The reboot of Palm unveiled its first smartphone last week, and now we have a release date: November 2nd. Verizon, the device’s exclusive carrier, will start selling the phone next Friday, offering it for $300 on a two-year contract or $350 if you buy it outright. The device doesn’t need a new data plan, but it does require Verizon’s NumberShare service, which costs $10 per month.
Palm’s phone — which is just called Palm — is not a typical smartphone. It has the specs of a low-end phone and runs Android Oreo, but it isn’t meant to be used in the same way. In fact, it’s not even supposed to be your main phone.
The device is meant to be supplementary to your primary smartphone, offering a smaller, simpler alternative that you can take with you if you want to be less distracted. A handful of other devices have tried this before to mixed success. Palm’s approach is to offer the functionality of a full-on modern phone in a small package that isn’t particularly great to use for complex interactions. That way, you can focus on calling, texting, and taking the occasional photo, but you can still shoot off an email if you need to.
We have the full details here in a big piece on what the revival looks like and how little it relates back to the original Palm. But even if there’s not a lot of true Palm DNA in here, Verizon’s embrace of this phone is the strongest push yet for the minimalist device movement, and it’s the best chance to see how widely it can catch on.