Smartphones are basically mobile computers and communication devices that we use for everything from GPS navigation to watching movies and playing games, with a lot of social media thrown in for good measure.

The Light Phone 2… isn’t one of those jack-of-all-trades devices. It’s a phone that’s designed first and foremost for making phone calls and sending text messages, although it also has a few extra features including an alarm clock and contact list.

With an E Ink display and two buttons, the Light Phone 2 is to a smartphone what a Kindle is to an iPad: a streamlined alternative that’s meant to do just one or two things well.

It’s also a work in progress: the developers hope to ship the Light Phone 2 in April, 2019 if they can raise $250,000 through an Indiegogo campaign.

Folks willing to order now and wait for more than a year to get their phones can make a pledge of $250 or more to reserve one. It’s eventually expected to sell for $400… which is as much as you’d pay for a pretty good mid-range Android phone.

But the appeal of the Light Phone 2 is that it’s not a smartphone. It lets you stay in touch while you’re on the go, but it doesn’t have all of those distractions we’ve become increasingly addicted to.

This is actually the second device from Brooklyn-based Light. The original Light Phone hit Kickstarter in 2015, started shipping to backers in 2017, and had even fewer features: that phone was a 2G device that didn’t even support text messaging. It was designed to be a device that you’d use less than your primary phone.

The Light Phone 2 could conceivably be the only phone you need if you’re primarily interested in using a phone to stay in touch. It could also be a nice device to take on vacation when you don’t want to find yourself constantly checking your email, Facebook, or Instagram.

Light says the phone will never have email, news, social media, or advertising. But the company is considering adding a few features including navigation, weather, music playlists, voice controls, and ride-sharing apps.

The phone measures about 3.6″ x 2.2″ x 0.3″ and it should weigh less than 3 ounces.

It’s expected to have an anodized aluminum body, an E Ink grayscale display, and a 500 mAh battery that should supply up to 5 days of standby battery life or “a few hours talk time.”

The Light Phone 2 has a USB Type-C port, a nano SIM card slot, a vibratation motor, speaker, and headset jack. It supports WiFi, GPS, and 4G LTE and has a proximity sensor.

It’s also expected to ship with 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 8GB of eMMC storage, and a Qualcomm MSM8909W processor (the same CPU used in the Snapdragon 2100 wearable platform).

Overall it seems like a pretty intriguing concept and an attractive design. But I can’t help thinking there are cheaper ways to get a phone that lacks a web browser, social media, and video capabilities.

via BoingBoing

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24 replies on “Light Phone 2 is a simple 4G phone with an E Ink display (crowdfunding)”

  1. Not integrating a txt/epub reader seems like wasted potential. I’d ditch my kindle *and* smartphone for a pocketable eink phone + reader.

  2. seems pointless. any smartphone can be a dumb phone if you want it to be. log out of accounts, turn off all notifications, and uninstall apps.

  3. this phone targets smug people nothing more. Im sure i will be seeing tons of these things pop out on the table in meetings in the future.

  4. The Nokia 3310 3G is $50, no need for 4G with devices like these. (Note, rumors are a 4G compatible Nokia 3310 is coming, but why?) The real value in something like the Nokia 3310 is No Android = No Google spying on you all the time. But then again with the Nokia 3310 the Chinese are probably tapping you instead – so pick your poison.

  5. ugh they bring out what i want but not the way i want it.. give me a 6″ bezeless with an android install and call it a day not the worlds most expensive dumbphone

  6. I don’t know why anyone here hasn’t brought it up but…. what is the 4G used for?

    It’s not like it has a web browser. I mean it will function just as well on 2G, but bumping it to 3G would mean it won’t be a brick once the carrier’s shutdown the 2G service.

    1. In the UK at least some networks don’t have 2G at all and coverage is better for 4G than for 3G.

  7. Buy an unlocked “burner” style flip phone for when you want to be low tech. You can get that now for $30 and not worry about if this will ever materialize.

  8. I use a low budget smartphone with a very limited data plan (only for emergencies).
    For me it’s mostly a PDA, then a phone, then an internet terminal.

    The design of this device is nice, but it seem too limited.

  9. Pretty expensive for a dumbphone. I don’t see why people would buy this over other cheaper dumbphones.

  10. That battery sounds a little, ahem, light, but I love this concept. The design is so nice too. If they make this kindle and audible compatible, I may just have to take the plunge, pricey though it may be.

    Speaking of, I wish something like this had been Amazon’s pitch for their phone instead of a me-too flagship plus face-scanning.

  11. I’m calling BS on the 500mAh battery with 5 days standby. The modem itself (with nothing else) will use more than 500mAh over 5 days. It would need to be turned-off at night to make the 5 days.

    1. it could discussed. You know, I have an Android smartphone, it’s pretty basic and has a battery about 1000mAh. In standby (with 2 SIM cards) it lasts about 5 days.
      I believe, 5 days&500mAh could be achieved with RTOS ROM on tiny techprocess and without smartphone abilities…

  12. The problem is that I can get a worry free Nokia 8810 4g in May for only £80.

    1. 3310 3G is the sweet one. You really wanna be carrying the 8810 Banana Phone?

  13. if with no limit time plan. I boy for example prepaid card for 50 min talking and 50 sms and no limit, i can use it for 40 years or more.
    phone as survival tools and survival functionality

  14. I love the concept for sure, but that’s really pricey for a phone that’s limited in functionality compared to other phones in that price range.

    1. Agreed… it is a beautiful device and simple. I wish they made a more “rugged” kids addition. But they need to cut the price in half (or more). $100-150 I can see… but not $250 or $400.

      1. I agree the price point is rough, but you might be able to kid-ify one with a good case (which of course is an additional expense…)

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