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A phone for your phone
October 22, 2018, 1:10 pm
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Does a phone that runs off your phone make sense to you? It apparently does to Palm and to Verizon, the US network that has exclusive rights to sell it. But then, do you remember Palm, the once uncrowned king of early smartphone era is now part of TCL, the Chinese electronics conglomerate. Rights to use the Palm brand were recently purchased from TCL by a San Francisco start-up that believes your smartphone needs a junior — it is as much a phone for your phone, as it is a phone for you.

No surprise, the new Palm fits in your palm. With an 8cm (3-inch) LCD display that boasts a high 175ppcm (445ppi) resolution, the Palm is just 5cm by 10cm across and about 0.75cm thick. In an era of phablets — smartphones with tablet sized screens — the Palm is a midget and is being sold in the US exclusively by Verizon in the same way it approaches wearables, as a $350 add-on to your regular phone subscription.

Though the new Palm has its own data plan, it basically piggy-backs off your main smartphone, sharing Verizon’s NumberShare tool to make for a single number across devices, and the Verizon Message+ app to sync your texts across both devices too. Despite being intended as a respite from your main device, the Palm still has access to all the popular Android apps, a 32GB storage and 3GB RAM, as well as an 8 and 12MP front and rear camera.

Finding who the intended customer for this new phone factor is, could be challenging. But clearly Palm, the brand, sees a niche for their device among people who would like to hold on to their phone while jogging or at the gym while continuing to escape the nagging notifications on their main device. Yes, they could achieve the same by turning on DND or airplane mode on their main phones, but then, that is not the same as having the latest uppity device.

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