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Palm Pixi: Not the Pre Part II

The second device from Palm Inc. featuring its souped up webOS engine was announced this week. In all, it’s not the Pre Part II, and it’s not really the Pre Lite either, though it is a lower-end device than the Pre (no word yet on pricing though). In other words, the Pixi might just stand alone.

The Pixi lives up to its name by being smaller than the Pre, and it lacks a slide-out keyboard, instead offering a BlackBerry-like QWERTY on the bottom. It still has a capacitive touchscreen however, with the homepage icons slightly scrunched together to accommodate the smaller screen. Like the Pre, it will be available on the Sprint-Nextel Corp network.

The Pixi is also geared toward the fun-loving user, with a built-in Facebook app (not yet available on the Pre) and integrated Yahoo! instant messaging. The Pixi will also be able to run any of the Palm webOS applications available at the developer store. And it also has limited-edition back covers that have been designed by a series of up-and-coming artists. Oh, it can make phone calls too.

But that fun-loving user is also not a techie type, apparently, or a heavy user of multimedia: There’s no Wi-Fi and the Pixi has a lower frame rate for video. The phone is definitely more of a messaging device than a full-service entertainment gadget.

Palm announced the Pixi on the same day as Apple’s iPod Nano launch, and coverage was somewhat buried as a result. Palm has given no word on pricing or availability for the device, but it’s sure to be out by the holidays.

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