Almost a year after being released in the U.S. the tiny Palm phone has quietly launched in Australia.
In addition to being very cute, it has the potential to be a compact, basic device option for people who don't want or need an expensive flagship with all the bells and whistles.
There's just one problem. The Palm 3.3 costs $699 and has absolutely no business being in that price bracket.
Now we're not saying this is a bad phone. It's actually quite charming.
With its miniscule 3.3-inch screen it's designed for basic phone functionality, but it does so with 2019 in mind.
It runs Android OS and supports all of your favourite apps, which can be launched from the compact grid on the touch screen.
It even has facial recognition, IP68 water resistance and quite a decent camera for a non-flagship.
No, it isn't a bad baby phone. But it certainly is an overpriced one.
JB Hi-Fi is flogging it for $699, which is a bold move considering the rise of mid-range phones this year. The release of the Google Pixel 3a redefined what customers should expect from phones that hover around the $500 - $700 price range.
And it didn't take long for other manufacturers to follow suit.
The Pixel 3a and Samsung's impressive Galaxy A70 are both $50 cheaper than the Palm here in Australia, despite packing significantly better specs.
Oppo's mid-range Reno Z even packs more under its hood, and has an RRP of only $499.
Here's a comparison of the key specs:
|Palm 3.3||Google Pixel 3a||Samsung Galaxy A70||Oppo Reno Z|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor||MTK MT6779V processor|
|Memory||3GB RAM, 32GB storage storage||4GB RAM, 128GB storage||6GB RAM, 128GB storage storage||8GB RAM, 128GB storage|
|Display||3.3-inch 1280 x 720 LCD||6-inch 2160 x 1080 OLED||6.7-inch 1080x2400 Super AMOLED||6.4-inch 1080x2340 AMOLED|
|Cameras||12MP rear and 8MP front||12.2MP rear and 8MP front||Triple rear: 32MP main, 5MP depth and 8MP ultra-wide. Front: 32MP||48MP rear and 5MP front|
|Battery||800mAh||3,000mAh battery||4,500mAh, 25W fast-charging||4,035mAH|
For the most part, all of these other devices destroy the Palm on paper.
And while not everyone cares about beefy specs, they do tend to care about battery life. 800mAH is ridiculously small, and multiple reviews state that it only last a few hours.
It leaves you wondering what you're actually paying for, especially when the device isn't even new.
It's been out in the U.S. since late 2018, as demonstrated by our U.S. team reviewing it back in November.
Considering how fast phone technology moves, it's somewhat insulting to Aussie consumers to whack a comparatively huge price tag on it after so long.
And with such strong competition in market that offers a hell of a lot more for less, one has to question why its launching here at all.
Sure, it's cute and has some modern features, but at $700 that's not enough.