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Alcatel's new Pixi smartphone can run Windows, Android, or Firefox OS

Alcatel's new Pixi smartphone can run Windows, Android, or Firefox OS

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Fresh off the news that it's acquired the Palm brand, Alcatel has a new Pixi for us. It's not actually the first Pixi from the budget phone maker, but it is pretty unique in its own right: the phone is compatible with three operating systems, being able to run Windows Phone, Android, or Firefox OS. The OS-agnostic Pixi 3 comes in four variants, with a 3.5-inch display 3G model, and three larger versions adding LTE and coming in at 4, 4.5, and 5 inches in size.

The company says the smartphones let owners use the same operating systems at work, at home, and on the move. The "affordable" phones might not rival top tier smartphones in terms of features and power, and the smallest 3.5-inch phone can only use 3G connections, but Alcatel says its users "don't want complicated systems — they want something familiar from their work environment in the office."

The three larger Pixis have LTE and a choice of operating systems

By opening the phones up to three different systems, it might be tricky for Alcatel to ensure a good user experience for every Pixi 3 owner, but the company at least has experience with all three operating systems. Alcatel's previous Pixi phone uses Google's OS, its Fire phone from last year uses Mozilla's, and the company's POP 2 is a Windows Phone with a 64-bit processor. We'll know more about how they work when Alcatel shows the new phones off on the CES 2015 floor.

The Palm trademark was sold in November to a shell company run by Nicolas Zibell, the Alcatel One Touch executive in charge of the American market — a move that indicates that the company may be trying to increase its presence in Western markets. Palm's return was recently teased by a new website, but for now at least, Alcatel's upcoming Pixi 3s don't bear the venerable brand name.