Once upon a time, Palm was perhaps the most well-known maker of mobile devices and “smartphones” in the world. However, changes in the smartphone market left Palm in the dust. The brand had a brief resurgence with the Palm Pre, but even that wasn’t enough to carve out a space for Palm alongside Apple and Google. The ghost of Palm is about to return with a teeny, tiny phone, and there are a few new images of it.
The last iteration of Palm (the company) is long gone, but Chinese smartphone maker TCL acquired the name several years ago. The new photos come courtesy of Android Headlines, which obtained them from an unnamed source. The previous leaks came from a service manual, so the images were small and fuzzy. This time, we’ve got what appear to be full press renders of the phone. The device has the model number PVG100 and is apparently codenamed “Pepito.”
Like last time, the home screen shown on the right is likely just a placeholder — there won’t be any UI like that on the phone. The status bar is new, though, and appears to have a palm tree next to the Wi-Fi signal. Again, strange and probably just a placeholder.
This phone will run Android, but the rumors of modes specs could change the way it works. The clearer image helps you visualize just how tiny the phone will be. The SIM slot on the side looks gigantic compared with the rest of the phone. Previous leaks pointed to a minuscule 3.3-inch screen with 720p resolution. There are no physical navigation buttons in the new render, so a navigation bar could eat up some of that screen. If there’s a saving grace, 720p should look very good at that size. Android isn’t optimized to work on such small displays anymore, so TCL will need to do some work to make things fit. Implementing gesture navigation of some sort could help.
There’s a power button visible on the right edge of the phone, but that’s it. There doesn’t appear to be a volume rocker at all. It’s possible volume could be accessible only in software, but that would be quite strange even for a budget phone. TCL might count on the PVG100 essentially creating its own market segment for tiny Android phones. If it’s cheap enough, people might buy it as a backup or as something to use occasionally before switching back to a more usable device.
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