Mobile Technology

Palm reborn as a smart, small "companion" to your phone

Palm reborn as a smart, small ...
The Palm is a "companion" for your main phone, in the same kind of way a smartwatch is
The Palm is a "companion" for your main phone, in the same kind of way a smartwatch is
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The Palm has a 12-MP main camera and an 8-MP selfie cam
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The Palm has a 12-MP main camera and an 8-MP selfie cam
The Palm runs Android
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The Palm runs Android
Using Verizon NumberShare, you can forward your calls and texts from your main phone to the Palm
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Using Verizon NumberShare, you can forward your calls and texts from your main phone to the Palm
The Palm is about two-thirds the size of most other phones, so it's designed to be taken out and about while your main phone is left at home
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The Palm is about two-thirds the size of most other phones, so it's designed to be taken out and about while your main phone is left at home
The Palm is a "companion" for your main phone, in the same kind of way a smartwatch is
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The Palm is a "companion" for your main phone, in the same kind of way a smartwatch is
The Palm has a Life Mode that can mute unimportant notifications to keep you "present in the moment"
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The Palm has a Life Mode that can mute unimportant notifications to keep you "present in the moment"
The Palm will be available in November for US$349.99
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The Palm will be available in November for US$349.99
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Long thought dead, smartphone pioneer Palm has been reborn with the launch of a new mobile device (also called Palm) that's kind of a cross between a phone and a smartwatch. The new Palm by Palm is essentially a smaller phone that syncs with your main phone, in the same way a smartwatch does. It's meant to be a way to disconnect from the digital world, but is lugging around yet another device really the way to go about that?

Measuring just 96.6 x 50.6 x 7.4 mm (3.8 x 2 x 0.3 in) and weighing 62.5 g (2.2 oz), the Palm is roughly two-thirds the size of most major phones. Most of its other specs are dialed down too – it sports a 3.3-in LCD screen, a modest Qualcomm 435 processor, 3 GB of RAM and an 800-mAh battery.

But the Palm doesn't skimp on everything. The 12-megapixel main camera is more or less on par with many other phones, as is the 8-MP selfie cam. It's rated IP68 for water and dust resistance, features a face unlock system and runs Android.

The Palm is about two-thirds the size of most other phones, so it's designed to be taken out and about while your main phone is left at home
The Palm is about two-thirds the size of most other phones, so it's designed to be taken out and about while your main phone is left at home

Since that small screen might be hard to type on, the Palm can be navigated with voice commands through the Google Assistant, quick action menus, and a gesture pad.

Where things get interesting is in how you're supposed to use it. Palm (the company) says Palm (the device) isn't meant to replace your primary phone, but is intended as a companion for it. After you sync the two devices, calls and notifications will be forwarded to the Palm, so you can leave your bulky phablet at home and just slip the Palm into a pocket when you duck out for a run or a night out.

To back up this idea, the Palm has what's called a Life Mode, where you can mute all but the most important notifications so you can "stay present in the moment." Users can choose what constitutes important, so calls from your spouse will get through while those endless food photos from a friend's Snapchat story can wait till later.

All of that sounds like a noble goal – who doesn't loathe catch-up dinners where everybody is staring at their phone? – but we're not convinced that buying and carrying around yet another mobile device is really the solution.

The text and call sync is also only possible through Verizon's NumberShare, so it sounds like the Palm won't be much use to you if you don't already have a Verizon phone number – or live outside the US, for that matter.

The Palm will apparently be available in November for US$349.99.

Source: Palm

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5 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
That seems like a lot for something that only works with another phone and only works with Verizon. It is not what I was hoping for. I have little or no interest in that phone assistant. I was hoping for something that was more retro with new technology inside. I have a feeling it might not do well even though it seems to bring back the Palm name for phones.
clay
It seems like there is something in there that may work: an anonymous compute/data-store-buffer/connection device... not a phone per se, rather a smaller device that acts as a comms up for all your personal digital devices.. it should not be a phone... it should not have a camera and perhaps not even a mic. There is an argument that it would be handy to have it serve as a conference call device to compliment the bluetooth headset you are using for your personal talk/listen... There is something here... but I don't think a phone supplement is the answer.
jd_dunerider
I think it's brilliant! I would love to have something like this to accompany my iphone 8+, which I only need the large size for about 50% of my day. If I could leave my phone in the car or at home and take something like this with me I'd be thrilled.
Gregg Eshelman
What it needs is a PalmOS emulation to run old Palm apps.
TErber
Looks like we have "Pointless Gadget of The Year" prize winner...