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Palm Brand Returns With Mini Smartphone Companion Device

Verizon has started taking orders for a new mobile device under the Palm name. The mini phone is designed as a companion to a smartphone, with only a 3.3-inch display and quick access to the most-used apps.

Bridging the gap between a smartwatch and smartphone, the Palm is designed to fit easily in a pocket or clip on a belt or armband, so users don’t have to carry a large phone with them and can use the device for example during a run or workout. Running on Android, it offers access to all the same apps as a smartphone, including social media, music, and front and back cameras. However, it must be synced with a main smartphone and number in order to make and receive calls and messages. To appeal to users who want to switch off, the Palm comes with a ‘Life mode’ that stops app notifications and wireless connections when the device is in sleep mode.

The interface with large app icons is designed to take advantage of Android functions such as long press to bring up common app functions. It also works with voice controls, with Google Assistant activated by a quick press on the power button, and a gesture pad like on the old Palm devices, where users can bring up an app by tracing a figure on the lock screen.

The Palm brand name was acquired by TCL Communication Technology, maker of Alcatel and Blackberry phones, when HP stopped making the PDAs. TCL has licensed the brand to a start-up from California and is also helping manufacture the new Palm devices. According to Cnet, one of the company’s other backers is professional basketballer Steph Curry, who will serve as a brand ambassador.

The Palm will sell for USD 350 plus USD 10 per month for LTE service from Verizon. – Telecom Paper

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