Don't look now, but Palm is back! Well, sort of. A startup in San Francisco is resurrecting and reinventing the Palm brand with a new phone. Well, also sort of. The new Palm phone is being marketed as a companion device...for your phone. Say what? That may sound confusing and illogical, but the startup behind it all insists there are use case scenarios for a companion phone.
It's all about the size, or lack thereof. Palm (the company) says its "making smartphones truly mobile again," and the idea behind the new Palm phone is that it's smaller and less bulky than today's enlarged handsets, particularly the ones with displays measuring north of 6 inches. Even Apple has embraced the trend with the past few generations of iPhone devices.
Palm is about the size of a credit card. It doesn't stand much taller than a tube of lipstick. As such, the company pitches it as an "ultra-mobile companion" device that users can more easily incorporate into their workouts. To that end, one its investors, NBA star Steph Curry, is participating in the phone's marketing with images of him wearing it on a sleeve during workouts. Have a look:
This and several other interesting images and videos can be found on Palm's Instagram account. Whether people embrace the idea of a companion phone remains to be seen, but it's an interesting concept at the very least.
"Meet Palm, an ultra-mobile companion device designed for life on the go. Palm isn’t a replacement for your primary smartphone, it’s a fully connected companion that is in-sync with your primary device, making mobile truly mobile again. Palm has the mobility of a wearable and the capability of a fully functioning smartphone," Palm says.
Smartwatches essentially serve the same purpose, though Palm seems to be banking on users wanting something a little bigger and more flexible. The new Palm handset measures 96.6mm high by 50.6mm long and has a 3.3-inch HD display (445 ppi). For comparison, early iPhone models wielded 3.5-inch screens.
Palm is powered by a Qualcomm 435 octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. It also has 32GB of onboard storage, 8MP (front) and 12MP (rear) cameras, and modern amenities like 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, 4G LTE connectivity, and so forth. The 800 mAh non-removable battery is encased in a crafted billet aluminum mid-frame that is IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. On the software side, Android 8.1 runs the show.
Palm has teamed up with Verizon to promote the phone, with the wireless carrier exclusively offering it for $349. Driving home the point of this being a companion device and not a standalone handset is the fact that it has to be paired with an existing account, with a $10 per month Connected Device plan.