Get a little misty when you think about your old Palm Pre? Well, dry those eyes, nostalgic geeks! An unexpected check-in at the Wi-Fi Alliance ha revealed that a new Palm device is on the way.
In case you were wondering when the last Palm-based phone went on sale, it’s been seven years since HP launched the Pre 3. If you can classify what happened with the Pre 3 as launching, that is. HP put it on sale in the U.K. on August 17, 2011 and announced that it was discontinuing all WebOS devices the next day.
Here’s what we know about this mysterious new device so far: it’s being manufactured by the Palm Venture Group. PVG is a subsidiary of TCL Multimedia, a major Chinese electronics OEM. TCL acquired the Palm brand from HP back in 2015 — LG had already bought WebOS, the software core that powered the Pre, Pixi, and TouchPad.
If you were holding out hope that TCL/PVG might surprise everyone by releasing a new device running WebOS, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you. We also know that the phone is going to arrive running Android 8.1. That’s probably a wise move on PVG’s part in terms of appealing to the masses, but it’s not one that will score points with Palm die-hards.
Thanks to the recent certification, it’s also known that this new Palm phone will only support 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi bands. It won’t get any benefit from your router’s (or anyone else’s for that matter) zippier 5Ghz radio. This is also a reasonably good indicator that TCL has this thing penciled in as a budget or mid-range offering.
One other clue that it’ll be a lower-end device: that’s pretty much TCL’s jam. As The Verge points out, TCL also produces Alcatel phones — which are a go-to budget brand for many U.S. carriers.
Other than a very broad price range and its Wi-Fi capabilities, almost everything else about this thing remains a mystery. Verizon may have more details soon. Android Police got word back in March that the company had been working with TCL on the upcoming device.
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