Monday, September 19, 2011

Palm Pixi Plus GSM with WebOS

This review is from: Palm Pixi Plus GSM with WebOS, Touch Screen, 2 MP Camera and Wi-Fi - Unlocked Phone - US Warranty - Black (Wireless Phone Accessory) I bought this unlocked phone to see me through the rest of my current cell phone contract after my basic non-smart phone gave up on life. The main things that attracted me to this phone was qwerty keyboard, the price tag and the wifi capabilities. I don't currently have a data plan and didn't want to get one, but live in a city where there's free wifi readily available just about everywhere. I've had this phone for just over a week and here are my main issues: Wifi/3G: The first thing the phone requires you do to is to set up an Palm profile. The phone will automatically connect to 3G and uses data to do this. The phone also frequently checks for updates and if you set up your email through the phone it'll frequently check in to give you up to date emails. I bet these are neat features if you have an unlimited data plan, but if you have anything less than unlimited you should be aware of the frequent updates and backups that will drain your data and cause you to go over. This is apparently a common problem with AT&T. You can turn off 3G and set the phone to wifi which is what I've done. Alarm clock: You can't sent alarms to go off on custom days. You can only choose ring once, daily, weekdays or weekends. In the end you have find an alarm app that will allow you to set custom days if you have any needs for custom alarms like I do. The alarm sometimes won't go off but will only vibrate, even when you have it set to make a sound. If you hit snooze the alarm does not sound when it goes off again but will vibrate only. When the alarm is set the alarm notification shows up at the bottom right of your screen, rather than the top left, like every other phone I've ever had, so you have to know where to look. If the screen locks and you unlock it there is a perplexingly large notification on the bottom of the your screen letting you know there's an upcoming alarm. I don't know why this is necessary. I ended up downloading an app to use as an alarm clock. I think it's kind of stupid that I have to find apps to replace

Vibration: I haven't found anywhere to adjust the strenght of the vibration. The vibration can be described as subtle, or discreet. It's weak to the point where I didn't feel the phone vibrating when it was on my lap while I was driving. Not being able to feel the phones vibration over the vibrations of the car is quite a drawback for me. This also means that when the phone is on the bedside table next to me sleeping head, quietly vibrating to let me know my snooze alarm is up, I don't hear it and oversleep for work. True story. Contacts: Once you have your email set up and download a facebook app all of your email and facebook contacts will automatically be imported to your contact list. Instead of having the 30 or so phone numbers of people I programmed in ready to go, I now have a list that's 100s of people long. The list just alphabetized - you can pick if you want it by first or last name, but it doesn't sub-categorize where the contacts came from. It would have been neat if it just had a little tabs for facebook/gmail/simcard or something. If you try to clean up the contact list by deleting all these extra people the phone will tell you "facebook profile can't be deleted". You can, when you have the contact card open go to preferences and set it to only show you names saved in your palm profile, or only names saved on your sim. I was really annoyed that it didn't ask permission or give any sort of notification about this mass importing of contacts. People I have as facebook friends only are there for a reason. If I wanted to call them I would have programmed their numbers into my phone to begin with. I read up about it and and app called Supercontacts was recommended as a way to manage this overload of people. Again, I think it's sort of ridiculous that you need an app to get your phone to be functional. Palm Apps: My only frame of reference is the apple app store we use for our Ipod touch. In comparison, this palm app store is cluttered and clunky and difficult to navigate. You can sort apps into "hottest right now" and "new" and alphabetical, but I really miss easily being able to pull up the top 100 free and paid apps. I miss being able to group apps into categories like you can on the Iphone/Itouch - instead you just have an endless list of stuff. It's harder to navigate and not really intuitive. It's hard to search for apps that do a certain function without knowing the name - the search doesn't autocomplete and start pulling up things that you might mean. I had to look as various online reviews and suggestions and then go back to my phone to look for those apps. The only other issue I have with this phone is that I wish I could have programmed it to have the screen wake up if I push any button. Currently you have to touch the power button to wake the screen and then drag the lock icon upwards to unlock the screen. This is fine, but I miss that extra bit of customizing that my old cheapo cellphone had. The phone is pretty fast, call quality is good and there's a good collection of preprogrammed ring tones. It's pretty easy to get used to although I had to look up what all the gestures were plus I didn't realize the black part below the screen was part of the touch screen and where you swipe to the left to go back/minimize. I'm happy I got this phone since it's a huge step up from what I had (LG Neon - would not recommend) but if I got this phone from a cellphone provider as part of a contract it would be going back for something that's a bit more streamlined and something where I can set custom days on an alarm clock. This phone taught me that not being able to set custom days is pretty much a deal breaker.

To buy:

Palm Pixi Plus GSM with WebOS, CLICK HERE.