Cell phones: Latest not always the greatest

In a few short weeks Sprint and Palm will launch the new Palm Pixi, a smartphone that hopes to capitalize on the popularity of the Palm Pre which is powered by the same acclaimed WebOS software.

There's no doubt that the Palm Pixi smaller and newer than the Palm Pre, but is the newest cell phone always the best deal?

I'll explain how the cell phone industry works, in terms of phones. When a company is launching a new top of the line phone, commonly referred to as a flagship phone, they pour a lot of effort into launching it and getting it into the public's eye.

After selling millions of them at a premium price, a smaller, cheaper, and likely less powerful phone is released which makes use of the brand recognition to gain additional sales among individuals who held out or weren't aware of the first phone.

Enter the Palm Pixi. Yes, the Palm Pixi is the newest. Yes, it is smaller. And yes, it does have a better keyboard; but is it really a better phone, especially for $100?

According to the comparison chart at pocket-lint.com the Palm Pixi sacrifices in several areas to come in at $100 including: losing WiFi, getting a slower processor, less ram, a smaller screen and a lesser camera.

While it's common to lose some features in a newer cheaper phone, it's always important to look at the older sibling before purchasing the latest and the greatest. For example, the Palm Pre is available for as low as $99 and it offers much more than the Pixi.

Since the Pixi is billed as a new device many users will pay the $99 price tag for a new device instead of looking around and paying $99 for a phone released three to six months ago, all because they think newer equals better.

This isn't to say that the Pixi won't fit many user's needs. But a warning that if you are purchasing a cell phone to last out a two-year contract, it's important to do your research and know that the latest isn't always the greatest when it comes to cell phones.

Another thing to consider is that often an additional $100 will bring a much powerful phone, and when you consider the typical two-year contract, that's a worthwhile investment.

If you're not sure which phone is right for you, you can ask a smart friend or visit the carrier forums at HowardForums.com and ask for help finding the right device to fit your needs.

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