As we head into December, amongst the haze of Black Friday shopping and Christmas preparation, our minds start to turn to the new year and how we will make 2020 different. With so many gadgets and technology out there vying for your attention, sometimes its those products that instead of making a splash in the technology current, start as a ripple and that could not be truer than with the Palm Phone.
This tiny “palm” sized offering is the phone that doesn’t want to be a smartphone but offer you some of that functionality. In fact, in the past 5 years, there has been quite the push from some companies producing minimalist phones or dumb phones as they are called, aimed solely at redirecting your attention to the real world instead of your smartphone screen. Companies like Punkt and the Light Phone, have made a name for themselves based on the simplicity they offer in this complex world.
The Palm Phone itself is not a full replacement for your smartphone but rather the phone you should be using in your downtime to switch off and enjoy life. Think of it as the sidecar to your main device. This tiny 3.3-inch offering features a brilliantly pocket-able form factor, with a modern all glass design (gorilla glass 3 in fact), a vibrant 445-ppi screen, IP68 water resistance and even a 12-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front camera setup. It is also powered by a Snapdragon 435 processor, 3GB’s of ram and 32GB of storage. In all accounts this would be a low-mid range smartphone.
Software wise it is running Android 8.1 complete with the Google Assistant and even has a somewhat secure Face Unlock option akin to that of an iPhone. Navigation wise you get Palm’s own vertical scrolling list of apps as well as their own unique Life Mode which when turned on disables all wireless and Bluetooth connections until the phone screen is lit up for true distraction free living, which we absolutely love! You can still access all of your numbers and messages from your smartphone as it is synced with it and still enjoy some of your favorite apps like Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps but it will not quite be that enriching of an experience and are quite cumbersome to use, but that is the point – they are there if you REALLY need them but shouldn’t.
Now, the only problem we have with the Palm Phone is that it requires its own exclusive data plan to get it to work alongside your current smartphone, like an Apple Watch with cellular functionality. Currently, too, only a few US carriers like Verizon offer this and sadly this is the Achilles heel of such an interesting device. While, we love the idea of it being the ‘weekender’ phone, we just don’t think consumers will want to pay even more on their current cellphone plan to use such a limiting device. It is a compelling offering and a niche product, but unfortunately that is where it will stay.
You can find out more about the Palm phone at https://palm.com/