Pre Plus and Pixi Plus review round-up

Palm Pre Plus

If you were to ask us who has the best reviews of the new Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus on Verizon, we’d probably tell you that there is no such thing as the “best” review (even though we trust you're fond of what can be found here at PreCentral). So even though we do have reviews of the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus on this awesome site (there’s that hubris again), it’s always worth looking at what others thought. At least, those others who lucky enough to get their hands on the hot new handsets before their release next week. Those thoughts are all waiting after the break.

Bonnie Cha, CNET:

So what exactly makes the smartphone earn the Plus at the end of its name? Well, for starters, the Palm Pre Plus offers double the Flash memory, bringing it up to 16GB with about 15GB available to the user. Though we'd still love to have expandable memory, we think this should be enough to satisfy the needs of most people. Also, while Palm isn't releasing specific details, it did confirm that the Pre Plus has double the RAM, paving the way for running more apps and speedier performance.

David Pogue, The New York Times:

I can’t fathom why the Pre and the Pixi haven’t proved to be more popular. The polish and panache of both phones are phenomenal. ... In any case, these phones are better than ever. Not as flashy and app-blessed as the iPhone; not as open and tricked out as Android phones like the Droid and Google’s Nexus One; but for nontechies, they’re elegant, polished and very satisfying. After so much time has passed, putting my paws again on these Palms gave me a new appreciation for their appearance, power and price. The Plus part gives them the power of productivity that precious few phones possess.

Joshua Topolsky, Engadget:

Problems aside, going back to webOS after some time apart reminded us of what a truly elegant and revolutionary smartphone platform this is. Sure, there are those lingering issues, but webOS is also a tremendous mobile operating system which allows you to handle lots of little tasks at once, and doesn't buckle under what we consider to be a tremendous amount of pressure. Even when running ten cards or more, the Pre Plus still felt snappy and usable, and made us remember just how much fun -- and useful -- webOS can be. Android and the iPhone OS may have their killer features, but neither one of them can handle multitasking like the Pre and Pixi -- and while the latter isn't as fast as we would like it to be, both phones still perform admirably with a lot of balls in the air. This is a powerful and creative mobile OS with tons of potential, and it seems like Palm is just starting to tap into that.

Jason Chen, Gizmodo:

So yes, it's called the Palm Pre Plus for a reason. And it lets Verizon customers get in on the web OS action while staying on their preferred network—which is a good thing, and actually a decent move for Palm. Rather than try to suck more money off the same group of potential customers (Sprint users) with a phone that will be a bit better but not all that different, Palm went ahead and repackaged the same phone with slight modifications to a new sea of potential users. I suspect that this strategy will grant Palm more return on their initial webOS/Palm Pre investment, justifying the production of an entirely new phone that catches up to both the Nexus One and the upcoming iPhone 4. For Palm's sake, it better.

Eric Zeman, Information Week:

I've spent the last few days using both the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus. These new Verizon-branded versions of Palm's two webOS smartphones are solid devices, but each lacks a few things here and there. ... Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that the [Pre Plus] doesn't perform any better than the original. I found the device to be sluggish in every application, screen or menu. It just took forever to respond to input. Applications -- especially email -- took ages to launch. ... Despite the weaknesses of these two devices, I expect they will sell pretty well on Verizon's network. Even so, Palm needs to get some some new hardware out in the market, and soon.

Sascha Segan, PC Magazine:

With two Droids, two Palms, and all the Blackberrys they can eat, Verizon subscribers can't whine about their smartphone choices any more. The Palm Pre doesn't "kill" the Motorola Droid. It presents a cuddlier alternate reality, where color and feel win out over widgets and apps. If you're into messaging and Web browsing on Verizon, and it seems like the Droid is a little too geeky for you, it's time to retire that old BlackBerry Pearl and move on up to a Palm Pre Plus.

Ginny Mies, PC World:

Verizon customers looking for a smaller and less expensive alternative to the Motorola Droid will be pleased with the Pre Plus. The hardware improvements and future software upgrades should boost its appeal--especially among the latest crop of Android phones. I still believe, however, that Palm should rethink the keyboard. A phone so well-connected to social networks and messaging applications simply deserves better.

Jon Fortt, Fortune:

Palm seems to have made a calculated decision to target BlackBerry users and folks who loved the original Palm Treo, so the screen has to shrink to make room for a keyboard. I get that. And I get that there are a lot of people who refuse to even look at a smartphone that doesn’t have a keyboard. But I still think Palm needs to bring us a phone with a nice big touchscreen, and soon. Mainstream consumers are getting more comfortable with on-screen keyboards by the day – and I would argue that cutting-edge mobile apps like 3D games, navigation services and video need the screen real estate. Until now, Palm has had a first-rate mobile operating system hidden behind small-screen phones on Sprint’s network. The Pixi Plus and Pre Plus address the network issue. Now it’s time to really upgrade the hardware.

Lisa Gade, Mobile Tech Review:

Both the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus are fun, modern and enjoyable smartphones. Combined with Verizon's strong network and EV-DO Rev. A fast data, these phones are definitely worth a good, long look. Palm's webOS is capable and multi-tasks well, but we'd say its simple and non-customizable UI is best suited to smartphone novices and those who don't want to spend hours, days or weeks customizing their smartphone. If you're a power user who likes to tweak and have a customizable desktop, or craves a higher resolution display to better view web pages and MS Office documents, Verizon's Droid duo and their HTC Windows Mobile phones might be a better choice. But then, it's great to have choice, isn't it? And between the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, if you can afford the $50 additional, you know which we'd pick.

Mark Spoonauer, Laptop Magazine:

When you look at Verizon’s smart phone lineup there are plenty of compelling choices, ranging from the $99 BlackBerry Tour and Droid Eris to the $199 Motorola Droid. The $149 Pre Plus sits in the middle of that price spectrum, giving potential buyers a better browser than the Tour and a multitouch display. The Eris has a cool interface and runs more apps than the Pre Plus but lacks its phsyical keyboard and innovative Mobile HotSpot feature. And on the high end the Motorola Droid offers more speed than the Pre Plus and a bigger screen. So the Pre Plus is basically a good value, even though we wish it had more horsepower. And this smart phone will get even better once webOS 1.4 rolls out next month, which will offer welcome features like video recording and full Flash support.

Vincent Nguyen, SlashGear:

Is the Verizon Pre Plus a must-have upgrade? For existing Pre owners, probably not, thanks to incremental rather than revolutionary changes. Those who’ve considered a Pre – or webOS – but been put off by the keyboard feel or the limited storage, however, should definitely take a look at the Pre Plus. Our typing felt faster and we had fewer concerns about side loading reasonable catalogs of music onto the smartphone. Lastly, webOS is faster and more responsive thanks to the extra RAM doesn’t hurt either.

overall -- reviewers like it but palm needs to revamp the hardware asap. time to take a leap to the next level guys.