The Palm Make Mobile Life a Little Less Annoying

The Palm Make Mobile Life a Little Less Annoying

January 15, 2020 Off By Cory Taggart

Remember when only the coolest people on the planet owned PDAs? BlackBerry and Palm Pilot were Tesla of the 90’s and early 2000’s, and then Steve Jobs crapped on the mobile market and sent people into a maddening obsession with phones, apps and half eaten apples…He was also responsible for Apple stores, a place where employees have special names like genius, can wear amulets, and low key insult customers with their chipper demeanor immense electronica knowledge. Well, for those who still want nuzzle up next to their BlackBerry so they can feel the buttons click, contact a therapist…For everyone else, Palm may provide a streamlined solution for smartphone burn out.

palm phone size comparison

Image credit: Palm

Small and Mighty

The Palm Phone (or just “Palm” for short) is described as “designed for life on the go” on the official website. Unlike competing smartphones, Palm is roughly the size of a credit card. While it might be smaller, it doesn’t skimp on features. The 3.3” display boasts a 445ppi and two cameras- one front-facing and the other on the back. Due to being designed with athletes in mind, it’s water- and dust-proof.

Perhaps the most unique feature is Life Mode. While active, the Palm silences incoming calls and notifications while the screen is turned off. Once the screen wakes up, it’ll reconnects and all missed messages will be pushed through. This keeps it from being a distraction during meetings or conversations without completely isolating the user. Seeing as the Palm is primarily meant as a quick in-out for digital consumption, the feature is welcome to combat smartphone infatuation.

Despite the name, the Palm Phone is not made by the original team behind the PalmPilot. Instead, Palm’s IP was transferred to the TCL Corporation in January 2015. (Previously, HP owned the intellectual property.) A San Francisco startup also named Palm announced in 2018 that they were being backed by TCL to release a new Palm device. This, naturally, ended up being the Palm Phone. The gadget was first available in the United States starting November 2nd, 2018.

Modern Features, Old School Name

Other features of note for the Palm include facial recognition, the Google Play store, and Google Assistant. The Gesture Pad allows users to draw the first letter of their search term to pull up results. Quick actions can instantly open apps or give the user more options by holding the icon down. For example, holding the icon for Spotify will pull up a list of actions like playing a specific mix or playlist.

original palmpilot

The original PalmPilot

Palm’s website claims that it’s the perfect first phone for kids, allowing them to stay connected to family and friends without becoming opening Pandora’s digital box. For those with a full smartphone, it can be used in conjunction with the same phone number. Of course, using it as a standalone phone is an option too. With multiple bundles available and the base phone starting at $349, it’s a budget-friendly option.

People have forgotten what mobile phones were originally invented for: to keep in touch when you’re not close to a landline…and to become the best helicopter parent. The increasing size and reliance on apps has slowly made phones less mobile and more like miniature PCs. Will the Palm fix this? Probably not, but it’s a small step in the right direction.