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Palm – The best small phone for minimalists, athletes, and kids (palm.com)
585 points by prostoalex 6 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 353 comments





Random Thoughts:

1. If it is shipping with Android 8 - an old version of Android. What are the chances that it will ever see any updates?

2. My wife would have been the target audience for this form factor - pre Apple Watch. Her phone is her least favorite device. She will leave it in the car in a heartbeat. She won’t think twice if she leaves at home.

But now, she has a cellular Apple Watch and AirPods with a third party ear clip. She doesn’t have to carry any phone.

3. The battery life is atrocious. Even the Apple Watch has better battery life for normal day to day use.

4. I seriously doubt it has 16GB of memory - the cellular Apple Watch does. That’s more than enough for local music playback without using cellular.

5. This is the Zune of phones to me. But, yes I realize that the cheapest entry point to our setup - phone + Watch is $800 if we did get A cheaper headset. With AirPods it would be $959.


This device is out for few years by now. Interesting but maybe worth adding (2018) to title.

I thought this was a newer version.

However, if I pick up a 2 year old Windows/Mac computer or iOS device, I can still run the latest OS.


It may be news to you but Android manufacturers are generally not as honest as their intent, follow through and track record of providing up to date security patches for their phones, let alone OS updates.

I switched to an Android from iPhone when Galaxy Note 1 came out.

Apple did not have the audacity or innovation to release a phone with a large screen. Over time, every Android manufacturer except Google and BlackBerry proceeded to let me down with out of date security patches, if any at all.

Samsung makes some of the very best devices, but pushing 6 month old patches as a current update doesn’t fly. Projects like LineageOS have made inroads too.

I'd buy a Galaxy Note in a heartbeat if it ran Android One.

My hope is every manufacturer uses Android One distribution, Android has come far enough that the UI modifications/customizations aren’t as critical as they used to be. I’ll only consider a Pixel or Android One device moving forward if I don't end up on an iPhone.

Still, I’m typing this on an iPad, and have been on Mac for over a decade.. maybe it is time to look at an iPhone again. Part of me is exploring leaving Mac and head to Ubuntu. A palm phone with a great camera could be interesting if lineage might work on it.

Edit: Typos


The other thing to realize is that android phones are tied to a kernel version and that is never updated except minor revisions. Apple products get regular kernel updates.

I pretty much refuse to support Samsung for any consumer device at this point.

Their TVs are loaded with spyware and push notifications, full screen ads, menu ads, all unremovable. You pay thousands for the privilege of this garbage.

All of their phones have unremovable bloatware and spyware. They push vulnerable, ancient, forked AOSP software like "samsung browser" and send full screen image ads via push notifications, unremovable Bixby stuff, unremovable Samsung Store. And the US versions can't be unlocked to install Lineage or stock android.


As far as I'm concerned UI mods, custom launchers, etc; were never neccesary. My first android ran cupcake & I had no problem finding a good alternative launcher on the play store. It was one of the first apps I installed & still is Every time I've gotten a new phone. I don't want anything preinstalled on my phone that isn't a core part of android itself. That kind of bloat does nothing but take away valuable space for apps I actually use. Google owns some of the blame, because they actually made the promise that there would be zero bloat on android,& presented that as a selling point, but they never even attempted to follow through on that promise.


Well, seeing that the update you cited in the article allowed the phone to continue working at a slower speed instead of shutting down entirely when the battery was old - yes.

I never said that Apple could defy the laws of physics and prevent battery degradation.

Also, if I bought a brand new phone that was released in 2018 and even if it did have an old operating system - but a new battery, I could update to the newest OS. If it was a used phone with an old battery - I could replace the battery for $70.

My son just replaced an iPhone 6S that I bought in 2015 late last year. I replaced the battery before giving it to him. It was and still can run the latest OS version. It will be running the latest OS until at least September 2021.


Yes. My 4 year old Windows laptop and 5 year old iPhone have the latest operating system versions. The latter will get iOS 14.

> If it is shipping with Android 8 - an old version of Android

Blame Qualcomm. If you’re a OEM with comparatively low volumes there is very little leverage you have to get your SOC vendor to give you the latest updates. When I worked on Android HW, Qualcomm were basically a year behind whatever the latest Android was, because our volume was so small we weren’t a priority.


Again, this is a solved problem with Windows - Microsoft writes drivers for popular hardware. Like I said below - Windows 7 supported my 2006 Mac Mini hardware - USB, FireWire, gigabit Ethernet, and it even recognized the IR sensor for the remote. I couldn’t find a way to use it.

If you as a PC OEM, no matter how small, if you used popular components, Windows would support it.


I mean if random people on XDA Developers can figure out how to port AOSP or Lineage to everything, often in the span of a few days then surely you'd think device manufacturers could too without relying on Qualcomm to do it for them.

The problem is that a lot of those ports are using old kernels and various hacks that a) OEM wouldn’t want to support since it can produce unreliable results and b) may quite likely be in violation of whichever agreement they have signed with the SoC manufacturer.

That said the larger OEMs could easily provide updates since they can simply compel Qualcomm to support newer kernels heck some of them like Samsung even produce their own SoCs.

They don’t want too, planned obsolescence has pretty much been integrated into the android ecosystem.

This is why I left it, OnePlus One was my last Android phone, iPhone 6S was my first iOS phone (I had an iPad and a iPod touch before but didn’t really used them, these were gifts and a raffle win).

The iPhone 6S will still get iOS 14 this year.

Overall I could sum up my Android experience as - lost weekends of tinkering with ROMs and kernels trying to get my phones in-line with new releases.

Not to mention the worst shit they cam up with and that was when updates were linked to carriers so sometimes you had to wait a year to get an update if you didn’t want to risk bricking your phone by applying an update form a different region.

Honestly if there was a $300 iPhone coming out each year I don’t think Android would have gotten above single digit percentage in the west.

And while I’ll probably get flack here for saying this but Android is the biggest piece of shit out there not because the OS is bad but because even Google cant get their asses out of their head long enough to provide support for more than a couple of years to their own devices.

And the worse thing about this is that because of how utterly garbage the Android ecosystem is we are somehow supposed to pat Apple on the back for supporting devices for 5 years.


No. Apple supports the iPhone 6S from 2015 with the latest OS until at least September of 2021.

Apple also released a point update to correct bugs in devices going back to the 2011 iPhone 4s last July. Apple supported a phone that was 8 years old.


Microsoft has a vested interest in getting Windows to run on hardware going as far back as possible, within reason. They mainly sell the OS and legacy support is a huge selling point.

Phone manufacturers are at the other end of the spectrum. They sell the hardware and it's their vested interest to sell as much as they can. Making it obsolete by not offering software updates and taking advantage of the free work from XDA works perfectly for them. Being able to blame Qualcomm is even better since it's a "boogieman" that doesn't need to look good for consumers.


I’m not blaming the phone manufacturers - I am blaming Google. Apple definitely didn’t go out of its way to make sure that my 2006 era Mac Mini worked with Windows. But since back then, Apple used mostly standard PC components, MS supported it.

> I’m not blaming the phone manufacturers - I am blaming Google. Apple definitely didn’t go out of its way to make sure that my 2006 era Mac Mini worked with Windows. But since back then, Apple used mostly standard PC components, MS supported it.

But Google doesn't control the hardware in the same way that Apple does. It seems odd to blame Google for the lack of hardware support when the target platforms are not homogenous and have no single entity controlling the platform.


Microsoft doesn't control hardware, neither does the Linux community, yet I can run Windows and Linux on all sorts of random PC configurations. You can absolutely give Google/Android shit for this.

Actually they do. Microsoft maintains a well-defined standard and certification tests that define whether a machine is Windows compatible. The current one is the Windows HLK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Hardware_Lab_Kit. FOSS operating systems simply ride on the coattails of that.

PCs follow well defined standards. Embedded hardware has nothing comparable.

Yes and Microsoft/Intel defined these standards over 25 years ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legacy_Plug_and_Play


Microsoft doesn’t control the hardware either. They solved the problem in 1995. Even my old DX/2-66 DOS Compatibility Card created by Apple installed in my PowerMac 6100/60 that shipped with Windows 3.1 could run Windows 95 on release day. Apple never released new drivers for it.

If Windows ran on something that esoteric 25 years ago, why can’t Google solve the problem now?


Because they don't care, and it is curious how in Google's case their SV fans are so fast blaming the OEMs, as if poor Google wasn't capable to enforce it, if they really cared.

And that can be blamed back to users. Average Joe couldn't care less if his phone won't get updated so often or at all after some time.

They should, but they don't. Can be said about many aspects of our lives generally, humans are on average not that clever. Voting with wallet is something companies understand very well, I don't see any other fix (maybe EU could force them into something, till they find a way to skip it).


> And that can be blamed back to users.

That's victim blaming. Companies are the ones who shaped this situation and they managed to because each intrinsically acts as a unified entity with a unified goal and a lot of power behind it. People may be many but have little to no individual power, and they don't act in any coordinated fashion.

Users accept this because they can't really imagine it differently. Many of them never saw it working any other way. And phones never had the same kind of flexibility and repairability that PCs offer so people unwittingly assume this is normal and not even give it a second though.


Exactly. Plenty of users care, they're just powerless to do anything about. The OEM's are so big A LOT of people would have to outright boycott them to make any difference, but even then where are the going to go? ALL OEMs do this, so customers really have no choice in the matter.

Honestly, the users are right here - look at the history of this one, there's millions of dated Android devices out there lacking years of security patches, but do they get exploited?

Not in any significant number certainly, there haven't been any wildly successful Android worms like we've seen on Windows even in recent years.

The nature of sitting behind NATs, implementation of modern exploit mitigations in even older versions of Android, the diversity of devices, installation only via a marketplace, sandboxing and being able to rapidly update apps like browsers and email clients that do interact with network services makes those big OS-level exploits almost entirely unimportant.

The Average Joe has limited reason to care even if they stop getting security updates.


In 2020, I’m kind of amazed to hear you say that NAT is a mitigation for security exploits. “NAT is not a firewall” has been a mantra for at least 20 years.

This is just one exploit that can’t be patched by the app level and is dependent on the OEM.

https://threatpost.com/mediatek-bug-actively-exploited-andro...


I don't think its that Microsoft writes drivers for popular hardware. It's more so that Windows has a stable binary driver abi. Windows 7 drivers will still generally work on Windows 10. In contrast the Linux kernel will happily break any binary drivers between releases.

Android One has solved this, but I don't think it existed in 2018.

Not really. But even then you only get two years of guaranteed updates.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/The-Android-One-program-is-a-s...


Oh, that's a really big pity.

Android One was on very few devices, many international ones on 2018.

I do hope as Android One devices are easier for projects like LineageOS or Postmarket to support.


Good point about the Apple Watch being the truly minimal "phone."

I also very frequently now leave my iPhone at home. This takes a little planning in the form of having an audio book and a few podcasts on the watch.

Apple Watch + AirPods makes me feel set free when I am hiking or out of the house with family and friends. It is so easy to ignore the light vibration notification for incoming text messages or emails, and easy to ignore calls.


Sorry this may sound stupid but does this mean the Apple iWatxh now has cellular?

Oh ok - yes it does. And wi-fi !

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Watch


Watch always had Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, GPS + Cellular is available from S3 as extra but rumor is cellular existed for testing since S0

Yes, but streaming over cellular is mostly limited to support from Apple apps, not third party apps. Spotify might be the kind exception for that right now.

The API was added last year to allow third parties to stream and a Siri intent was added for third party music apps to work as well as Apple Music. After years of whining, Spotify took (has taken?) forever taking advantage of it.

It's just streaming from the phone though, not actually over cell? I know they don't have offline, which is the main reason I've held off buying a watch and airpods for running: I only need a few hours of music, GPS, and HR, and it feels like this should be a good combo.

Apple Music could stream over cellular over the watch when the first Apple Watch with cellular was introduced. They added support for third parties last year.

Apple Music and maybe Spotify will work off line. The cellular Apple Watch has 16GB of storage.


https://support.spotify.com/us/listen_everywhere/smart_watch...

Shockingly, Pandora seems to have offline playback: https://9to5mac.com/2020/04/29/pandora-shows-spotify-how-to-..., so I'll chalk this one up to "Spotify spends all its time complaining instead of actually building the app"


Nope it‘s not.

The zune of phones as in the best device made in both hardware and software quality but just too late to the game to get any traction?

The Zune came out with a 30GB hard drive player when the world had moved on to flash based smaller players and three months before the iPhone

The flash based Zunes similar to the Nanos came out at the same time as the second generation iPod Touch.

The Zune HD came out with no apps around the end of 2009. Peak iPod - including the Touch - was 4th quarter 2008. The iPod was already losing steam and even then it was being propped up by the iPod Touch.


These are all true, but the Zune was still awesome... Video support, awesome customizations, and a very fun interface. I had all 3 of the Zunes you mentioned. My least favorite was the original, because the spinning disc would sometimes hit buffering issues, but the rest of the device family was practically perfect.

Perfect as long as you didn’t care about third party apps - which were very much a thing by 2009 when the Zune HD came out.

It might be a generational thing but I couldn't care less about third party apps.

All I use: email, browser, maps, phone, txt, calendar, camera (non essential for me).


No it’s not a generational thing - it’s you. That’s like the old Slashdot meme - “I haven’t owned a TV in 10 years Do people still watch TV?”. Seeing that my first computer was an Apple //e in 86, I’m definitely not a young buck.

it's not just him, there is a sizeable contingent of people who focus on just these apps for all their uses, and I think it would be much bigger if mobile didn't promote separate apps for everything.

The Zune 30, the first Zune, and the only 30gb Zune player you could be speaking about, was released in Nov 2005. By comparison, Apple's flash offerings in 2005 included the 1G Shuffle (1gb) and the 1G Nano (4gb). These were not large and complex enough devices to be considered competitors to the Zune 30; Apple's competitor to the Zune 30 was the 5G Classic, which came in 30/60/80gb hard drive sizes.

I'm not sure how you got "three months before the iPhone" when the Zune 30 was released in Nov 2005 and the iPhone was released in June 2007. That's not 3 months, that's 19 months.


The Zune 30 was released November 2006 (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zune_30). The iPhone was announced January 2007.

It didn’t matter if they were “competitive”. The market had already spoken. People preferred the flash based smaller players to the larger players. MS went after the smallest part of the market.


And it was brown.

Lol. I had a Zune HD. Opening the calculator app took half a minute... and that was pretty much the only app available. It was a cool device but there’s no surprise it got trampled by iPod Touch.

Wow, you're only slightly exaggerating. I counted 11 seconds.

https://youtu.be/iIj9W74Ju2E


Loved the Zune. Not sure which I had. It wasn’t HD or anything though. It was also a launchpad for me to begin enjoying streaming and tracking things. I began tracking music listens with Last.fm and I used Microsoft’s music streaming service at the time. Usually (or always?) you’d download music onto your device and have to renew it every 30 days or so.

I began rambling since I’m trying to have same practices as your wife. Moved my questions to top of comment;

Which Apple Watch cell version does she have. Do you happen to know the third party ear clip? I hadn’t thought of getting that. I just ordered AirPods arriving today.

This is the perfect post for me to see. I am in my second deep dive in trying to make the Apple Watch a major priority, possibly upgrading to a cellular Watch if this proves to go well. Your wife is another key point for me to push this attempt.

I fit the same demo where a minimalist sort of phone like this would have been right for me. But there is no perfect and the Watch is as good or better than any other option. Especially with my lack of passive phone usage discipline.

Another time I might waste a lot of time contemplating getting something like this. But I’ve finally gotten over a few remaining “needs” for always having phone on me:

(1) detailed location history logging —- don’t think there’s an alternative to this. Won’t have it without a phone.

(2) Siri isn’t very good at dictation on the Watch —- just have to deal with it

(3) Not enough apps on the Watch —- same pattern of just deal with it. I am starting to use a few apps to put stuff into and later I can organize the info. Drafts App and Things are two main ones. Some chat/messaging apps lack proper/any Watch support. Again deal with it :p.


Her clips are something like these.

https://www.amazon.com/New-EARBUDi-AirPods-Slides-Earhook-Am...

She uses them when she is teaching online fitness classes and they stay in her ear so they are pretty good.

If I were still an outdoor runner I would probably get the PowerBeats with the over the ear clips.

I haven’t had any problems with Siri doing decently well for voice dictation and I have a southern accent.


>This is the Zune of phones to me.

The Zune was a great device yo.


Probably as was the last Walkman in the age of the iPod...

Devices are still released under the Walkman brand, I bought one last year. They’re a great intermediate between phones and audiophile kit.

How are they actually doing in the market?

Well enough they keep coming out with them every year.

> If it is shipping with Android 8 - an old version of Android. What are the chances that it will ever see any updates?

Android 8.1 to be precise. As long as google is releasing security updates it should be okay.

https://developer.android.com/about/versions/oreo/android-8....


Why is it okay to ship a new device with an operating system that is two versions old? Neither Windows, Mac, or iOS users have to worry about that.

It is not ok, but that is how telecommunications industry has ever worked, "want updates? get a new phone".

Even on Symbian best days, you would be lucky to get at very least one time update, and Symbian was the exception, as no else every provided any kind of updates.

I agree it is very stupid, but if Google prefers to have Android in every piece of mobile CPU without arm wrestling OEMs, that is never going to change.

Note that while Project Treble has actually turned Linux into a pseudo microkernel, where standard Linux drivers are "legacy" and everything else runs on their own process with Android IPC, the situation has hardly changed, because Google is still leaving to the OEMs the responsibility for the update process.

On a side note, any of my Windows Phones has gotten more updates than all my Android devices combined.

But as I mention in another thread today, iDevices aren't for price sensitive pre-pay customers that use the devices until they die or get stolen. The majority of the world isn't US with free exchange programs every two years.

In some locations, the hard paied for unknown brand Android device is the first computer many people manage to own, so they aren't even on Apple's target demographic.


It is not ok, but that is how telecommunications industry has ever worked, "want updates? get a new phone".

It hasn’t work that way since the iPhone came out - in 2007.

I agree it is very stupid, but if Google prefers to have Android in every piece of mobile CPU without arm wrestling OEMs, that is never going to change.

Yet and still not only can I update my Windows PCs directly from Microsoft without having to wait on the OEMs, I was also able to stick a Windows 7 DVD in my 2006 era Core Duo Mac Mini, install it and it recognized all of my hardware flawlessly. Apple abandoned it years ago, I could still run a supported version of Windows through the beginning of this year.

Microsoft figures this out on PCs over 15 years ago with WinHEC and plug and play.


Apple is the exception, as they don't rely on 3rd party OEMs.

It would be 100% like everyone else had Apple allowed for iOS based OEM devices.

Indeed, but that is only thanks to IBM's failure to close back the PC and only applies to desktop and server devices.

Even Microsoft isn't able to do much regarding laptops and Windows tablets, and was forced to start their own Surface line.

But yes, they still do much better than Google, because Google just doesn't care.

Project Trent would have been the opportunity to change contracts for accessing Google services, and they just kept everything regarding OEMs as before.

The proof that they don't really care is the support for their own Pixel devices.

However as mentioned before, not everyone on this planet can afford to be an Apple customer and OS updates aren't certainly on their daily worries.


Apple is the exception, as they don't rely on 3rd party OEMs.

Microsoft however does allow 3rd party OEMs for Windows and PCs don’t have that issue. MS makes sure the most popular or even some obscure hardware is supported.

Even Microsoft isn't able to do much regarding laptops and Windows tablets, and was forced to start their own Surface line.

I have an 11 year old Dell E6500 Core 2 Duo 2.66Ghz running Windows 10 perfectly.


My 2007 Toshiba laptop recently died (not sure why, I'm gonna let the old dog die gracefully). It had been upgraded over the years with more RAM and an SSD and it ran beautifully on Windows 10 for the last few years.

I'm not sure why people don't admit that Windows does backwards compatibility well. Windows has many issues, but running well on old hardware isn't one of them.


I have an Asus laptop from 2009 sold with Windows 7 and running Windows 10 currently, except it has an additional cooling fan running all the time, because only the original customized Windows 7 with Asus drivers does the power management properly.

Any other Windows 7 version, or more recent versions, the internal fan is not able to make for the generated heat due to missing power management settings.

So I just got used to the noise of having two fans running all the time when I need to do something with that laptop, which has long lost the laptop capability, but hey it runs Windows 10.


Lucky you, I have had several laptops that don't work without OEM drivers and require the explicit Windows version that was sold with the laptop.

As an example, the webcam drivers and power management settings that without OEM drivers will just fry the CPU until the security takes over and forces a hard shutdown.


It was a business Dell and was high end at the time - 8GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, 1920x1200 display.

Yeah, business Dell have much better support story.

I think it would be ok if the older version gets e.g. much better battery life out of the device

This as an argument I heard for using older android versions for low end phones around 50$, because newer versions run horrible on them.

I'm not enough into mobile phones to judge whether this is true, but OS version is a tradeoff I would be willing to make dependent on what I'm looking for


The main concern for me is not the feature difference between Android 8.1 and 9, but the security updates. As long as those are shipping I think it's okay.

So, to turn the question around, assuming this is your stance, why is it not okay?


For sake of argument, the most important thing is app support, not the operating system. I’d happily run Windows 7 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard if I could still access all the apps I use now.

Not entirely related to phones, but it is nice that my iPad that I bought in 2016 has gotten operating system support for external hard drives, Ethernet (long story), good support for external pointing devices, better multitasking support, etc.

My wife’s iPad that is a year newer will get much better operating system wide support for the Pencil.


Android 9 was released only a couple of months before the Palm Phone. I'd say it's reasonable that the device shipped with Android 8.1.

For context, back when I bought a Dell laptop running Vista but after Windows 7 had been announced, but not released, Dell guaranteed Windows 7 compatibility and made free upgrades available.

How long is the Windows beta available for major updates to give the ecosystem a chance to test for compatibility. Google just doesn’t know how to handle an ecosystem.


How long will that be, is that known?

I am not aware of any official numbers. But security and basic compatibility should be covered for a few more years; based on how long previous versions continued to receive support/updates.

Thanks!

Does she reply to emails/tweets/texts via her smartwatch + airpods combo?

Did she use her phone to read articles on the go? If yes, how is she getting this done with this setup?


Neither would I want to do that on a phone the size of the Palm. The entire idea of this phone was initially to be a companion phone just for simple things.

Email isn’t really used that often anymore for personal, immediate communications. If someone is emailing you, culturally it’s really not considered urgent.

Read articles on the go? Sure you can read news snippets on the Watch using the News app, but if she is leaving her phone behind, it’s specifically in a context where she doesn’t want to be distracted but does want to be able to communicate with people.

I have an Apple Watch just because, but I really don’t get that much usefulness out of it. I work from home now. I haven’t gone inside a gym in years where the idea of having a phone with me all of the time was irritating - I have a fully equipped workout room at home. Besides, women often wear clothes without pockets. Men usually don’t - except maybe at the gym or while running.

As far as texts. Siri’s voice recognition works surprisingly well for responding to them.


The Palm Phone does work as a standalone device (except maybe on Verizon). Swipe text is a little less accurate, but overall still plenty usable. Honestly not sure why they wanted it to be a "companion" device so much. One of the huge benefits of using the Palm Phone is not carrying a gigantic brick in your pocket.

This was introduced at a time when there was both exhaustion at increasingly larger phones and people started complaining about “screen time” and distractions. This was suppose to address both of those issues.

Right, I get the main reasons for the Palm Phone. I'm one of the few people in the world who has one lol.

I just think the "companion" aspect was always dumb. You would have to manage two devices and keep them with you anyway, all that would do is increase personal toil. It only became viable for me once I could replace my larger phone with it entirely.


I wonder how bad the battery life is in practice.

They seem to be selling an always on battery saving mode as a quality of life feature. Which is fine for me having do not disturb activated 90% of time on my phone.

All the smartphones I had in recent years I had to charge overnight. Not because they were depleted completely, but enough so that they usually run out some point the next day. And I prefer to just plug the devices in at home insted of carrying around cables and charging banks.

And related question: How well does the apple or other smart watches do with audio interactions only? I have been playing with the tought of instead of having a phone, using a smart pocket watch. So not even wearing on the wrist. But just take it out once in a while and use headphones, for things like accepting call, dictate messages/notes and chose spotify playlist.


I have one. I charge it every night or two. Sometimes it runs out of battery but I don't care much. Web browsing, emailing, calling for a rideshare, and other straightforward stuff is fine. If you're using Google Maps for turn by turn GPS continuously in a car without a way to charge your phone via USB, you'll run out of battery in a couple hours. If you play a bunch of graphically games, I imagine it wouldn't be super great.

I wonder how bad the battery life is in practice.

Third party reviews have said that it could last 18-24 hours

All the smartphones I had in recent years I had to charge overnight. Not because they were depleted completely, but enough so that they usually run out some point the next day. And I prefer to just plug the devices in at home insted of carrying around cables and charging banks.

That’s the same reason I bought my iPhone 8 Plus. At the time it had the best battery life of any iPhone.

Now the iPhone 11 Pro Max can easily last two days on a charge but that phone is ridiculously large.

How well does the apple or other smart watches do with audio interactions only?

We tested ours when we first got them. I had my watch on, arms down, no headphones and we couldn’t tell that you weren’t on a phone. Of course with a headphones you couldn’t tell the difference. Apple Music works well with voice interaction. I’m not sure if Spotify has been updated to take advantage of the new APIs and Siri integration Apple introduced last year. Text messaging using voice only works well. But, if I know my wife is out and about. I try to ask simple questions in text where she can just use a quick reply - yes, no, etc.


This is something I've given a lot of thought about in the past few months. I almost bought one of these palm phones but ultimately the drawbacks mentioned here and on reviews sort of dissuaded me from getting one. Your smart pocket watch reminds me of the runcible, which was really cool and I wish I had gotten one but didn't have the funds at the time. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/runcible-circular-open-so...

That "pocket watch" idea is kinda neat. Maybe someone could bring back the pocket watch form factor. Come to think of it, that's how I used my phone before I got a smart watch.

I've been using one of these for the past 6 months (they were going for ~$70 on eBay when I got mine). I don't use the "Life Mode" feature, and the battery doesn't even come close to lasting all day. When using the phone with screen on you can watch the battery percentage tick down ~1% a minute, and listening to streaming music over Bluetooth with screen off give you about 3 hours of life total. In practice I find myself leaving the phone plugged in, disconnecting it only to change location or leave the house. On excursions a battery pack is an absolute must-have.

Battery life horribleness on Android is often tied to the screen size too.

I really like the idea of the watch instead of a phone, but it seems like they've explicitly designed it so that it will never be a stand-alone device.

I don't mind buying the watch and the airpods, but having to buy a phone AND two data subscriptions (thanks Canada telecoms)? Not worth it.


In day to day use, you never need the phone if you have the watch. Just for the initial setup and to pair with your data plan. But as far as cost you’re right - even with T-Mobile I pay $40 plan and $10 for the Watch data plan.

Hey man I had both a Zune and a ZuneHD. The Zune was fun and funky right when the iPod was starting to turn into a serious gadget used by Wall Street traders. I had the brown one!

Now, the ZuneHD that was a sexy piece of hardware. And the screen was brilliant!

I think the ZuneHD was Microsoft starting to finally get hardware right. But of course the software was terrible. Well, the client was. The “twisted” interface for the ZuneHD was actually much easier to use than music app or Spotify even today.


I think having the latest Android version is overrated. I'm using an enterprise Android 7 device that, afaik, has never gotten any firmware updates.

It now sells with 8.1, but I haven't been able to find any option to upgrade on their site.

All the apps I want to use are still available, F-Droid works great, I have the latest Chrome (which I use as Bromium). I've been able to disable most of Google apps, though I'm a bit sore that most of the OS breaks down when I disable Chrome.


Android update? Happens all the time. I'm helping a client upgrade their device to 9 right now.

Why the delay? The chipset manufacturer only recently came out with the BSP for Android 9. So, cost.


Does Microsoft wait on the chipset manufacturer to release drivers for their operating system?

Maybe not. But Microsoft has 100,000+ employees. These chipset manufacturers may have 100+. So there's that.

Microsoft is the operating system vendor as is Google. I’m sure Google can spare a few “smart people” (tm) to better manage the Android ecosystem.

> zune of phones

nobody who owned a zune would consider that a negative comparison


Depends on the Zune I think. If it was a V1, there is a lot to hate. Also, try using it today - this guy did and it seems like he seriously struggled: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG3Jud-829A

The Apple Watch Series 5 has 32 GB.

Assuming you mean storage, this device apparently ships with 32 GiB of storage.

it has a custom ui, aside from security which can be patched, why would they update its android version

This has already been solved... a true phone for "minimalists, athletes and kids":

https://www.nokia.com/phones/en_gb/nokia-5310

It's only 3cm taller, the battery will last you a week and it has no distractions, oh and it's 34 quid.

More classic Nokia options here: https://www.nokia.com/phones/en_gb/classic-phones I've had a Nokia 208 for 7 years, I take it rock climbing all the time, it's been crushed and battered countless times and dropped from 60m - battery only lasts a few days now so time to get a new one (a new battery not a new phone).

These phones are great for sports because they are so rugged and they are cheap anyway so you can forget about them and focus on what you are doing. The stick phone form factor is also better for fitting into a pocket without restricting movement - I don't always want to take it on route but sometimes forget it's in my pocket.


As someone who has a Palm Phone, this isn't really the same market. With that giant keypad, that device is optimized for something I almost never use (the phone feature), and it takes up a lot of real estate for what I might actually need (typing things I need to look up, seeing the results of what I want to look up). It wouldn't be able to function as my sole device.

How is the Palm Phone? What do you like and dislike?

Easily the best Android device I've ever had. Just wrote up a description here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23661964

I would agree with you if the battery life wasn't so terrible. I used it for a few months as my primary phone and have tried going back to it a few times. I really want to switch but the battery life is brutal.

Buy this phone if you like getting stranded at bars at 2am and asking friends to call you an Uber to get home.


Most of my phone usage when I am out is when I have an audiovisual notification of some sort. But keeping my phone on silent combined with the Palm phone never reacting to any program while the screen is locked, means I just use it less. So while occasionally it still runs out of battery when I'm out, in practice it doesn't do it any more than any of my previous phones.

"This has already been solved... a true phone for "minimalists, athletes and kids""

I believe this was solved more elegantly by the MOTO FONE:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_Fone

... which was a beautiful piece of design and minimalist functionality. I used this as my only phone from (roughly) 2014-2016.


That one was an interesting design and aesthetic, but having also owned one for about a year in 2006 I have to say it was pretty terrible for usability of basic phone calls and texts (which is all I want).

There's still quite a range of "dumb" phones available. A concern of mine is always: can I sync it to my computer. As far as my research went, you don't get that, at least with entry level phones from Nokia (105/106). That's especially annoying as it wouldn't require much effort.

On a pretty different note, I'm surprised nobody ever mentioned Punkt phones [1,2] on HN. From a design standpoint, also taking durability into account, it looks as if they're worth a try. They're outrageously expensive but I still like the fact they've been built at all.

1. https://www.punkt.ch/en/products/mp01-mobile-phone/ 2. https://www.punkt.ch/en/products/mp02-4g-mobile-phone/


Does it run WhatsApp? Not really an option for most of the world if not.


To give context to nailer's succinct answer: some of fitness technology covered by DCRainmaker [1] works well with iOS/Android apps like Garmin Connect or Fitbit. This covers both continuous trackers that do not have GPS as well as the very large ecosystem of BLE sensors for runners/bikers/hikers.

I also need/want a device capable of 911 emergency calls for both away-from-home and electricity/Internet-outage scenarios. I have a laptop and/or tablet and when I'm away from a WiFi hotspot I am almost always active or my hands are engaged.

[1] https://www.dcrainmaker.com/


Fair enough, I think we are talking about different types of people - some people, like me, want a dumb phone for basic communication only, so they can get out to have some adventure without still being hooked up to the machine - we don't want the distraction.

But I understand others (mainly exercise enthusiasts) want to be hooked up because their drive is to track progress. In that case they really want a small smart phone which is what this palm thing is.


Different market. I want a smartphone, I just want a small one.

Then it's for miniaturists not minimalists.

The best small car isn’t a bicycle.

Minimalists sometimes need Google maps

As a minimalist, I can't deny the utility of digital maps, it's the most useful thing smart phones provide, and I would love to add it to an otherwise dumb phone...

For the same form factor and other benefits but at about twice the price the 8110 runs kaiOS which includes google maps among other things - it's a different ecosystem and you wont find all the same kinds of apps that you get on android but there are some big ones in there like whatsapp.

https://www.nokia.com/phones/en_gb/nokia-8110-4g

I might seriously upgrade to one of these at some point, feels like a good middle ground without going full distractophone.

[edit]

oh and of course you get to make infinite number of references to the matrix with this phone ;P


That does sound enticing!

Not available in the US?

I've been looking for dumb phones with just talk, text, and GPS in the US for years (at least two) now. The closest thing I've found is blackberry. I just want a phone that 1. can get me to my destination if I'm lost and 2. doesn't give me the opportunity to distract myself in other ways. I don't want to be beholden to my willpower - I don't want to be able to download apps at all.

wow, you are right, only one model available in US:

https://www.nokia.com/phones/en_us/classic-phones


That phone has a VGA camera and no gps.

Except you can't call an uber or listen to spotify with this.

As a minimalist and an athlete I find myself not wanting to do either of those things in the middle of the forest climbing something trying not to be distracted by technology... I guess we have different interpretations of the target audience.

This _looks_ really nice. I'm a fan of smaller phones, I currently own a Pixel 2, and if it was a tiny bit smaller, I think it'd be perfect.

However, saying that I think the challenge with this phone might be the battery life. It comes with a free phone case with a battery pack(making the size waaay chunkier than without the case), and the specifications don't mention mAh, just 'battery life' (which from my experience is rarely accurate).

According to https://www.gsmarena.com/palm_palm-pictures-9290.php it's only 800mAh, and from the images it's clear that they're making the screen look much larger than it actually is. Hmm.

I really dig the concept though.


I'd be interested if its battery wasn't so tiny.

Doubt it would last the entire work day on a single charge with casual usage (playing music, making some notes).

It feels like more of a companion than a phone replacement. I feel like it'd be just another gadget after a few days sitting in my drawer, never to be used again.


Local music playback, probably with display switched off, is only 9.5h. For comparison, modern iPhones claim >60h just playing audio.

Another indicator is that all battery life examples are for activities that typically have the display switched off.

So, I guess you are right. I like the size :)


Has something happened to iPhones recently? My iPhone 8 can barely make it a full day of sparse use without being charged...

I’m on a brand new 2016 model iPhone SE A1662. Full charge capacity is 100%. I rarely get through the day before I have to charge again with moderate use.

I’ve been using a iPhone SE as my primary phone since summer 2016.

If I recall, my original new iPhone SE had great battery life. It was first on iOS 9.

Up Until iOS 12, Battery life was fine on it. With iOS 12, had to get a extended battery case; that held up As a workable solution until iOS 13.

At the end of last year, after iOS 13 came out I replaced that iPhone SE with a brand new one I bought on fire sale.

That had an accident this week, which I replaced with another new iPhone SE.

For it, I set it up as a new device, without any apps, and not restoring from any backup, I still have the same battery life.

I’m going to chalk it up to iOS background process bloat and third party background app refresh, etc.

It will be I nteresting to see how iOS 14 Holds up on the iPhone SE 2016.

What can I say, I refuse to use a phone without flat sides, no headphone jack and not of a reasonable size. I could take a few of those exceptions but all three has been a no go for me. Really the new “meh” battery life is the only complaint I have about this device.

Really excited for the rumored iPhone 12 5.4 inch since it may be about the same size as the old SE; with flat sides.


“I’m going to chalk it up to iOS background process bloat and third party background app refresh, etc.”

This. I’ve noticed my 6s is frequently warm, indicating heavy activity.

Top suspicion is Photos processing faces/recognition/etc.


> it may be about the same size as the old SE

I want this to be true but I doubt it very much.


Yes. I can get a day and a half out of my XR easily with quite heavy usage. And the battery health is 90% after 18 months of ownership. Best phone I’ve ever had.

Anecdotal experience like this is totally useless. Sometimes I can’t even make it through half a day with my XR.

About the same time of ownership; battery health is 91%


Well no not really. It’s two data points. Let’s work out what is different and work out why yours sucks :)

I run mine with default apps, couch to 5k, nutracheck, YouTube, eBay, Santander, OS maps, prime video, Netflix, slack, PayPal, Uber eats, duo mobile TOTP and that’s it. No social crap.


For comparison, the XR has a 2942 mAh battery and the 8 has an 1821 mAh battery.

Batteries degrade (some faster than others, depending on usage patterns). Battery life is quoted for a new one.

Mix of battery aging out and possibly more background activity.

The gen 11s have rather good battery life (I rarely dip below 50% at day's end even though I use my phone a lot) — though some folks have apparently reported drain issues — but they have almost double the battery capacity of an '8.


Yes. iPhone XR already had great battery life and 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max have more than 4-5 hours additional battery life compared to Xs and Xs Max. My 11 Pro can easily last 1.5 days with heavy usage.

Don't know about iPhones, but the only way my Nokia 7 plus will do 60 hours is without radios, reading music from internal storage, and piping sound do a powered speaker.

It's weird that for a product whose main selling point is its size that you have to scroll way down the page to get a clear image that shows its scale relative to something recognizable, and even then it's not super clear.

At least you got pictures, I couldn't work out which of the 30+ Javascript domains I had to enable to see anything at all.

Yet they are marketing to 'minimalists' - i guess they meant the visual aesthetic side of minimalism only.

shopify.com and getshogun.com

When looking at the website on mobile, the first two pictures compare it to a SIM card and a credit card, respectively

Yeah, true! If you scale your browser window to mobile-size-ish, you'll see a picture that compares it to a SIM card, that's a great comparison.

The second comparison is also visible on desktop, but it's not a very obvious one, the CC size is kind of hidden, so could be better.

Weird to display different pictures for mobiles than for desktop, especially when the mobile picture is way better than the animation desktop sees.


The first image on desktop shows it next to a credit card[0], but the credit card is mostly hidden so it's hard to notice unless you check the text blurb (literally "About the size of a credit card.")

[0] https://i.shgcdn.com/6796ca42-cd39-47de-855a-9a5bbb1aa92a/-/...



" About the size of a credit card."

Write above-the-fold.


On the Buy page (Shopify), there is a very good image of the ultra-mobile Palm relative to a man's hand [1].

[1] https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0063/0613/6154/products/Pa...


Good thing all hands are the same size!

There's a SIM card in the first image and a wallet on the second.

Sadly, still on Android 8.1. If anyone is looking for small Android device with a bit more recent Android version, check out upcoming Unihertz Jelly 2 https://www.ogadget.com/x/jelly-2

Hm, some interesting design decisions with the Jelly 2 there. In particular, if that comparison table is right, it's more than 16mm thick - I daresay none of us have seen anything like that since the flip-phone days. And the payoff is that you get quite a chunky battery for the size. I imagine there must be a few people here who would happily take that.

I have the Jelly 1 and am very happy with it. Will definitely go for the Jelly 2. Thickness isn't so much an issue because the phone is so small. It usually lives in the 'coincatcher' in my pocket and I hardly notice it's there. Only issues are battery life and low specs (and no fingerprint!) but the Jelly 2 will solve that.

But the Palm doesn't solve any of those issues. No fingerprint scanner. Only 800mAh battery (Jelly 2 has 2000). Much lower specs, 28nm SoC. Single SIM. Just nope.


I found the GPS accuracy left a bit to be desired.

UPDATE: according the promo video on their facebook page this one has "improved GPS". No tech details on what that means. https://www.facebook.com/getJelly/videos/3438043796208898/

I had an original Unihertz Jelly and the battery life was just miserable. At least you could swap them.

Scrolling through forums, I don't think they ever fixed that. Hopefully on the Jelly 2?

Currently on a Unihertz Atom. Battery life is better but it's sealed like an iphone.

The Atom starts on Android 8.1 but get regular updates and it's v9 now.

Maybe Palm plans the same thing?


The Jelly 2 phone seems much more compelling than the Palm phone. Better in all areas.

As someone who has a Palm Phone and looked at the previous Unihertz offerings but found the screen size to phone size to be poor, I think the Palm Phone is still more accessible due to the screen resolution of 720x1280 and a 3.3" screen on a phone that's basically the same size.

The Jelly 2 seems like an improvement over the Jelly 1, but still that resolution of 480x854 is hard to swallow. Although given that there will likely be no Palm Phone 2, I could see myself getting a Jelly 3 or 4 in a few years.


Yeah, but wouldn't the higher resolution mean a worse battery life at the same time? For such a dimension I wouldn't trade battery for resolution.

Even on my Palm Phone that is 720p, occasionally programs end up with UI elements overlapping each other when they shouldn't. Going even lower could result in unexpected issues like that.

Damn, if this were out now, I'd buy today.

WARNING

This device is produced by TCL that has a long sordid history of selling phones with pre-installed malware, modifying pre-installed system apps to push ads after firmware “upgrades” and customized social media apps that share low-level user data with the Chinese manufacturer and reports of TCL devices performing DNS rebinding attacks to access internal networks.

For more information visit XDA developers under “Joy launcher, no joy”


The entire mobile ecosystem is about spying, with any features these devices provide being secondary to their primary function of gathering information on their users.

Of the mobile platforms, Apple seems the least like this. They seem to actually care about user privacy to some extent, but that's also because they are the most expensive and therefore have revenue more closely tied to their users as actual customers. I still wouldn't let Apple totally off the hook though. They still gather telemetry, and apps on iOS spy as much as they can possibly get away with. Virtually any mobile app is loaded with as much spyware as can possibly be packaged with it and tuned to gather maximum data without being too annoying or visible to the user.

It would be really hard to change this as long as there is such a market for user data. It's too tempting to load apps (or the whole phone) with spyware and cash in. Add to this the fact that governments around the world are certainly in the game both financially and covertly. The only way to really have a privacy-first mobile device would be to lock it the hell down and not allow apps to do anything without explicit user interaction... especially location awareness or any kind of sensor or camera/microphone use. Even with a really locked down phone apps would still try to find clever ways to gather data, and there's a lot of exploitable surface area.

The only other way to fix it would be legislation. One way would be to legislate HIPAA-like protections for intimate user data such as passive audio recordings or location information. Leak a users' location info or sell it without their permission? That will be $10,000 per violation, where a violation is a single location data point for a single user. This would instantly convert user telemetry data hoards from assets to liabilities. Of course what would probably happen is all this stuff would just move off-shore and into shell companies that can't effectively be fined or sued. Legislation might not even work and might make the industry even shadier than it already is. There's too much incentive to spy.


Apple is a hardware company, they don't earn a cent knowing who you are.

This is why they can lean hard on the privacy aspect, Google (an ad company) can never follow them there all the way.


> they don't earn a cent knowing who you are.

This is absolutely not true. It's just not their main revenue stream. That doesn't mean they don't collect and monetize your data in one way or another.


What would that revenue stream be?

Their own marketing and product teams surely use this data.

So companies can't even look at their own data now? I'm pretty sure most people are okay with that.

> So companies can't even look at their own data now? I'm pretty sure most people are okay with that.

people start caring when those companies own half the world.

Apple owns tons of media groups. I don't want to participate in a pseudo market-testing-group just by virtue of owning an iPhone.

We're not talking about data and analytics being collected on phones for phones, we're talking about data and analytics being collected on phones and then sat on for a future project, likely not phone related.

I'm a people, and i'm not okay with that.


I understand the argument, my issue was with people conflating three things:

1. Collecting data for internal use 2. Collecting data to sell targeted ads with. 3. Collecting data to directly sell to other parties.

My problem with your suggestion to limit internal data analysis (option 1) is where is the line drawn?

Can "Netflix Streaming Department" share data with "Netflix Original Programming" in your idea? Isn't that the whole point tho?


Nobody has any idea, actually. Apple's EULAs give them the "right" to basically do whatever they like with your data. Does Apple actually disclose what they do with your data? And how have these policies changed over time?

Nobody knows what they're doing. It's why it's smarter to just keep your data away from companies.


Yes, they, do I linked to one of the disclaimers in another comment: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205223

Do they reserve the right to change this at any time and indemnify themselves if something goes "wrong?"

Isn't that another strawman? You're gonna find clauses like that in every legal agreement on earth, the relevant points here are what they commit to and how they act and have acted historically.

You can of course not trust them and keep your data away, it's your choice; but there is no question they are the most privacy respecting of the bunch - because, as the OP said, they are a hardware and services company and staying that way is a competitive advantage.


Selling hardware and insurance for said hardware. Also taking a cut of all purchases on their various platforms.

But the app store allows that apps that collect all sorts of data on you, and doesn't apple get a cut of the sales from apps? Just because its a few steps transient doesn't mean apple has clean hands here.

Since around 2016 Apple does not expose a stable unique identifier to apps. Users can reset their identifier at any time, opt out of location-based and personalized ads. Apps submitted to the store must follow those guidelines. There is a lot wrong about their policies but you have to give it to them for respecting privacy: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205223

Only if you let them. Apple forces developers to ask the user for permission constantly.

True, but arguably they are making spying harder with each ios release. If profiling and ads were their bread and butter, they would act differently.

It may not be their "bread and butter", but that doesn't mean they don't do it. Every time I see somebody talking about Google spying on users but 'X' company doesn't do it, I start to think there just a fanboy to Apple or whatever the company in question is. You should just assume EVERYBODY is spying. Just because it isn't their primary source of revenue, doesn't mean it isn't a source of revenue at all or isn't of value to them.

There are levels of "spying".

There is "enable microphone, listen in on conversations and adjust ad preferences" and "upload all photos in the background for analysis" and "check the clipboard for interesting stuff every few seconds"

Then there is just normal telemetry, anonymised and used for internal product development.


This is replete with multiple levels of irony. Google pays apple billions to make Google the default search engine. Apple does not sell ads directly but they profit mightily from sale on those ads.

When the mafia breaking your legs is owned by your adversary or rented by them is a fig leaf of a distinction.


What ads?

Apple has been cutting out Google Search with every single iOS update.



they are a media production and streaming company too

Since the curated boutique App Store idea got perverted, perhaps the cure is to go back to Steve Jobs' original plan to use PWAs.

IP68 does not mean you can swim with it [1] yet the web page says:

IP68 water and dust resistance means Palm is as rugged as it is elegant so it can stand up to the most strenuous activities—whether you're running, swimming, biking or hiking.

Unqualified IP68 just means water resistant to a static pressure of at least one metre and the manufacturer is supposed to qualify it saying how deep it can go which the page does not do. But also note the word static. If you dive in then the momentary pressure could be significantly higher.

So I think this is quite clearly misleading advertising.

[1] https://www.trustedreviews.com/opinion/what-is-ip68-ip-ratin...


As someone who bricked an iPhone XS after swimming with it (in freshwater, at depths < 1m), I can confirm this. Certainly took me by surprise. It was a $99 fee with AppleCare+ to replace it.

Is this related to Palm Inc. (Palm Pilot PDAs) of the 90s and 2000s?

[edit: Looks like the answer is yes, TCL bought the Palm brand and is funding this]


Quoting from their page:

> December 11, 2018

> Meet the new Palm

> Back in 1996, Palm released the PalmPilot and forever changed the mobile handheld game. Today Palm is back—same name but a whole new company. We’re a small San Francisco-based start up harnessing that same innovative spirit to help bring people out of their tech and into their lives.

It looks like they bought the rights to the name.


Slightly disappointing, but hopefully they be able to carry on the legacy. Even if it's only by name.

Might not be too bad if they managed to hire some veterans from PalmOS


AFAIK they have not hired any Palm veterans (I worked at Palm but obviously only know a small fraction of all the people that worked there)

When I saw the headline, I had a moment of hope they did something minimal, efficient, privacy-respecting, and secure, looking a lot like touchscreen PalmOS.

no (edit: yes, of course they own the rights to the name, otherwise they wouldn't be able to call it a Palm. As far as I know it's otherwise unrelated).

Is this a new model, or the same one that sells on EBay for 80$? (Many were made to be sold as Verizon-only "secondary device" and are now surplus).

If so, reports are that the battery life is extremely short.


It is the same one they released back in 2018 from the specs: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/12/palm-phone-review-fu...

Same one. Should be like 3 years old, the original plan indeed was to make it work like an Apple Watch that share the number with your main phone.

I think this is new, at least compared to the one they originally released. The page says that it's carrier unlocked, whereas the original one was locked to Verizon (via a primary big phone).

You're thinking of the Palm Pixi, I think. This is a new Android device by the looks of it.

I have been using this as my daily minimalist phone for over 4 months. I love it, with some caveats.

I bought it for a few reasons:

* Tired of lugging around a monsterous phone.

* Not allowing my Internet/web addiction to follow me everywhere.

* Wanted something small and waterproof for outdoor water sports emergencies.

I bought mine (an original Verizon edition) on ebay for 60 dollars. After that you will want to run it through some debloat scripts which improves battery and declutters the phone. Root it if you like, although I did not as I am satisfied with the mods you can make without root. https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/development/release...

I have purposefully crippled the phone and removed Google Chrome, Youtube, as well as the Play Store.

Basically adb shell pm uninstall --user 0 com.google.____

I personally ripped out the Play Store so that I couldn't be tempted to download Chrome/YouTube again. I downloaded every app I thought I would want and now I sideload new apps with adb if I find other use cases.

I have considered the alternative use case of sideloading the store, downloading the new app, updating my existing apps, and then removing the store. However given the continuous obsolescence that occurs with phones, my plan is to only update things as they break rather than constantly pushing myself to the newest versions until eventually my phone becomes clunky and unusable.

The phone does everything I want (Uber, Maps, phone, text, whatever!) and I have 0 access to the web. I love it. You can't do this on an iPhone, I tried many times and the closest is with parental locking but it doesn't work how you'd like.

The downside is that the battery life kind of sucks, however I get a full day of use out of it. I plug it in every night, I plug it in my car when I'm driving and use Android Auto, and without the Web to distract me I only use it for calls, texts, note taking, and to briefly look up maps, kitesurfing forecasts, or to call an uber.

I can't wait for the exact same form factor with a 2x bigger battery. I'll never go back to a mega phone for daily use.

Happy to answer more questions.


Instead oft sideloading you could use Aurora Store [1], an open-source Play Store client.

[1] https://auroraoss.com


My biggest problem with owning an Android phone is losing security updates after a few months/years. Has happened to me before, even on a Google branded phone (made by HTC).

Are you still getting security updates on this device? Do you think you're likely to lose them in the near future?

Edit: I'm asking because I'm really tempted to buy. Sold on everything else.


I don't think I'm getting security updates but frankly I haven't checked. I'm not able to open web pages with my version so I think my risk is pretty minimal aside from some exploitable silent SMS or Gmail bug.

The phone works for me, and I did a HUGE amount of research into my options before buying. The Jelly 2 which I was previously unaware of looks to be pretty slick, but for 60 bucks off ebay I don't think you can go wrong. YMMV


I bought one from eBay for about $100 to try it as a minimalist phone. The camera is bad. The battery life is abysmal. It is super duper slow but still gets too hot to hold. It doesn't fit in any phone caddies like for driving. In life mode, it keeps turning off bluetooth when I pause the audio on a podcast or audiobook, which is really bad when you are driving and want to focus on the directions for a second: now suddenly you lost your audio entertainment (and possibly your turn by turn directions being read loud enough for you to hear) until you can safely fiddle with the phone.

Overall, it was a pretty bad experience. I lost it in my car (probably under a seat) and did not feel compelled to search for it.

Maybe it was worth the $100 to break the habit of reaching for my phone all the time.


Good to see there is a market for tiny phones. That gives me hope there's a market for sub 5 inch screen phones as well. Or something not bigger as a Samsung Galaxy A3 2017.

I don't know. All I want is an Android between 5 inch and 6 inch, something the size of a 2016 iPhone SE.

But all I see is either gigantic phones, or 3 inches phones like this one so tiny they're barely usable as a smartphone. At that point why not just buy a dumb phone?


> All I want is an Android between 5 inch and 6 inch, something the size of a 2016 iPhone SE.

That's much larger than the SE (4" screen, 125x60x7.5 mm, 110 g compared to 5" screen, 140x70x7.5 mm, 150 g for the 2020 SE). Which is a really nice form factor, and well suited for apps, but not so good for web browsing.


> That's much larger than the SE

Not necessarily if they're talking about the diagonal of the phone: the SE1 has a ~138mm diagonal, which is ~5.4".

At 156mm the SE2 is a bit above 6.1".

Though by that measure the Palm here is hardly "3 inches", it's 4.2".


SE had a 4" screen but you could fit a 5" in the frame (huge bezels)

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is almost exactly the same size and thickness as the iPhone 10 (5.6" x 2.75"). I always thought of the iPhone 10 as "huge", coming from the relatively tiny BlackBerries, but part of that was the bezel-less design that made it seem bigger than it is. Still too big for my preferences, but it's probably the best "small" Android phone out there. Samsung have also made some great design choices that make one-handed use much easier, and the screen doesn't curve around the sides like the regular S10.

It's a one year old phone, but at the moment it's on the latest version of Android. Plus it has a headphone jack.

But like the iPhone, it's a greased piece of glass, so it definitely needs some sort of case.


It works better as a hotspot for the laptop when I need a bigger screen?

There are smart-dumbphones with features like hotspots. The Nokia 8810 has WhatsApp, 4g and WiFi hotspots, as well as lots of other features previously only found in low end bonafide smartphones. Added bonus with the Nokia I mention is that KaiOS (formerly Firefox OS) probably doesn't ship telemetry to Google.

I did not know that. Thank you, most dumb phone also exclude high speed connections because they are cheap and this isnt a normal usecase.

No dumb phone has usable car navigation nor taxi and food apps

The 8110 has Google Maps as well as Uber. And food sites work just as well through their mobile web sites.

If battery life is only 9 hours for music playback, I can’t imagine how bad the battery life is when using it as a hotspot.

Oh, when I hotspot my laptop, I almost always have the phone plugged into it to keep the charge up

Sony should bring back XZ1 Compact form factor. I use XZ1C daily, it's perfect for everything.

I have an XZ1 Compact. It's great, works really well, appealing design, every feature I need - decent screen, headphone jack, camera button, fingerprint reader, feels fast, battery lasts for ages. It's an almost perfect phone. Just one problem: it's too big.

Not by that much, but it definitely is. It's too big to use well one-handed, and it doesn't fit comfortably in a lot of pockets, especially since the corners are pointy.

The perfect phone form factor - and this must surely have been plain to anyone who ever held one - was the Nokia Lumia 620, a Windows phone with 3.8" screen and a curvy back with exchangable double-shot plastic covers. It was a bit like an iPhone 3GS in shape but lighter and with a marginally bigger screen. The phone itself was a bit crap in various ways, but how strange that we should collectively ignore the obvious rightness of this design and go on making them worse and worse for years afterwards. (I'm being flippant, but somewhere in my head I am puzzled by it all)


XZ1 Compact dimensions with an edge to edge screen makes a lot of sense to me. I need some screen real estate to read stuff. For you maybe a Nokia N9 with edge to edge screen would work because it's smaller. I read and wrote this from Opera on XZ1C.

Agreed, the size is perfect and I find it sturdier then Z3 Compact. Aren't there more people like us to justify compact line?

I'm putting off buying a new phone because nothing compares to Z3C. Compact plus good battery life isn't rare anymore, it simply doesn't exist.

We don’t know if there’s a market yet, the product has only just been launched

The phone was released in 2018. I have one and I've never met anyone else who has one, nor even talked to anyone online who has one. People in real life who see my phone are amused, but have no idea what the device is. So unfortunately, I think the market is small (although I also think they fucked it up by releasing it as a locked down "companion device" and only walking back on that half a year later).

For me the IPhone 7 was the perfect size at 4.7, my only wish is that they made it a bit fatter so it will be easy to grasp and not slippery and that also would increase the battery capacity.

For anyone looking for another alternative for a minimalist phone, I’ve been following this for a while:

https://mudita.com/products/pure/


There's also the Light Phone 2, and arguably, a smartwatch is a "minimalist smartphone". Personally, I own a Fairphone 3. The ThinkPad of smartphones, as you can easily open/repair it.

I went to the website of Mudita Pure and found the following:

> Ultralow SAR value

> Mudita Pure is designed to reduce SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) value as much as possible, without compromising on the signal strength. In order to achieve this, we’ve made our antenna with in-house shielding, using patented technology that we developed.

> Good reception and ultralow SAR thanks to a custom antenna

> There are plenty of antennas on the market but none of them allowed us to maintain good reception while minimizing our exposure to radio frequency energy. We spent quite a bit of time and money (2 years, nearly $1 million) to develop and patent our own solution. We built our unique antenna in-house, using this patented technology (patent US 9,900,411 B2, EU 3185352).

I wonder what exactly their patent consists of, and how SAR matters. I also wonder if the device is rugged, which OS it runs, and how good its gonna be regarding software updates. Light Phone 2, in comparison, runs Android with e-ink display.


The phone looks pretty cool but I'm not sure what their deal is with the radiation stuff. Their claims [1] seem a bit fearmongery. They even say stuff like "Although it has not yet been proven, the stress felt by those sensitive to EMF exposure may cause cortisol levels to rise"... not been proven, so why say it then??

Additionally it appears the only product they have ever shipped before is a music album [2], so I'm not sure how they go from that to a phone. I'd be surprised if this turns out to be any more than Indiegogo vaporware.

[1]: https://mudita.com/products/pure/sar

[2]: https://mudita.com/products/nick-lewis/


I work at Mudita so I hope you find this information somewhat useful in terms of your concerns.

1. The reason we mention people sensitive to EMF exposure is because after attending the 2019 EMF Conference in California (https://emfconference.com/), one of the major issues those people were facing was that without technology, they completely isolated themselves from their friends and family.

A phone like Mudita Pure, which could be charged by their doctors, psychologists or care givers (in serious cases some people don't use any electricity at home) might mean the difference between being able to keep in touch with people they care about and being completely and utterly alone.

We have tried to approach the subject in a respectful manner, without judgement of those who may be dealing with this. As it's likely I wrote the site copy you're referring to, it was not my intention for it to come across as 'fearmongery'.

2. Nick Lewis is a friend of Mudita's founder Michal.

3. I can assure you it's not vaporware. We launch in Autumn/Fall 2020.

If you have any more questions, reach out via hello@mudita.com and someone will be in touch.


Thanks for your feedback, I work for Mudita so hopefully I can help answer some of your concerns.

Here's a link to Apple's Legal page regarding RF (radiofrequency) exposure, you can find the SAR value of all of their devices on their website: https://www.apple.com/legal/rfexposure/iphone12,1/en/ If Apple and other mobile phone manufacturers mention the SAR value of their devices, why wouldn't Mudita?

Unlike Light Phone 2, Mudita Pure isn't running a customized Android OS. "We developed our own dedicated operating system (MuditaOS) and chose the open source, real-time operating system kernel FreeRTOS®️ as our starting point. Optimized for the hardware, it makes Pure fast and power efficient, with a boot time of just 5 seconds." (Source: https://mudita.com/products/pure/)

If you'd like to know more about our updates, patent or materials, send an email to: hello@mudita.com


Thanks for sharing the Light phone! Cool to see there are other people that just want basics.

Fairphone looks like exactly what I want. Why do all the cool phones not work in the US?

There are reports about it working (till various degrees) in USA. Till what extend, I do not know. Consult the forums for more information. Its a friendly community.

Different frequency bands, mostly. With a side of CDMA / device authorization on Verizon and Sprint.

I personally don't buy this premise of 'Improving your lifestyle, by including friction in our products'. Screen size is not limiting someone from not leaving Facebook, Instagram, TikTok etc. If they don't want to use it, they can uninstall it on their existing device. These kind of devices just prey upon compulsive buyers hoping 'If I buy X, my life will magically get better'.

Buying such tiny screen phones at this point of time would just limit the productivity as an when needed, if that's all one needed they could dig up their 10 year old android device with 2.5" screen or better buy a current feature phone with 4G and 30 days standby time for fraction of the price.

IMO, If a new smartphone manufacturer wants to enter the space with the premise of 'improving lifestyle', then perhaps they should build devices for pure Linux smartphone OS like these[1][2] where productivity is available when needed via web apps, supposed lifestyle culprit apps aren't available anyways and help build a better ecosystem.

[1]https://store.pine64.org/product/pinephone-community-edition...

[2]https://postmarketos.org/blog/2020/06/15/pinephone-postmarke...

[3]https://puri.sm/products/librem-5/


I kind of agree. I’ve experimented with every gray screen/app organizing/focus blocker technique on the hype train, and in the end it’s mostly window dressing: the hard part is breaking bad habits.

I had some really horrible habits and distractions with my phone. Anytime that I should be focused on someone else or something else, I leave my phone at home - or in these days in another room since we don’t go out and just have my Apple Watch on me.

I disagree. Humans are creatures of habit and environment definitely plays into that. Change the environment and you change the habits.

Take someone from the Midwest suburbs where they have to drive everywhere and move them to NYC. Instantly they will be getting their 10k steps with no problem.

Get rid of all the junk food in your house, 95% of your eating problems just went away.

This phone was like that for me (maybe not for you!). I was seriously addicted to the Internet, like seriously browse HN and reddit for a couple hours a day everyday. Youtube maybe a couple more. Now unless I'm working or streaming a movie I rarely even open my laptop and it just sits in a cupboard. My life has drastically improved after working to rid myself of Internet addition. It's a serious problem for many people. Getting a phone where I could remove the Web from it completely was a huge part of that.


Any tips on dealing with internet addiction?

For me it's about stopping me from myself. Willpower is nice but not giving yourself the chance is even better. A drug addict with willpower can keep some coke and not use it, but it's better to not have it in the first place.

To that end, the biggest single thing I have done is to remove the web browser and all entertainment apps from my phone. That has done wonders for me and my ADD. I never reach for my phone unless someone calls/texts me or I need to accomplish a task. Try it out for a month I doubt you will want to go back. My mind definitely has improved as a result.

I also put my laptop away in a drawer when I am not using it.


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