Mobile Technology

The Light Phone: Apparently even anti-smartphones require a smartphone

The Light Phone: Apparently ev...
The Light Phone is designed to let users escape that constant barrage of smartphone notifications
The Light Phone is designed to let users escape that constant barrage of smartphone notifications
View 4 Images
The Light Phone is designed to let users escape that constant barrage of smartphone notifications
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The Light Phone is designed to let users escape that constant barrage of smartphone notifications
The idea is to leave your main phone at home, with only the most important communications – phone calls – making it through to the secondary device
2/4
The idea is to leave your main phone at home, with only the most important communications – phone calls – making it through to the secondary device
The product is essentially a GSM cell phone with 500 pre-paid minutes that links to the user's smartphone to provide call forwarding
3/4
The product is essentially a GSM cell phone with 500 pre-paid minutes that links to the user's smartphone to provide call forwarding
The device is roughly the size of a credit card, measures 4 mm thick, and weighs in at 39g (0.09 lbs)
4/4
The device is roughly the size of a credit card, measures 4 mm thick, and weighs in at 39g (0.09 lbs)
View gallery - 4 images

While the modern smartphone is largely about keeping the user connected to a host of social, professional and other services, the Light Phone calls to mind a simpler time, aiming to provide the user with a break from the intense connectivity of modern life. The project, which offers a back-to-basics approach to communication, is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.

In a world of smartphones, smartwatches and smart homes, the Light Phone seeks to stand out by being, well, not very smart at all.

It's essentially a GSM cell phone with 500 pre-paid minutes that links to the user's smartphone to provide call forwarding. The idea is to leave your main phone at home, with only the most important communications – phone calls – making it through to the secondary device. Everything is handled via a companion app, and up to ten numbers can be stored on the device and accessed via speed dialling.

The idea is to leave your main phone at home, with only the most important communications – phone calls – making it through to the secondary device
The idea is to leave your main phone at home, with only the most important communications – phone calls – making it through to the secondary device

The handset itself appears visually pleasing, with a simple white design and looks that put it somewhere between a calculator and something out of Tron. It's roughly the size of a credit card, measures 4 mm thick, and weighs in at 39 g (0.09 lbs).

It uses Micro USB for charging (it's apparently good for around 20 days on a single charge), packs a simple dot matrix LED display and a touch module over the keypad. There's also a speaker, microphone, and volume controls.

While a retreat to a simpler time can have its appeal in today's connected world, it's also hard to see exactly where the Light Phone fits in. On one hand, it's the anti-smartphone, but on the other, it still requires a smartphone. So it's for folks who like smartphones well enough to own, but not enough to take with them outside of their homes? People so fed up with connected gadgets that they want to buy another gadget? Why not just silence your smartphone? Apart from jogs or trips to the gym, it's hard to imagine a dire need for this.

The Light Phone project is asking for US$200,000 on Kickstarter. Assuming the funding effort is successful, a pledge of $100 will secure a single unit. The company hopes to ship handsets to backers in May 2016.

Sources: Kickstarter, Light Phone

View gallery - 4 images
8 comments
Bob Flint
So it's for folks who like smartphones well enough to own, but not enough to take with them outside of their homes?
Huh what market percent is this?
More of an attempt to curb the digital addicts, just stop the social BS and get in control of the tool at hand.
c4jjm
This is basically the same idea I already use...with old flip phones..for free...and with less restrictions... but for some people (looking at you Verizon customers) this would be the only solution.
I enjoy having the option to take the SIM card out of my $600+ smart phone and popping it into a throwaway flip if I'm going skiing in the winter, or sailing in the summer. That way, if the phone I carry with me get destroyed, thats OK!
Deadpan
Probably wont have an app for Windows Phone either. But then I have a Nokia, so it is unlikely that this is tougher than that. Of course I wouldn't want to lose it as c4jjm rightly pointed out, so it might be good for that.
Lee Bell
$30 at any drugstore will get you a basic trac phone.... what's the point of this thing?
the.other.will
There might be a market for a lightweight, compact, and rugged phone that can operate on the same number as another phone, esp. for people who own the big phones or phablets. It would have to be able to send/receive texts, though.
Dave Hargraves
why would you make it square?? why wouldn't you make it narrower and longer so it reaches mouth to ear better, learn how to design.
armhanson
Correction (though a little late). This IS a standalone phone as well, which is what I intend to use it as. Read the fine print. The revolution is real. Design is perfect. Those who believe need to get rid of the smart phone and use this.
And Gizmag needs to do a little better research before making wild claims that this is ONLY an extension of a smart phone. That's the main offer because people will want to hold onto their smart phones. There are those of us, however, who always dreamed of a slender, little phone that made our lives simpler and more portable. This is it. It took a few years of over the top technological advances to get us here, but now we're finally back to basics.
The next version will include texting (hopefully), but we kinda have to start from the ground up again since the "normal" phone was done away with. It's not a gimmick, people. Just study the website. It's a wonder.
YHimagura
"People so fed up with connected gadgets that they want to buy another gadget? Why not just silence your smartphone?"
Because smartphones don't work that way.
The smartphone call forwarding functionality, obviously, requires a smartphone. You said yourself, "It's basically a GSM cell phone...".
GSM cell phones don't require smartphones to operate.