Palm Now Makes a Tiny Companion Phone

The Palm brand is back. A new, 3.3-inch Palm companion phone is coming to Verizon in the United States in November.

Palm’s new Companion phone is supposed to go along with your main smartphone. The point of the device is…uh, unclear. Palm is advertising as a device that you can use when you want to stay present in life. So instead of getting distracted by a big screen, you can now get distracted by a smaller screen. With Verizon’s

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The device is powered by a Snapdragon 435 processor, and 3GB of RAM. It comes with 32 GB of storage, a 12MP rear camera, and an 8MP front camera. It runs on Android Oreo 8.1, and it can install any Android app you want. And that makes it work exactly like a phone with a bigger screen.

But the Palm Companion comes with a “Life” mode that silences all your notifications and even mutes any calls so you can focus on things in the real world — when you are out with friends, for example. The feature is quite configurable, so you can still make it so certain notifications come through when the Life mode is enabled. And let’s be honest — none of this is anything unique or different from the new Digital Health features found in Android 9 and iOS 12. It just has a fancy name.

The new Palm phone is made by TCL and it’ll go on sale in November. It’s exclusively available through Verizon for $350, and for an extra $10/month, you can use Verizon’s NumberShare service to use the same number as your main phone on the Palm. It will even sync your messages across both the devices, as long as you use Verizon’s messaging app, of course.

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Conversation 19 comments

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    15 October, 2018 - 10:42 am

    <p>A Palm device without Palm software? LOL</p><p><br></p><p>Edit: On further thought, the specs aren’t that bad, and the screen size is nice and small, not much smaller than the original iPhone. I prefer the smaller screens. I was tempted by the iPhone SE, and sometimes wish I’d rolled with it.</p>

  • jaredthegeek

    Premium Member
    15 October, 2018 - 11:03 am

    <p>Give me a phone that size with a fantastic camera and I would be pleased. I don't game on mine really. I watch very few videos on it, more music and podcasts than anything. NFC for payments when I need to. The Google Assistant is really good for text or just turn the thing sideways like we used to. It will become problematic as I age and my eyes get worse but I can see how this phone would be very useful.</p>

  • Brazbit

    15 October, 2018 - 11:04 am

    <p>The idea is kind of dingy, but it sounds like a dinghy for the oversized yacht that is the modern smartphone…</p><p><br></p><p>It is trying to fill the same slot in the usage list as the LTE enabled smart watch, just without the convenience or potential form factor advantage over a standard phone. A slightly more portable phone is still just a phone. </p>

  • evox81

    Premium Member
    15 October, 2018 - 11:17 am

    <p>HTC tried this when they first came out with a "phablet". It failed. While this is more full-featured than the HTC Mini+, I just don't see it being any more popular.</p>

  • dstrauss

    15 October, 2018 - 11:55 am

    <p>Don't think this is a Palm device at all, just a licensee of the name.</p>

  • Polycrastinator

    15 October, 2018 - 12:01 pm

    <p>Not TLC but TCL, they were the owners of the Palm name but they sold it to a different company to make this phone. So.. they don't actually have any involvement here.</p>

  • Daekar

    15 October, 2018 - 12:07 pm

    <p>How does this kind of thing even get past the committee brainstorming stage? The advertising angle, at the very least, is completely ridiculous.</p><p><br></p><p>Why don't they just say, "Here's a small phone for people who like small phones. It's a good small phone, yay!"…?</p>

  • waethorn

    15 October, 2018 - 12:35 pm

    <p>This thing is going to be slow, and I can't find any information on the screen resolution (likely low). It'll run basic "productivity" apps without a lot of graphics stuff, but still likely better than an Android Go phone because of the amount of RAM. The cameras are probably going to be good. Not flagship-good, but mid-range good. This would be good for a pocket "gadget" for some of those mobile business Android apps for basic data entry or retail PoS. It's Android for compatibility, but I see this as being built for people that don't want to be zombified by their phone screen. That's a growing market now too. I doubt those kinds of people would care so much about the speed of the phone either, so long as they can run a couple apps on it. Might be worth a look. Limited rollout will likely kill it though.</p>

  • bassoprofundo

    Premium Member
    15 October, 2018 - 1:21 pm

    <p>I would actually love this, because Note 9 + tight jeans = health hazard, but switching to a secondary phone now involves either having a second line and risking missing messages or SIM switching (bringing all sorts of possible provisioning issues). Having something I could tuck away discreetly but still have the same number would be great.</p><p><br></p><p>Having said that, they're on crack if they think many folks are going to pay $350 for that privilege. </p>

  • JCerna

    Premium Member
    15 October, 2018 - 1:59 pm

    <p>So the app launcher looks like that of WinMobile 6.5. I dont really see the point especially at the price point. If this was $150 maybe. I wish they would do that palm started with their phones and tablet. Have a small phone and have the tablet automatically tether and sync to the phone. That way you could have a small phone in pocket and a large screen in hand if needed. </p>

  • dstrauss

    15 October, 2018 - 2:32 pm

    <p>Why not just sell it as a small phone alternative – there are many people who love the iPhone SE? As another "window" into your main phone it is a non-starter; might just as well buy the Apple Watch 4 or Galaxy Watch and be done with it.</p>

  • Skolvikings

    15 October, 2018 - 3:15 pm

    <p>So I'm just trying to understand this. The new Palm phone syncs with my regular smartphone but is smaller. So I might not want to bring my iPhone XS Max with me for whatever reason, so I can grab the Palm and it's smaller, but it'll have the same phone number and my messages are synced?</p><p><br></p><p>Who has $350 (plus an extra $10/month) for that?</p>

    • jchampeau

      Premium Member
      15 October, 2018 - 4:16 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#353612">In reply to Skolvikings:</a></em></blockquote><p>I suspect it won't do iPhone owners much good since iMessage requires iOS.</p>

      • Skolvikings

        17 October, 2018 - 2:06 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#353629">In reply to jchampeau:</a></em></blockquote><p>Their site does mention Android or iOS.</p>

  • generalprotectionfault

    15 October, 2018 - 4:24 pm

    <p>Nostalgia is going to compel me to buy this largely pointless device. Ah, Palm – what could have been.</p>

  • red.radar

    Premium Member
    15 October, 2018 - 4:54 pm

    <p>Going to website makes me hate the device. </p><p><br></p><p>Its full of photos of people doing cool things with buZzword laden nonsense.</p><p><br></p><p>some investors really could have used there money to advance society in better ways </p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

  • cawoodstock

    15 October, 2018 - 8:52 pm

    <p>For some reason I really want this phone.</p>

  • provision l-3

    16 October, 2018 - 1:13 pm

    <p>I get what they were going for but I can't imagine there is much of a market this. Seems like the time spent on this would have been better spent on making a smaller phone that was full featured. The market for a high quality smaller primary phone is one that is underserved at the moment. </p>

  • Minke

    17 October, 2018 - 5:29 pm

    <p>I'd love a quality Android phone about the size of the iPhone SE with a great camera, waterproof, a headphone jack, and replaceable battery. Would go for that in a minute over the waffle iron, delicate phones companies are pushing. Won't hold my breath. Actually thinking about purchasing an iPhone SE before they disappear. Love the size.</p>

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