The Palm Pixi was first announced back in September but, unlike the Pre, it won't be taking the majority of the year to make it to market. Instead Palm has agreed an exclusive deal with Sprint to bring it to the US on 15 November for $99 on a two year contract.
Yes once again this is a US launch first, but I suspect we won't have quite the same lengthy four month gap before a European arrival this time around. Furthermore, UK contracts tend to be better subsidised than our US compatriots so the Pixi looks like a prime candidate to me for "from free" tariffs.
Aimed at a more wallet friendly audience, the Pixi sports a BlackBerry-esque form factor with a 2.63in, 320 x 400 pixel multi-touch capacitive touchscreen display, 8GB internal memory, a 2MP camera, GPS, an accelerometer and 3.5mm headphone jack. Interswappable back covers are also available to appeal to a more youthful audience while it is compatible with the Palm TouchStone wireless charger. Lastly, at just 111 x 55 x 10.85mm and 99.5g, it's slim and light too.
On the downside the US edition drops 3G for EVDO, but I can't see any smartphone hitting the UK now and standing a cat in hell's chance without it so expect a variant for Europe. More concerning is the absence of WiFi, a missing microSD expansion (as with the Pre) and a slower CPU given the Pre is already a little laggy.
That said, webOS is a beautiful thing and as HTC has proved with the Hero, performance can have as much to do with firmware tweaks as hardware. So fingers crossed, we'd really like this one to succeed.