Last year, TCL announced that new devices with Palm branding would launch in 2018, and the first phone leaked a few months ago. The tiny 3.3-inch Palm phone is now official, and it's coming to Verizon next month for a whopping $349.99.
Rather than being an independent phone, it functions as a 'Connected device,' similar to a smartwatch. You have to pay an extra $10/month, and it will receive the same phone calls and SMS messages as your main phone. TCL is positioning it as a secondary device for when you need a break from your regular phone.
|Display||3.3-inch 720p LCD|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 435|
|Dimensions||50 x 97 x 7.4 mm (2 x 3.8 x 0.3 inches)|
|Software||Android 8.1 Oreo|
The main gimmick of the Palm phone is its size — the screen is just 3.3 inches across. Most Android apps might be a bit difficult to use with the limited screen space, but the Palm phone has a few software tweaks to mitigate that. The custom launcher takes inspiration from the Apple Watch's home screen, with large icons in a honeycomb pattern. The software navigation keys appear to be optional, but the single capacitive button for home/back/recents doesn't look ideal.
Accessories appear to be a major focus for the new Palm phone. Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors is a creative strategy director for Palm, and has helped create cases, lanyards, armbands, and Kate Spade-branded clutches for the tiny device. I'm sure Verizon will be more than happy to sell you all of them.
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) October 15, 2018
I'm always a fan of smaller smartphones, but the new Palm is a bit underwhelming. It's exclusive to Verizon, it can't function as a primary phone, and it doesn't have a headphone jack. The entry price of $349.99 also seems too high — you could almost buy three Jelly Pro phones for that.
Verizon has announced a release date for the Palm phone — November 2:
Palm is available exclusively on Verizon, online and in stores, starting November 2 in two color models - Titanium and Gold – for $14.58 per month for 24 months on device payment (0% APR). You’ll also have the option of purchasing it with a new 2-year agreement for $299.99, or full retail for $349.99. Additionally, Palm will be available at Best Buy kiosks nationwide. Verizon NumberShare is $10 per month per line.