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The New Palm Phone Would Have Made Steve Jobs Happy

A newly leaked photo clearly shows the Palm Pepito phone: a clean, compact Android smartphone designed to be a no non-sense handset instead of an oversized AI-powered, 3D-tracking, fake-bokehing, selfie-beautifying machine.

I look at this 3.3-inch phone and I can’t help think that, if Steve Jobs saw this next to the iPhone XS, he would have hammered the iPhone in a second and got the Pepito.

Credit: Android Headlines

(Image credit: Android Headlines)

Against the white background, with nothing to obscure it like the previous leaked photo, the Palm Pepito is exactly what Jobs wanted from the very beginning: a device that is a ‘music player, an internet communicator, and a mobile phone’, one that is fully functional in connecting you to others, works fast, and can easily fit in your pocket instead of being so big that it can double as a long surfboard for guinea pigs.

After all, it was Jobs who publicly lambasted those stupid big phones because you can’t use them with one hand: “you can’t get your hand around [big phones],” he said at an iPhone 4 press conference, “nobody is going to buy them.”

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Of course, we know he was very wrong about that last part. But the fact that millions buy oversized phones doesn’t make them good human-centered design, just like the fact that millions liking Despacito doesn’t turn that crap song into good music.

Just like Jobs’ iPhone 4, the Pepito is made with the human hand (and pockets) in mind. Check out this graphic comparison in which the green area shows the reach of an average thumb and imagine the same with an iPhone XS. 

Credit: Dustin Curtis

(Image credit: Dustin Curtis)

Of course, the Pepito is not a flagship phone. With a Snapdragon 435 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, it seems like a good candidate for Android One, even while the rumors say it will come with Android 8.1.

But it should be a capable phone for many people who just want to browse the internet, answer emails, take photos, and check their social media. It’s yet to be seen if the phone will incorporate user interface changes that mimic the old webOS from Palm.

The only thing missing: no full screen. Otherwise, I would snatch this phone in a second (and if the reviews are good, I may just do it).

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.