One of the most interesting decisions that the company made was to not add features. With rivals like HP stuffing everything but the kitchen sink into devices like the Jornada 420, Palm decided to focus on making the product as simple and as elegant as possible. Jeff Hawkins told his designers that “No, we're not going to add any features. Nothing. We’re going to make a beautiful product… We’re going to focus on industrial design.”
Richard Baguley over at Medium hits the nail on the head about what made the Palm V so great. I bought its successor–the Palm Vx–in late 1999 and instantly fell in love. For me it was the first real successful attempt to strip down a pocket digital device to its essence, and it replaced my more powerful and bulkier Apple MessagePad 130 almost instantly.
The next few iterations of the Palm were not really what I'd call progress. I went through a series of models (the colour m515, the Tungsten T3, and the Palm LifeDrive) with each one adding complexity and decreased reliability. All the time my cell phones were getting more capable and I used the Palms less and less, until the first iPod touch software update turned it into almost the perfect PDA.
I still remember the Palm V with great fondness, but I wouldn't swap it for my iPad mini.