The Pixi has a clean, plain, black design. The back cover is made from matte plastic – charcoal shade – with the Pixi logo debossed. It definitely keeps with the modern phone appearance, although the phone’s thickness and bezel around the screen differentiate it from more expensive models.
The Nero takes us back to 2008 sharing great resemblance to the iPhone 3GS – complete with rounded edges, and silver/metallic strip around the phone. The back cover is made from shiny, fingerprint attracting plastic, with very small inverse dimples that make for an interesting feel.
Performance, Screen and UI
The Nero and Pixi both run on a dual core 1Ghz processor with 500MB of RAM. Both phones feature a TFT touchscreen, however the Pixi has a much higher resolution (4″ at 800×480 vs 3.5″ at 480×320.) The TFT panels mean that there is a limited viewing angle – this is most noticeable if you watch a clip on either phone that features a dark scene – even at the perfect angle, around the corners, the dark scene will display as a purple/inverted mess. For normal browsing (black text on white/light colours), the TFT panels are more than adequate at a range of viewing angles.
Performance wise, the Nero is very snappy. There is no lag when swiping to a different homepage, and a slight pause when opening an app. The Pixi is not as snappy as the Nero, and there is a noticeable lag when flicking through the phone’s homepage or opening an app. (This is definitely due to the larger resolution of the Pixi.) App wise – both phones can handle to a good level simple games (i.e. the ones that are about 20-50MB downloads), and apps like Duolingo.
The Nero runs on 4.2 Jelly Bean and the Pixi runs on 4.4 KitKat. I haven’t experienced any problems with either OS. While I prefer Jelly Bean because it is a very simple and plain UI, I have to admit that KitKat is aesthetically a step up.
The image quality on both cameras leave much to be desired – had they been purchased for much more. However the fact that they were only $20 a pop, and they have a camera that can take okay-ish pics is amazing. Quality is ‘mobile’ webcam level, and both phones can take practical pictures – the stuff that your Samsung S7 or iPhone 6s will probably be taking (and not the great scenery shots you normally see!) – i.e. taking a quick snap of a document or a picture of something instore.
I picked up the Nero at $24.50 from Big W and a couple of months later picked up the Pixi for $19. The Pixi can be rooted easily, so I keep most non-essential apps on there. The Nero only has 4GB of memory, and is hard to root, so not a lot of space for apps. Most of the time, you get what you pay – and this is no different for the Nero and Pixi. Both phones fit my need perfectly – messaging/web browsing, so I think they are a steal if you use them for what they are!