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9/9/2009
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Palm 'Pixi' Extends WebOS Lineup

The second webOS handset will be thinner and cheaper than the Pre, and will be exclusive to Sprint until at least the end of the year.

Palm Pixi
(click image for larger view)
Palm Pixi

Palm showed off the Pre's sibling Wednesday, and the Pixi smartphone packs all the capabilities of webOS onto a sleek frame.

The Pixi has a more traditional shape than the Pre, with the full QWERTY keyboard right on the face of the device. At just .43-inches thick, the Pixi is far thinner than devices such as the Pre, iPhone 3GS, and BlackBerry Bold.

The slim handset sports a 2.6-inch capacitive touchscreen and will be able to multitask like the Pre. Also, like the Pre, it will be able to combine a user's contacts from various sources such as Facebook and Outlook into a single, finger-friendly interface thanks to webOS. The upcoming release of the Pixi could also help Palm attract developers because it would mean a larger potential audience for webOS apps. The company's App Catalog is still not as robust as rivals like the App Store, Android Market, or Ovi Store.

To surf the Web and download apps, the Pixi will use Sprint's EV-DO Rev. A 3G network, but the handset lacks Wi-Fi. It does, however, include GPS, which can be used with cellular data for location-based services. The Pixi comes with Bluetooth 2.0, a 2-megapixel camera, mobile e-mail and instant messaging support, an accelerometer, and 8 GB of internal storage.

Palm's Pixi will be a Sprint exclusive, and it will go on sale in time for the holidays, but the companies did not release pricing. The Pixi is expected to retail at an aggressive price point, and it is unknown how long the exclusive period will be.

The Pixi is Palm's latest attempt to make a comeback in the smartphone market, as the Pre was well-received by the press but hasn't sold as much as other blockbuster handsets such as the iPhone 3GS. To help goose sales, Sprint and Palm have lowered the price of the Pre to $149 after rebates and a new two-year contract. A price brief price reduction to $100 was halted Tuesday, almost as soon as it began.


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