Palm’s comeback is almost a joke but it’s dead serious about it. While other smartphone makers are scrambling to reach bigger and bigger screen sizes, Palm rebelliously goes the other direction with a phone that’s no bigger, or even smaller, than your palm. And while it might be too easy to classify it as a smartphone accessory like a smartwatch, the new Palm is a bona fide Android phone that will let you leave your actual smartphone at home. That is until you actually need a screen you don’t have to squint at.
Let’s get the specs out of the way. The Palm, which doesn’t have any qualifier attached to its name, is pretty much an entry-level budget Android 8.1 phone running on a Snapdragon 435. The 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, however, isn’t exactly your standard fare low-tier configuration. And the 3.3-inch 720p screen means you actually have a higher pixel density than many smartphones these days. The 12 megapixel rear camera and 8 megapixel selfie camera might not be all that, but they’re still there, surprising for a phone this size.
So what is the Palm for anyway? It’s meant to be an extension of your main smartphone much like your smartwatch. Unlike a smartwatch, however, you have a full, though tiny, Android phone, with all the apps you can possibly cram and use on it. And unlike some smartwatches, you can use the Palm and leave your “real” phone at home without worrying about missed calls or messages.
That’s thanks to its exclusive partnership with Verizon. In particular, Verizon’s NumberShare subscription syncs the phone number and messages so that the Palm is pretty much a stunt double of your real phone. One that can fit easily in small wristlet bags, straps, etc. And when you do have your phone with you or just don’t want to be disturbed on your Palm, the Life Mode feature will turn off all the radios (Wi-Fi, cellular, Bluetooth) when you lock the screen. Unless you’re on a phone call, of course, or streaming music, or tracking your location.
The Palm will be available on Verizon starting November 2 for $14.58 per month for 24 months or $299.99 with a new two-year contract or just $349.99 in full. Available colors are Titanium and Gold. Verizon’s NumberShare isn’t free, though, and costs an additional $10 per month per line.