The tiny Palm Phone, often mocked as a phone for your phone, is now available to buy as an unlocked handset, following a period of exclusivity with Verizon in the US.
To celebrate the freeing of the 3.3-inch Android Oreo device, MVNO carrier US Mobile is offering monthly plans from just $5, if you pay for a year upfront.
The Light plan offers an hour of talk time, 200 texts and 200MB of data, which might be ideal for people using this as a secondary handset. The plans range up to $30 for unlimited talk, text and 8GB of data, if folks want to use it as a primary phone.
However, that $5 a month offering is likely to appeal to those who might just want to use the phone in a pinch, when they actually want to get away from using a phone. Unfortunately, you can’t add the phone to your main number, as you can on the Verizon network. You’ll need a separate number.
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“The US Mobile plans are perfect for the person who is on-the-go and looking for more affordable options to connect their Palm,” said Howard Nuk, co-founder of Palm (via USA Today). “If you’re using Palm as a secondary phone for the gym or morning runs, at $5 a month, these plans are a no-brainer.”
Whether the convenience is worth $350 to buy upfront is another matter altogether. In our review of the device, based upon its launch on the UK’s Vodafone network, we afforded the Palm phone just 2.5 out of a possible 5 stars.
Our reviewer wrote: “I can’t in all conscience recommend the Palm Phone to anybody. It’s barely functional as a modern smartphone, even for the light usage for which it’s built.
“Its tiny display – while plenty sharp enough – makes typing almost impossible, and renders any visual task an eye-straining mess. Meanwhile, the Palm’s battery life is woefully inadequate, making anything but a brief trip away from a wall socket seriously inadvisable. The camera isn’t up to much either.”