In the middle of a Pandemic, it is hard to justify spending thousands of dollars on the latest smartphone. These days, the tech world is beginning to find itself in a state of diminishing returns where smartphones especially just can’t innovate enough to bring that wow factor anymore. One company though wants to get your attention with a phone that not only fits in the palm of your hand but does everything you need and nothing more. With simplicity and ease of use at its core, the Palm Phone is the breath of fresh air 2020 needed.
The Palm phone doesn’t want to be a smartphone at all but still offers you some of the functionality we have come to expect in our devices. In fact, in the past 5 years, there has been quite the push from some companies producing minimalist phones or ‘dumbphones’ 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 a 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 pocketable 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 a recent build complete with the Google Assistant and it even has a somewhat secure Face Unlock option akin to that of an iPhone. Navigation wise you get Palm’s vertical scrolling list of apps as well as their unique Life Mode which when turned on disables all wireless and Bluetooth connections until the phone screen is lit up for a true distraction-free living, which we 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 need them but shouldn’t.
Now, the only problem we have with the Palm Phone is that it requires an 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 and there are workarounds on their unlocked variant, we just don’t think consumers will want to pay even more on their current cellphone plan or fiddle with back door hacks to use such a limited device. It is a compelling offering and a niche product suited for some, but unfortunately, that is where it will remain