With all of the distractions that come with modern smartphones, wouldn’t it be nice if you could strip away all of the noise and just focus on the essentials? That was the basic premise behind the Light Phone, the “anti-smartphone” that came out last year as a Kickstarter project.
The original Light Phone was a slim, credit card-sized phone that could only make phone calls and store up to 10 phone numbers. It was meant to be a companion device for your primary phone. The Light Phone 2 is looking to replace your phone altogether and adds a few new features without crossing over into smartphone territory.
While the original only had a number pad with a dot matrix LED screen, the new phone features a matte e-ink panel that can not only display the number pad but also text, contacts, alarms and act as a virtual keyboard. With the keyboard comes the ability to send text messages. Similar to the Pebble smartwatch, Light Phone 2 uses two buttons on the side to scroll through what the company calls a “customized toolbox.” The phone has also upgraded its cellular radio to 4G LTE.
Light is still finalizing the hardware but other smartphone-esque features could come in the future such as weather reports, simple navigation, playlists, voice commands and even support for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. Despite acting a little more like a smartphone, the Light Phone creators insist the focus is on a distraction-free, simplified experience and will refuse to add features such as email, news, social media or advertising.
According to the Indiegogo campaign, interested backers can pay $225 for the early bird pricing while the retail cost will be $400. The estimated shipping date is April 2019 which should be taken with a grain of salt. Although the original Light Phone was promised by May 2016, it didn’t actually ship until January 2017. The usual caveats with backing crowdfunded projects apply but this could be the perfect phone for those who would like to break their smartphone addiction.