Palm's Mini Pre: The Pixi Makes Its Debut

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Not content to put what may be the best competitor to the Apple iPhone on the market with the Palm Pre, Palm pulled the curtain off a new smartphone called the Pixi to expand its line of mobile devices.

Palm today rolled out the younger cousin of the Pre, with the Pixi designed to be slimmer and lighter, while also placing an emphasis on fashion. The smartphone comes with a full keyboard and slew of options for customization, ensuring that users can stay connected to social networks and the Web. Palm expects the Pixi to be available on Sprint's network in time for the holiday season.

The Pixi is equipped with a 2.63-inch multi-touch screen with a 320 x 400-resolution TFT display as well as an exposed QWERTY keyboard. GPS is integrated to the Pixi smartphone in addition to a 2-megapixel fixed camera with an LED flash. The Pixi has 8 GB of storage and is equipped with Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR. An accelerometer, removable battery and support for MMS are all also included in the smartphone right out of the box.

Palm is also emphasizing the Pixi's ability to integrate social networking and the online world into the handset. The device maker had already woven Facebook, Google and Exchange ActiveSync into the Pre, but is including Yahoo contacts, calendar and IM in the Pixi, as well as LinkedIn contacts. Palm Synergy, which is designed to bring together disparate accounts, presents all of those social networking tools in a single feed on the Pixi.

"With Palm webOS, we're creating a new, more intuitive smartphone experience defined by unmatched simplicity and usefulness," Jon Rubinstein, Palm chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "Palm Pixi brings this unique experience to a broader range of people who want enhanced messaging and social networking in a design that lets them express their personal style."

Reports of Palm developing a smartphone that wasn't the Pre first surfaced as far back as April. The Palm Pre was released in June. The Pixi, previously code-named Palm Eos, was known internally at the company as the "mini-Pre."

Pricing on the Palm Pixi is not yet available, but previous reports put it at around $350 before rebates, which will eventually drop the price to about $99.

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