Many people were rather miffed when Palm decided not to release the original Pixi in the UK. The baby brother to the Pre, it had a smaller screen and a less cute design than its larger sibling, but it was cheaper and still used the much vaunted WebOS to power it. Finally, though, we’ve been given the successor to the Pixi, the Pixi Plus that just like the Pre Plus is a very slightly updated version.
In particular, you get a doubling of RAM to 512MB, which should help overall performance, and Wi-Fi has been added. Sadly, unlike the Pre, Palm hasn’t doubled the storage of the Pixi so the Pixi Plus is still ”only” 8GB and there’s no microSD slot for adding more storage.
The Pixi Plus’ design is an odd mix of good and bad. We like the simplicity of the single piece gloss front and the tough matt black rubber back, while the overall symmetry of it also appeals. On the flip side, though, the glossy front is made from a wobbly plastic that just doesn’t feel particularly nice. Worse is the rubber back that also feels cheap – particularly the mushy buttons that are set into it – and isn’t even finished properly with a noticeable moulding seam running round the edge.
Also, the back is attached to the front by means of a small lip that runs round the edge – pull this aside and you can prize the whole back off. Fine in principle but in practice, it’s a rather cumbersome way of taking the back off and more importantly it means you’re often left with unsightly gaps around the edge of the screen when the rubber isn’t quite sitting properly.
One plus point is that the backplate incorporates TouchStone technology. This allows you to wirelessly charge the phone by placing it on the corresponding TouchStone dock. Putting the phone on the TouchStone dock during a call will also switch it to speakerphone, and vice versa, while you can answer an incoming call simply by picking it up. It’s awesome technology that we really want to see in all future phones, but there is a problem with the Pixi Plus. While you get the backplate, you don’t (bundled offers notwithstanding) get the dock, so you’ll have to fork out £30 or so to get one.