Last year Palm made a surprise return to the smartphone world, and it was more of a curiosity than a must-have handset. Designed to be somewhere between a smartwatch and a second phone, we described the Palm Phone as “a noble failure” which unfortunately “ends up stranded in a no-man’s land of tiny text and insufficient stamina.”
Well, you can now remove the second criticism from that, because accessory company Mophie has released a couple of accessories designed to bump up the Palm Phone’s tiny 800mAh battery into something more practical.
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The first is a regular battery pack: the Mophie Juice Case. This clips around the phone like any other case, and more than doubles the battery life, with the 900mAh cell taking it to 1700mAh – still low, but just jumping ahead of the iPhone SE (1624mAh).
The second is the Mophie Powerstation Keychain, which clips to your belt or keyring, and connects to the Palm Phone (or anything else for that matter) by USB Type-C cable, boosting it by 1200mAh.
Increasing the actual battery capacity is only one part of the puzzle, of course, and we’re less confident in the Palm Phone’s power efficiency. As Jon wrote in his review, after a two-hour walk with a “dozen or so” pictures, the handset lost 40% of its charge. Reducing that to 20% would be an improvement, but would still leave it worryingly vulnerable for something you’re supposed to be able to depend upon.
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Plus, of course, no battery pack in the world could solve the other key problems the phone faces: it still has a weak camera, and accurate typing is impossible for anyone but those whose fingers resemble toothpicks. It’s an improvement, but still a way off from a recommendation.
The Mophie Juice Case and Powerstation Keychain are available now, priced $59.95 (~£45) and $39.95 (~£30) respectively. They don’t appear on Mophie’s British site, though, so you may need to import, UK Palm fans.
Does this fix the Palm Phone’s problems? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.