Most companies build phones to be fun and engaging, but that’s not the case with the Palm Phone. This device, which launched last year as a Verizon exclusive, goes in an unexpected direction. The Palm Phone is supposed to be a limited experience so you won’t use it as much while out and about. Now, anyone can get this bizarre smartphone experience with the launch of the unlocked Palm Phone.
While this device carries the iconic Palm name, it’s actually a TCL phone. Like it’s deal with BlackBerry, TCL licensed the Palm name and designed a phone around the brand. The Palm Phone is, well, Palm-sized. It runs Android and has almost the full feature set of a larger phone, but it’s all tucked away underneath the simplified UI. For example, the home screen is just a block of scrolling icons.
The phone sports a tiny 3.3-inch display, but it has a rather high resolution of 720p. That works or to a very high pixel density. It runs on the Snapdragon 435, which is better than you’d expect in a tiny “accessory phone.” It has a glass and aluminum body, making it a sleek, interesting object. The Palm Phone feels expensive if you ignore how bad it is for most smartphone tasks. The minuscule display makes typing out a quick message almost impossible, and the single camera is abysmal. It runs on Android Oreo with extensive modifications, and an update seems unlikely.
Still, it’s a cute phone, and that might be all it takes for some people to buy it. Previously, you could only get the Palm Phone from Verizon, and it shared a phone number with your “real” smartphone. It also cost an extra $10 per month on top of the $350 price tag. If you could get your hands on the Verizon phone, it was technically unlocked. However, opening the SIM tray was difficult.
The new unlocked phone will work on most carriers without any extra legwork. You can pop in a T-Mobile, ATT, Verizon, or compatible MVNO network SIM. It’s still $350 for a phone that’s bad at basically everything, and it won’t ship for 6-8 weeks. In that time, you could buy a Nokia or Motorola phone for less money that’s much more fun to use. They’re not very cute, though.
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