of the handset is helped greatly by the WebOS operating system's really touch-friendly interface, which is still second only to the iPhone's iOS for look and feel.
It's also a very capable system with very good integrated social networking capabilities, email support, web browser, and class-leading multitasking abilities. Certainly if you're looking for a smartphone mainly centred around messaging and the web then WebOS still holds its own. There's also a goodly supply of apps on Palm app store, though it's nowhere near the level of either Android of iOS.
This latter point really touches on the main problem for the Pixi Plus in that, thanks in part to Palm's recent financial problems and subsequent buyout by HP, the WebOS platform is on shaky ground and development for it has been slow. Likewise handset development has been quite slow to the point where the Pixi Plus feels like a phone that should've been released nearly a year ago. WebOS is still a great platform but it needs updating soon to keep up with the competition. Moreover, neither the Pre (Plus) or the Pixi (Plus) really does the platform justice.
Were the Pixi Plus priced as low as you might expect then we'd probably still recommend it for its ease of use and great messaging abilities. However, thanks to Palm's exclusive deal with O2, you can't pick it up for less than £30pm. At that sort of money we'd probably opt for one of the lesser Android handsets out there. If you can get it cheaper, though, it's still worth considering if you're a fan of physical keyboards.
There are many things we like about the Pixi Plus including its slick operating system, and nice form factor. However, its build quality isn't good enough, its keyboard is fairly poor, and it's overpriced.