Palm-branded smartphones could return this year

Palm-branded smartphones could return this year

Palm’s smartphone return appears to still be on track for 2018. Last year, an executive at TCL confirmed that the dearly departed mobile brand would be making a comeback as part of the smartphone conglomerate’s portfolio, and with a little less than five months left in the year, the “PVG100” has hit the FCC and Wi-Fi Alliance.

The handset was spotted by Android Police, but we don’t really have much more to go on than a name and a couple of Wi-Fi bands. As the site notes, however, the absence of 5GHz support leads one to surmise that this won’t exactly be a barn-burning flagship. The handset also looks to be running Android 8.1 — not really a surprise, given that Android Pie is still limited to Pixel and a smattering of other devices.

We’ve reached out to TCL for more information, but I don’t anticipate hearing much until the phone is officially official. Meantime, I’d expect we’re looking at something similar to the company’s recent BlackBerry brand reboot. That is to say, some stylistic choices that evoke bygone products like the Treo or Pre, in hopes of triggering some smartphone nostalgia buried deep inside our lizard brains.

Like the KeyOne, however, the homage will only be skin deep. After all, can you really have a true Palm device without Palm OS webOS? Sadly, the latter is mostly found on LG TVs and refrigerators these days, but perhaps a stylish Android skin could help trigger some of those smartphone memories.

TCL’s owned the Palm name since 2014, and the relative success of the reborn BlackBerry line could be exactly the motivation the company needs to dust off the old brand.

Source: Mobile – Techcruch

Here’s the sequel to the surprisingly nice BlackBerry KeyOne

Here’s the sequel to the surprisingly nice BlackBerry KeyOne

TCL just dropped the sequel to the KeyOne, the company’s surprisingly good keyboard-sporting BlackBerry handset. We reviewed it roughly this time last year, and it was almost enough to restore our faith in the possibilities of BlackBerry as a brand. Almost. Of course, that had much more to do with TCL’s ability to create solid hardware than any residual BB legacy.

The Key2 builds on the promise of its predecessor, bringing back the physical keyboard and familiar BlackBerry-styled design, constructed around a 4.5-inch touchscreen and aluminum frame. The phone, naturally, runs Android (8.1 to start), loaded up with your standard suite of BlackBerry software, including DTEK. The security app has been updated with a new Proactive Health feature, which offers a full system scan.

As TCL proudly notes, this is the first BlackBerry/BlackBerry-branded device to feature dual rear-facing cameras, so that’s something. The pair of 12-megapixel cameras help deliver the device into 2018 with features like Portrait Mode, Optical Super Zoom and Google Lens.

There’s a chunky 3,500mAH battery and a middling Snapdragon 660, coupled with a generous 6GB of RAM and either 64- or 128GB of storage. Not too shabby, but all of that comes with a $649 price tag, which marks a $100 premium over the KeyOne, which should make this a bit of a tougher pill to swallow for what to many no doubt still feels like a bit of a novelty in the smartphone category.

The Key2 starts shipping this month, and TCL tells me that it plans to keep selling the KeyOne as well, for the time being.

Source: Mobile – Techcruch

Alcatel’s $100 Android Go phone hits the U.S. next week

Alcatel’s 0 Android Go phone hits the U.S. next week

At MWC, ZTE promised that its Tempo Go would be the first device to bring Android Oreo (Go Edition) to the States. But, well, stuff happened, and the company’s had a lot bigger things to deal with in the intervening months. Alcatel, however, is on the case with the 1X. 

TCL announced this morning that the budget device will be hitting Amazon some time next week, priced at an extremely affordable $100, unlocked. It will also be arriving at Best Buy and Walmart soon after, no doubt taking advantage of the fact that it’s the only Android Go handset available in the U.S. for the time being.

The specs are unsurprisingly uninspiring. There’s a 960 x 480 5.3-inch screen, a MediaTek chip and 1GB of RAM. The good news, however, is that the new, lightweight version of Google’s mobile operating system is built for exactly those hardware restraints, which means you ought to get a much smoother Android experience than you would on a similarly specced handset running the full OS.

While the operating system is well positioned to get a foothold in developing countries, Google was quick to point out that it wasn’t limiting Android Go’s availability to those parts of the world. But while a number of manufacturers have signed on, none appeared too eager to launch the handsets in the States — well, aside from ZTE, but we all know how that went.

Another Android Go devices is on the way as well, with HMD bringing the Nokia 2.1 to the States in July.

Source: Mobile – Techcruch

The leaked BlackBerry ‘Ghost’ is reportedly a high-end Android phone built for India

The leaked BlackBerry ‘Ghost’ is reportedly a high-end Android phone built for India
 The clicky-clacky, full keyboard devices that spring to mind when you hear “BlackBerry” might be a thing of the past… but the brand lives on. Famed gadget-unearther Evan Blass dug up a picture of an upcoming BlackBerry device said to be known as “Ghost.” For those finding themselves saying “Wait, they still make BlackBerries?,” the answer is: yeah, sort of. Read More

Source: Mobile – Techcruch