If you’re a fan of classic Palm devices and the company’s legacy, you might want to be sitting down for this one. Android Police just published images of what is said to be an upcoming Palm-branded smartphone from TCL and it’s... definitely bizarre. The quirky device, codenamed Pepito, has a 3.3-inch 720p display. That’s smaller than the original iPhone’s screen, if you’re trying to imagine scale. It’s also tinier than the screen on the last phone that Palm ever shipped — the Pre 3 — back it was still owned by HP.
There’s only one side button visible on this thing. The Pepito — look, at the very least, I’m digging saying and writing that name — is apparently headed for Verizon Wireless. It’ll have a Snapdragon 435 processor, 3GB of ram, 32 gigs of storage, and run Android 8.1 out of the box. What, did you expect webOS?
From a design standpoint, it seems at least a little bit reminiscent of the shiny pebble vibe that Palm had been going for with the Pre, but I think that’s where my compliments have to end. Between the ugly camera on back, which looks like it should be a dual camera but isn’t, and whatever’s going on with that logo... sheesh. Palm? Or is it Plam? Why did there need to be a line break?
There’s definitely a place for tiny, minimalist phones in today’s world; they can be useful if you’re trying to spend less hours staring at a screen and only want to use it for the fundamentals. The battery in the Pepito is apparently just 800mAh, so this could very well be the kind of product that TCL has in mind. (And no, there’s no headphone jack on this teeny thing.)
What a weird, funky gadget. Maybe it will hold some surprises. But there’s not much about it that seems very, well, Palm.