We live in the era of the reboot. But forget movie reboots — we’re talking about phone reboots. BlackBerry is still launching phones with hardware keyboards, Nokia is back from the dead, and now there’s the reboot of the Palm. But this time around, there is no association with its predecessors other than its name. It is, however, manufactured by TCL.
Essentially, the Palm is a smartphone, but its main purpose is to disconnect you from technology for a bit. It syncs to your primary phone so you receive all your notifications and calls, but its Life Mode feature silences all alerts until you wake the screen. For an in-depth look at the Palm, check out our review.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Price and availability
The Palm is available exclusively through Verizon. It costs $350 for full retail price or $300 if you sign up for a two-year commitment. You can also opt for the installment plan, which will cost $14.58 per month for 24 months. In addition, you’ll have to pay $10 per month for Verizon NumberShare, which shares the data from your current smartphone plan.
On December 6, the Palm 2018 launched in the U.K. exclusively through the Vodafone network. It’s unclear how it links with an existing phone number, as the device is available on both a pay-monthly contract and Pay-as-You-Go (PAYG). We’ve contacted Vodafone for confirmation. Monthly plans cost from 31 British pounds, while the device itself is 350 pounds on PAYG.
Design and display
The all-new Palm is not only extremely tiny, but has a sleek design — it even bears a striking resemblance to the iPhone XS from the back. On the front is a 3.3-inch HD (720p) LCD display with 445 pixels per inch. On the right edge are a power button and SIM tray.
While it is made of aluminum, both the front and back are coated with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It also comes in two color options: Silver and gold.
Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor coupled with 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM. In terms of its operating system, the Palm is powered by Android 8.1 Oreo. If you pair it with an iPhone, the only service that won’t work is iMessage.
On the back of the Palm, you’ll find a 12-megapixel camera with flash and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. While there’s no fingerprint sensor for security, the Palm instead offers a facial recognition feature to unlock your device.
Since it is also supposed to act as a wearable, the Palm has a few sensors built-in. As with most advanced fitness trackers, it includes a G-sensor to measure acceleration, GPS, a proximity sensor, eCompass, and gyroscope. But if you want to have a visual of your fitness metrics throughout the day, you’ll have to download a third-party app via the Google Play Store.
There’s also a 300mAh battery that should last you about a full day with Life Mode on. Otherwise, you’ll be able to get about eight hours worth of battery with full connectivity and Life Mode turned off. Battery life will start to deplete quickly if you use the Palm while working out — using the built-in GPS and streaming music over LTE will get you about three hours. The device is said to charge quickly, though — it should only take you half an hour to reach 50 percent, and a little over an hour to fully charge it.
Life Mode feature
To help you balance out your smartphone usage, the Palm includes a feature called “Life Mode.” When turned on, you won’t receive any calls, texts, or notifications as long as the screen is turned off. To see what you’ve missed, you can scroll through your alerts once you wake the screen. You can turn it on and off by swiping down on the display and tapping on the palm tree icon. You can also choose to turn off the feature for a few hours when you need to use the device for longer periods of time.
Updated on December 7, 2018: The Palm 2018 has been released in the U.K.