Why it matters: Make no mistake - the Light Phone II is a tough sell in the era of powerful flagships and impressive entry-level models, especially at $350. Smartphone addiction, however, is very real and many could benefit from spending less time hunched over their phones. Of course, admitting you have a problem is the first step and could be Light's biggest hurdle.
The original Light Phone was a rarity in that it was designed to be used as infrequently as possible. In a day and age where everything from entertainment and productivity to communication is increasingly moving to mobile devices, some are finding it to all be a bit overwhelming.
It’s ironic, really. We’re increasingly connected on the digital landscape while simultaneously becoming more disconnected with the real world. The folks at Light want to offer an alternative and they’re doing just that with their Light Phones – minimalist handsets that deliver the very basics of communication, and nothing more.
The original Light Phone may have been too big a step for many… or perhaps, not enough. It was a companion device designed to work alongside your existing phone. It was able to make calls but that was essentially it. And again, it was a companion device, so it didn’t exactly do a ton to help curb smartphone addiction because you’d still have your full-featured phone.
With the Light Phone II, the company has baked in a few additional core features that boost the device to standalone status (meaning it can replace your existing phone, not just supplement it). It'll support handy tools like a calendar, a calculator, an alarm and a notepad that can be added or removed at will. You’ll also be able to listen to music on it (and yes, there is a headphone jack).
“The Light Phone II will never have feeds, social media, advertisements, news or email,” the company notes.
In terms of hardware, the Light Phone II follows the notion that less is more. It’s small, with a 2.84-inch E Ink touch display and tips the scales at just 78 grams. Inside is a battery that offers two hours of talk time and 13 days of standby time. It uses a micro USB port for charging, has Bluetooth capabilities and works with most major wireless providers’ networks.
The Light Phone II is available to pre-order from writing priced at $350. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, it’ll ship near the end of October. It’ll be able to call, text and set alarms initially; additional tools will start rolling out by the end of the year, we’re told.
Masthead credit: Smartphone addiction by Alberto Andrei Rosu