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CES 2010: Palm Updates Pre & Pixi

Gordon Kelly

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CES 2010: Palm Updates Pre & Pixi

After unveiling webOS and the Pre at CES 2009 we knew Palm would have something up its sleeve in 2010, and indeed it did...

The company today unveiled upgrades to both the Pre and cheaper Pixi in the form of the 'Pre Plus' and 'Pixi Plus'. As the names imply, both devices are more incremental upgrades rather than complete overhauls and, arguably, that is all that was required.

Consequently what we find are the Pre Plus packs 16GB of internal memory (double that of its predecessor), though still no microSD expansion slot. The Pre's single navigational button has also been removed, further cleaning the look (I always found it rather unnecessary) and Palm has doubled RAM to 512MB which it claims will vastly improve overall performance (handy since I found the original to be a bit laggy).

Finally, the keyboard - while the same size - has had its action improved to be more clicky (closer to that of the Pixi - or, dare we say it, BlackBerrys). As for the Pixi Plus this also doubles the RAM for a performance boost and makes one simple, but very welcome improvement: it adds WiFi - a major omission on the first generation model.

No UK launch details were provided (hopefully it won't be the circa four month delay we suffered with the Pre, while the Pixi never arrived), but Palm did say both models will hit Verizon on 25 January. Yes, that fast availability, incremental naming scheme and upgrade methodology is very close to Apple and that should be no surprise with ex-Apple guru Jon Rubinstein now heading up the company. Where will Palm goes with these devices? In a word: gaming methinks.

So all in all not the wow factor of the original Palm/webOS announcement, but then it was never likely to be. On the other hand - much like the launch of the iPhone 3G - the Pre and Pixi are arguably more in need of tweaks rather than complete reinvention and I can only see them further aid Palms steady recovery.

Update: Palm has also opened up its notoriously tight (and empty) App Catalog by allowing users to download apps from third party sites, not just through the Catalog itself. This should certainly help the number of apps grow, tough the security implications of the move are somewhat concerning. Personally, it seems a silly risk to me.

Williamn

January 8, 2010, 6:54 am

Anyone else think the thumbnails for the CES stories are somewhat... ahem.. repetitive?

Gordon394

January 8, 2010, 6:57 am

@Williamn - that's kinda the point, so it groups CES news together. It also saves us creating thumbnails for every story while running between different conferences and battling with lousy WiFi ;)

Chris

January 8, 2010, 10:44 am

Opening up the app store to external sites definitely seems a bit silly. Surely the whole point is that it's a controlled environment that presents a single, familiar interface to the user. I understand that Palm would want it to grow, but that's not the way to do it.

Dmz

January 8, 2010, 4:55 pm

I don't see why you are saying opening up the phone to more apps is sily. If you don't want to take a risk, don't download apps from anywhere that it's the Palm App store. I wouldn't buy any phone that was locked down like the iPhone is. Sure a central store is fine 90% of the time, but there are distinct disadvantages to locking it down, as seen on the iPhone. You can't release anything that Apple don't like, or more accurately, anything that the app reviewer doesn't like on that particular day. My next phone was going to be an Android or possibly a Maemo, but it seems that Palm have really fixed several of the faults in the original version. I'd still like an SD expansion slot though.

lifethroughalens

January 8, 2010, 5:45 pm

I have to agree with William, the thumbnails are horrible. Plus it looks boring and it's hard to find the story you wanted to read after a couple of days!





Surely the CES logo could be super imposed or put in the top left corner of every shot, creating a thumbnail takes no time at all!





Great coverage though...the end is in sight!

Williamn

January 8, 2010, 11:27 pm

lifethoughalens is right. But I know you guys work hard on TrustedReviews so I'll just back off and let you run the thing yourself! :P I would spend double the amount of time on here if the articles had real thumbnails though.

Adam Foreman

January 9, 2010, 6:04 pm

I am definitely going to buy the Palm Pre Plus when it hits UK shores. I have been waiting for a phone that's like the iPhone yet not a Blackberry and this fits the bill nicely. I like Touch screen phones for simple basic operations, but if anyone has ever tried to use an iPhone for typing SMS/emails etc. its frustrating and slow having to correct typing errors all the time which is the Achilles heal of the iPhone in my opinion. Now if only Apple would hear that and make an iPhone with a slide out keyboard, I'd buy it in an instant.

Adam Foreman

February 5, 2010, 7:12 pm

I've been asking around, including O2 when the Palm Pre Plus will hit the UK, but nobody has any ideas. Has anyone at TR had any luck finding out? I'm assuming it's still going to be O2. I thought perhaps there may of been a possibility of moving to a new mobile company, like they did to Sprint by moving to Verizon Wireless due to poor 3G coverage.

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