Palm is back with a minimalist credit card sized companion phone

zakarhino

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
Sep 13, 2014
892
1,326
Berkeley
https://www.palm.com/product

"We want to bring people out of their tech and into their lives."

This looks seriously cool to me. It's an ultra small, credit card sized phone that syncs up with your main smartphone (screen size is about 3.3"). The software is designed to only sync up essential connectivity services (phone, messages, maps) so that you can focus on the life in front of you, not the life in your pocket. To go one step further, there's also a "Life Mode" toggle that switches off all incoming notifications (incoming calls, texts, etc.) if the screen is off.

I very much like this concept. For a while now I've thought about owning a dumb phone that has an ultra long battery life but is only capable of text messaging and phone calls (optionally, perhaps some maps and ride-hailing apps so that it's easier to get around). I think Palm have made their phone more capable than I would personally like considering it has the Google Assistant and the Play Store built in (also I'll never use an Android device with the Google services/APKs built in). Another downside is that the battery life only lasts 8 hours when Life Mode is off ("all day battery" with Life Mode on) so this thing is still gonna have you racing for a charger all the time. So ultimately, I think this is more of a small smartphone rather than a credit-card sized evolution of the dumb-phone (on a technical/practical level).
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,737
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Fort Worth, Texas
It certainly looks interesting. Should make some folks who long for an updated SE happy. Wonder what the price will be and which carriers it will work with?
 

chooyoshi

macrumors member
Aug 5, 2018
88
137
It certainly looks interesting. Should make some folks who long for an updated SE happy. Wonder what the price will be and which carriers it will work with?
I don't think it is a good iPhone SE substitute. It's way smaller than the SE and is inferior in specs save for ip68. And you need to buy it as part of a Verizon plan to upsell you the phone as a smartphone accessory. I.e it cannot be bought ala carte.

First, fill the gap left by the iPhone SE and Xperia compact series. iPhone SE now sold on a while stocks last basis, Xperia Compact not easy to find and Sonys smartphone business is shrinking fast- e.g silently exiting Singapore market? So maybe make a smartphone somewhere between 4-4.5 inches 720p with at least s636, 4gb ram, 32gb storage with micro SD, good enough specs similar to say moto g6, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, Nokia 6.1 etc.. since a small flagship might not be viable in this age. Of course if they have the courage, why not? Just suggesting the rational thing to do. (shows Xperia a2, Xperia z3c?) Would add at nice touch if they called it Pixi or Veer.
 
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HeadphoneAddict

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
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That's great. I am confused as to how it can have iOS capability (being in sync with the iPhone) when its running an Android OS.

Otherwise, I like it a lot.
It uses Verizon's numbershare similar to how the Apple Watch LTE is syncing with your same phone number. It doesn't say if it's compatible with the same kind of numbersync service on AT&T. It's like an expanded smartwatch, that does more than a smartwatch.

I could see someone using the tiny phone more, but keeping the bigger one in the car or office (when not at home) just in case they needed a bigger screen for something more demanding. Or taking all their calls on the smaller phone, so that if they kill the big phone battery while playing games or watching movies they're still reachable.

I was doing something similar (2 phones) when I carried around both an iPhone 6 and 7+, and after I upgraded the 6 to an X. The smaller phone went with me everywhere, and the larger one was used more like a phablet or iPad Nano, so I could sometimes leave it behind if I didn't have room for 2 phones on me.

I used WiFi calling so that I'd receive all my calls on both phones, and iMessage with text message forwarding activated, so that it didn't matter which phone I used to send messages from.

With Xfinity Connect app I could make the outgoing calls from my home phone number on either phone, and later I could use my Apple Watch to make outgoing calls from my primary number, if I accidentally left my primary phone behind.
 
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Breaking Good

macrumors 65816
Sep 28, 2012
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I read about this on 9to5Google the other day. I think it is a cool idea, but at present a limited use case. I would almost describe it as a “pocket smartwatch”. (Yes, you heard it hear first.)

I hope it continues to grow. Perhaps if it does well Palm will consider releasing a stand alone phone of similar size.

This is just my own use case, I would rather have a small phone/tablet/smartwatch combo than a large phone/sub phone combo.
 
Last edited:

pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
4,896
This is a joke.
1. So it is a silent device, and it will only blast all the notification when you turn it on. Well, your own phone can already do that. Just disable the lock-screen notifications.
2. And what stops people from keep checking this device? Even worse, since it is silent, some will probably be anxious and just leave this thing on all the time.
3. $350? Seriously? For $300, you can get an SD845 Pocophone F1. Yet this is $350 for a "dumbed" smartphone?
4. The better way is the smart watch. A smart watch will ping your notifications, and at a glance, you can decide whether you need to act on it or not by just raising your wrist. No need to take your phone out. Much more elegant way than this thing.
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
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This appears to be a solution to a deliberately created problem. Phone makers increase the size of phones, bring them into phablet territory, and then come out with companion devices that make it easier to interact with those gargantuan phones. Whether it is this thing or a smartwatch, they're attempting to sell two devices (one too large and another too small) rather than a single device that is sized just-right.
 
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Caspavio

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2018
241
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well you know an alternative will be just an app that limits your time on social media and games.

This phone certainly feels like something from silicon valley - an expensive product that solves a first world problem.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,316
15,346
Why in the world would anyone yet another device like this? It's a feature phone reliant on your already existing smartphone, literally the worst of both worlds.

I think some in this thread may have missed that this isn't a standalone device...
 

Zackmd1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2010
726
391
Maryland US
This appears to be a solution to a deliberately created problem. Phone makers increase the size of phones, bring them into phablet territory, and then come out with companion devices that make it easier to interact with those gargantuan phones. Whether it is this thing or a smartwatch, they're attempting to sell two devices (one too large and another too small) rather than a single device that is sized just-right.
Exactly.... I am getting tired of these 6+" phones.... The pixel 3 is the smallest flagship phone of the year and that's sad... Give me an all screen design with a 4.7" screen. The size of an SE with the screen size of an iPhone 6-8.

Instead we get an overpriced device that can't be used on it's own. It's failure will be used by companies as proof there is no market for small phones even though it was crippled from the start due to the business model.
 

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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well you know an alternative will be just an app that limits your time on social media and games.

This phone certainly feels like something from silicon valley - an expensive product that solves a first world problem.
You don't even need an app. Both Android and iOS allow you to disable notification on per app basis. All you need to do is disable notification on the lockscreen, and you'll get the same function on your current phone without having to spend $350.
[doublepost=1539743573][/doublepost]
If Apple made something like this as a stand-alone phone... wow.
If Google made something like this.... wait, they cannot even make a smartwatch. Never mind.
 

Caspavio

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2018
241
110
You don't even need an app. Both Android and iOS allow you to disable notification on per app basis. All you need to do is disable notification on the lockscreen, and you'll get the same function on your current phone without having to spend $350.
yeah i know. im just thinking it like a person who wants to lose weight. while that is their goal, they cannot stick to a healthy diet in the long term. so an app that enforces a usage limit and without the option to change the limit as and when you like might be useful. but hey, whatever it is, we both agree that the product is just silicon valley silliness. just like this juicer startup https://www.forbes.com/sites/bizcar...infamous-400-juicer-startup-is-shutting-down/
 

pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
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Why in the world would anyone yet another device like this? It's a feature phone reliant on your already existing smartphone, literally the worst of both worlds.

I think some in this thread may have missed that this isn't a standalone device...
Well, we'll see how it perform in the market. This is probably just TCL trying to keep the Palm brand on the market by throwing some random ideas and see if it sticks. I expect a fire sale shortly, just like the Pam OS tablet.
 
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NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,316
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Well, we'll see how it perform in the market. This is probably just TCL trying to keep the Palm brand on the market by throwing some random ideas and see if it sticks. I expect a fire sale shortly, just like the Pam OS tablet.
Oh it’s TCL? I had no idea. I’m actually a big fan of their TVs. Great price for a big 4K if you’re an average person who doesn’t go spec-nuts on a TV purchase.
 

HeadphoneAddict

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
980
813
I read about this on 9to5Google the other day. I think it is a cool idea, but at present a limited use case. I would almost describe it as a “pocket smartwatch”. (Yes, you heard it hear first.)

I hope it continues to grow. Perhaps if it does well Palm will consider releasing a stand alone phone of similar size.

This is just my own use case, I would rather have a small phone/tablet/smartwatch combo than a large phone/sub phone combo.
So when I said, "It's like an expanded smartwatch, that does more than a smartwatch." I should have called it a "pocket smartwatch" first.

As for the "small phone/tablet/smartwatch combo", I agree - if there had been an iPad Mini 5 or Mini Pro available, I'd have stayed with my iPhone X as my primary and bought the iPad Mini 5, to go along with my Series 3 LTE Apple Watch. My iPhone Xs Max is my iPad for now, since my Air 2 is too big to stuff in a jacket pocket.
 

pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
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Oh it’s TCL? I had no idea. I’m actually a big fan of their TVs. Great price for a big 4K if you’re an average person who doesn’t go spec-nuts on a TV purchase.
Yeah, HP sold the Palm brand to TCL.
Don't get me wrong, these Chinese companies are disrupting the CE market with their bang for the buck products.
But this particular one is just a big question mark, and it's not cheap either at $350.
 

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,180
3,441
Twin Cities Minnesota
I’ll continue to use my mint sim connected 5s when I want a small phone with limited features.

Besides the ip68, I don’t see any overall benefit of buying this device over picking up a cheap or free 2nd hand or 3rd hand android or iOS phone.
 
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