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Light Phone 2 adds a few new features to its 'anti-smartphone'

By David Matthews ยท 9 replies
Mar 1, 2018
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  1. 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.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 656   +200

    All the smart phone cost (granted, a medium priced one), with none of the bells and whistles!
    Feng Lengshun and JaredTheDragon like this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,557   +665

    Waaaaay too expensive. Why would anyone buy this when you can buy a basic smartphone for $100? If I wanted to get away from the distractions of a smartphone I could just get a flip phone.

    This is silly... the concept is really cool and I would love to buy one, if it was reasonably priced. I don't think I'd be willing to pay more than $120 or so though.

    Now with an e-ink display I am assuming the battery will give you several days or more of runtime between charges. THAT would be nice to have...
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  4. Guillermo Belli

    Guillermo Belli TS Member Posts: 25   +19

    Interesting idea, absurd pricing. For that price you can buy a decent smartphone AND a basic feature phone.
    IAMTHESTIG and Jamlad like this.
  5. Kashim

    Kashim TS Booster Posts: 67   +45

    This is just another quick money grab through crowdsourcing. It's going to fail spectacularly and they know it. But hey, they can make a quick buck in the process so why not go for it?
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,790   +4,594

    I would consider this if it was only $10. For about $30, you can buy a cheap 4G smartphone from eBay. No way in hell would I pay more than $30 for this device.
  7. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 308   +156

    So small and light! A regular sized smartphone is a burden to anyone who is active. The fact that people are used to it and accepting of it doesn't make it any less so. You could get a teeny-tiny non-smart phone previously but typing a text message on the keyboard using the 1-2-3 tap was an ordeal.

    That being said, the price should be at most 1/2 of the $400.

    Hopefully there's an earphone jack. That's essential.
    IAMTHESTIG likes this.
  8. dkryder

    dkryder TS Rookie

    I found it interesting that everyone posting a comment wants a feature or two and the people who started the campaign for this simple device are replying , oh, great idea, maybe we should add that to about 50 different feature requests which if they add all the requested features kills the original idea and end up with a bloated smartphone that, you guessed it, costs twice as much as it should. there are too many dumb people with too much money or too high of a credit line.
  9. Joe Blow

    Joe Blow TS Addict Posts: 244   +77

    Keep the price simple too. Not more than $50.
  10. Luxferre

    Luxferre TS Rookie

    Wuut? $400 retail? Are you kidding? We've got here Elaris for $50 and Nokias for $25-$40, not to mention KaiOS-based Nokia 8110 4G coming this month at the price of less than $100 and pure Chinese credit card sized AEKU M5 derivatives for $30.

    This is plain not worth it.

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