Palm Ventures Group sought to tap into consumer backlash against digital addiction, launching a new credit card-sized device under the iconic Palm brand meant to keep consumers connected without encouraging extended screen time.
The 3.3-inch Android device features all the trappings of a regular smartphone, with LTE connectivity, HD display, facial recognition, Google Assistant, Snapdragon 435 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. It comes with a $350 price tag and will be offered unlocked in the US by operator Verizon.
But unlike most smartphones, the new Palm isn’t standalone. Instead, it functions more like a smartwatch, pairing with an existing device to enable calls and texts through Verizon’s NumberShare program for $10 per month.
On its website, Palm Ventures Group said the device is meant to “bring people out of their tech and into their lives,” and is designed “for those moments when you are more engaged in real life than your device, but you still may want to Snapchat your bestie, Instagram your dinner or text your friends to join.”
The device will work with both Android and iOS phones, though certain apps may not be available for iPhone users.
Palm’s return follows TCL Communication’s acquisition of the brand in 2015, and subsequent licencing of the name to Palm Ventures Group.
The decision to buck the trend toward larger displays for the Palm launch comes as part of a larger industry push to give users more tools to manage screen time.
Earlier this year, Google and Apple introduced digital usage dashboards which show users how much time they’ve spent on their device and apps, and features to disable notifications and set time limits for usage.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back