Palm Pixi Plus smartphone

Pixi on inductive touchstone chargerRecently I picked up a Verizon 3G Pixi Plus smartphone because they’ve been dumped on the market and I could buy one for only $60 w/no contract. I’m not eligible for a contract phone upgrade until April 2012. The Pixi runs the WebOS operating system and has a lot going for it, however application development is behind the curve because this smartphone platform is at least 4th behind Apple, Android and Blackberry. I’ve also ran into some severe limitations of this tiny phone, and I’m already craving an upgrade. here’s the good and the bad.

Pros

  • great small form factor, slick physical design, allows me to ditch the belt holster
  • although small, the tactile keyboard works well
  • verizon navigator is built in which I use a lot
  • drPodder app has revolutionized my podcast acquisition and consumption
  • email and calendar integration works really really well, for work and personal accounts.
  • wifi works seamlessly and flawlessly.  also has a built in 3G hotspot function which works well
  • cool inductive no-cable magnetic charging system (shown in image)
  • Pandora

Cons

  • slow.  and gets memory leaks which interfere with launching apps and requires a reboot
  • underpowered, can’t really run two apps at a time without apps screwing up (eg. podcast playback  simultaneous with navigator)
  • GPS works, but is erratic and not accurate enough for run tracking.  Consistently overstates mileage.
  • Verizon navigator is not as full featured as it was on my old media phone (wtf ?!)
  • screen is too small to really take advantage of google maps
  • no voice recorder function or app available
  • camera has no settings or controls whatsoever.  click. save. switch to video. click. record. stop. save.  thats it.
  • no streaming Rhapsody client available or intended – got to go to one of the other big three for that.
  • Does not handle rhapsody DRM, so I can’t even load my subscription music on it.
  • no voice recognition for dialing

Next phone will probably be a smallish android with a slideout keyboard.  With 4G if available.  Previous phones:

2010: Casio’s C721 Exilim Phone

2008, LG Dare

2007, LG VX8700