Three years after a number of CEO changes in HP led to the implosion and the ultimate death of webOS as a smartphone and a tablet platform. The Palm brand was sold to TCL in 2014. Known for reviving BlackBerry, TCL became crowdsourced smartphone ideas for Palm and the possible end result leaked today.
Android Police bought images of a device called "Pepito" – a beef steak sandwich common in Mexico and Venezuela – which has the new "PALM" mark on the back of the phone.
As mentioned above, the logo is interestingly arranged in a two-to-two-square grid with the letters appear metallic and silver-plated against what is likely to be a shiny plastic back, something reminiscent of the HP TouchPad and original Palm Pre. It will be available in titanium and gold color options that probably match the device's frame.
The corners and edges of the phone are noticeably rounded on the front and back of another possible callback to the stealthy Palm Pre setup, while it's a rather iPhone X-like vertical camera table in the upper right corner.
This device seems like having only one physical power button and no volume rocker. In addition, there is no headphone jack, with a detached house visible on the bottom of the device. The lack of a 3.5mm port is actually like the 2011 HP Veer released on AT & T, which ended up using a magnetic adapter.
With the BlackBerry Series, TCL was firmly held on Android. It is unclear whether this is the case with Pepito, which is rumored to run Android 8.1, given the heavily customized interface shown in the image. But the leak marks it clearly as a "Screen Image Place Holder."
That said, the status bar does not use storage battery or wireless icon indicators, while there are three dots at the bottom of the screen. It is unclear whether this is the system navigation bar or an actual capacitive button, as it is difficult to distinguish between the screen and thick facades.
However, the biggest offense is the "grid" of icons that can be the home screen of the phone. Icons are arranged in one, two, one, two patterns with 12 apps visible at a time. A 13 icon is slightly visible, but unclear to users roll up.
According to AP the device has a 3.3-inch 720p LCD display, which actually provides a respectable 445 PPI complimented by an 800mAh battery. Meanwhile, it is allegedly powered by a Snapdragon 435 processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The device is slated to Verizon in the United States as AP previously reported earlier this year.
This is a very strange phone that is clearly on its way to the reasonable low-end of the market. Given the size, it looks very cute and pocketable. Whether appropriate or not, there are a number of callbacks to the webOS series from the lack of a headphone jack to the small screen size (original Palm Pre was 3.1 inches) and even general pebble shape.
In terms of market success, cheap Android phones are a dime a dozen at any dealer today. TCL can find some progress for ultra low end success, but the non-stock experience will probably be a very serious failure for most people already familiar with the basic principles of Android.
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