Palm is back with a phone... for your phone?

Isaac Cain
October 16, 2018

The prospect of a new Palm phone got an old Treo fan a rather excited, but it's with barely a splash that the new Palm phone has been announced as a United States carrier Verizon exclusive.

But as the vicious cycle of new becomes old, and old becomes new again proves, these legacy brands never truly die - especially when there's money to be made.

Even though it has its own cellular modem, you probably have already figured that Palm is framing its first phone in a long time to be a companion for your main device.

It comes from a startup in San Francisco, which purchased the rights for the name from TCL a year ago.

Moreover, the Palm comes with Android 8.1 operating out of the box and the company has also created a custom skin that can directly take its users to the app tray. Or whatever. With a 3.3-inch display and looking very much like a small iPhone, there's no arguing that this isn't a cute handset, but is it viable?

'With Palm, you can leave your smartphone behind so you can focus on what's in front of you and stay present during life's most important moments, ' the firm says. Perhaps the biggest weakness on this phone is its tiny 800 mAh battery, but I guess if this device is so tiny, it shouldn't consume that much power to begin with.

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The Palm looks useful enough: It get calls and texts, it has front- and rear-facing cameras, and it runs apps like Spotify via the Google Play store. Instead of having its own phone number, the Palm phone co-opts your existing Verizon phone number so you can technically use it away from your main phone if you need to.

The resulting phone screams Palm, and it's certainly something different.

The Snapdragon 435 chipset is at the helm of Palm Phone. This Palm will fit in your hand and you won't get a lot of things done with the minimalist hardware, providing the similarity to a kitten, including the powerful attraction some will feel towards it. To be clear, you're really not supposed to.

Then, there is Palm's "Life Mode", which is a feature you turn on in the phone to actively manage your incoming and outgoing connections. Or the weekend when you're at the big game.

Think about it: we've nearly reached peak smartphone design right now and the latest phones can do some incredible things.

So Palm's entire raison d'etre stems from the mainline smartphone makers' abandonment of the comparatively small-handed, or just people who prefer smaller devices. It's essentially an alternative to a dumb phone or a smartwatch that gives you more features while hopefully discouraging you from staring at a screen all the time.

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