By DAN VOYLES
Recently, I was contacted by a Verizon Wireless public relations firm who offered me the opportunity to start reviewing Verizon handsets (phones). To be clear, they are not paying me in any way, and just mail me the phones to use and abuse. After a couple of weeks I mail the handsets back to the firm. I am telling you readers this so that you do not think I am swayed by pay or “freebies.”
Now, on to my review of the Palm Pixi Plus on the Verizon Wireless network. The handset arrived while I was at work, and my wife had the opportunity to play with it until I got home in the evening. She had no problem registering the phone and using it to send messages and make phone calls. This is from a woman who calls herself “a gadget idiot.”
So, from a setup point of view I will have to say that the Pixi Plus is definitely easy to start using. Once I got home, I began using the more technical features of the phone. At its most basic, the phone comes with YouTube viewing software, web browser, and other general applications. Pixi allows you to have multiple applications open at once and change between them as you want.
The best part of using this phone for me was the new Palm webOS. This platform pulled information from my Google mail, calendar, and contacts into the phone once I put my username and password into it. While I did not try other networks, the Pixi will also pull information from Facebook, Outlook, Yahoo, and Linked-in to use on your phone. This made it very easy for me to use the phone without having to enter a lot of information manually.
In addition to YouTube and the webOS, the Pixi Plus can also be a wireless hot-spot for up to 5 other devices. Until recently, Verizon had been charging an additional fee for this service, however they have dropped the cost of using the “mobile hotspot” feature to $0. If you live in a rural area or travel frequently, this feature alone may be worth the upgrade.
The interface to the Pixi allows you to use touch on the screen, and it also includes a full keyboard in case you have to do some extensive typing. Personally, the keyboard helped my text addiction keep going strong. I had some minor adjustment time to get used to having a real keyboard (my phone is all touch), but once I had practiced it was easy to use.
While this is not a comprehensive review, I feel that it hits the high points of the handset and some of its better features. If there are other details that you would like to see covered in future reviews, please let me know what they are and I will do my best to incorporate your ideas.