There are some who are still energized by all things smartphone, enchanted by the latest functionality and delighted with every new upgrade. This is not for them. The Light Phone, rather, is “designed to be used as little as possible.” In its first iteration, the phone was marketed as a casual, secondary mobile phone, one limited to only phone calls and nine speed dials. The idea was that it could give users a break from the stresses of carrying a full-on smartphone, allowing them to focus on doing the things they love the most instead, free of distraction. For simplicity’s sake, it works with the same number as the user’s smartphone.
Where the Light Phone did one thing, the Light Phone II, expected to roll out in April 2019, does “a few things.” It can be a secondary phone or even a standalone simple phone, now complete with 4G LTE (rather than 2G GSM) connectivity, improvements in battery, durability and visibility in daylight, tools like messaging and a proximity sensor.
The additions are based on feedback from the first version’s more than 10,000 users. The original Light Phone, the size of a credit card, carried a price tag of $150 plus $5 a month for use of its SIM card. It launched through Kickstarter. The Light Phone II was more than 600 percent funded on Indiegogo with in excess of $1.6 million raised as of this spring, and the discounted price for pre-orders was $300. Tech companies, are you listening?