CES 2010: Palm Pre Plus, Pixi Plus arrive on Verizon with Wi-Fi hotspot ability, 3D gaming in tow

CES 2010: Palm Pre Plus, Pixi Plus arrive on Verizon with Wi-Fi hotspot ability, 3D gaming in tow

Summary: CES 2010: Palm announced on Thursday that it will bring upgraded Pre and Pixi handsets, dubbed "Plus," to Verizon along with the ability to turn the phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot for five devices.

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Palm announced on Thursday that it will bring upgraded Pre and Pixi handsets, dubbed "Plus," to Verizon along with 3D gaming support and the ability to turn the phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot for five devices.

The new Palm Pre Plus comes with a Touchstone Back Cover for support for the Touchstone charging dock, sold separately. It packs 16 GB of storage for applications and media.

Meanwhile, the new Pixi Plus upgrades to include Wi-Fi. New color Pixi Touchstone Back Covers were also announced in pink, blue, green, orange and black.

Additionally, Palm announced a webOS app that allows the phone to become a personal mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices. (It's a paid service that's in addition to a data and voice plan.)

Here's a rundown of the new features for the handsets:

Palm Pre Plus specs

  • 3.0 megapixel camera with LED flash and extended depth of field
  • Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • Dimensions: 2.35" x 3.96" x 0.67"
  • Weight: 4.89 ounces

Palm Pixi Plus specs

  • 2.0 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • Fixed QWERTY keyboard
  • Dimensions: 2.17" x 4.37" x 0.43"
  • Weight: 3.26 ounces

Both handsets will be available online from Verizon beginning Jan. 25. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

The company also announced 3D gaming support from Electronic Arts, Gameloft and other developers. Games announced include:

  • “Need for Speed™ Undercover” (EA Mobile)
  • “The Sims 3” (EA Mobile)
  • “MONOPOLY” (EA Mobile)
  • “Asphalt 5: Elite Racing” (Gameloft)
  • “Let’s Golf!” (Gameloft)
  • “Glyder 2” (Glu Mobile)
  • “X-Plane” (Laminar Research)
  • EA Mobile’s “Tetris,” “Sudoku,” and “SCRABBLE"
  • Gameloft’s “The Oregon Trail” and “Brain Challenge.”

Here's Palms full pitch to Verizon customers, straight from the company:

  • webOS - Allows customers to run multiple applications simultaneously and provides over-the-air software updates delivered automatically to their devices
  • Palm Synergy™ - Brings customers' information from the many places it resides into a single, more comprehensive view
  • Unobtrusive notifications and universal search
  • Palm App Catalog - Currently offers more than 1,000 webOS applications for download
  • High-speed connectivity
  • Gesture area - Enables simple, intuitive gestures for navigation
  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • High-performance, desktop-class Web browser
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
  • Integrated GPS
  • Robust messaging support (combining IM, SMS and MMS capabilities)
  • E-mail, including EAS (for access to corporate Microsoft Exchange servers) and personal e-mail support (Google Gmail™ push, Yahoo!®, POP3, IMAP)
  • VZ Navigator(SM) - Allows customers to get audible turn-by-turn directions to more than 15 million points of interest and share the directions with others
  • USB mass storage mode
  • Proximity sensor - Automatically disables the touch screen and turns off the display when consumers put their phones to their ears
  • Light sensor - Reduces power usage by dimming the display if the ambient light is dark
  • Accelerometer - Automatically orients Web pages and photos
  • Ringer switch - Easily silences the device with one touch
  • Removable, rechargeable battery
  • Multimedia options, including pictures, video playback and music as well as a camera with LED flash and a standard 3.5 mm headset jack
  • Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support
  • Charger/microUSB connector with USB 2.0 Hi-Speed

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Networking, Smartphones, Verizon, Wi-Fi

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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