Gear

Would a minimalist phone help you break your smartphone addiction?


the light phone 2

The good old days, when a phone was a phone are long gone. Our smartphones are not just a mobile connection to our sitter, spouse and kids, they’re our mobile office, our camera, our weather report, our GPS and more. Plus, as we’ve been learning more and more, they’re especially crafty and vying for (and consuming) our attention, and creating smartphone addiction in the best of us.

That’s why I’m a huge fan of the Light Phone. The original came out a few years back via a Kickstarter campaign (I backed them), but now the second generation is here, called the Light Phone 2, and it’s blowing up on IndieGogo.

What’s a Light Phone?

The Light Phone is the antidote to how complicated our smartphones are. It’s a simple 4G LTE phone that allows you access to the basics—the ability to make calls and send texts and set an alarm clock—and that’s it. It features a beautiful matte black and white e-ink display and best of all, it’s compact (and durable) enough to fit in your back pocket or even your wallet. No apps. No camera. No social media. No surfing the web. You get the idea.

the light phone 2

the light phone 2

What’s the appeal?

As much as we all lament being constantly connected, it feels a bit scary in today’s world to fully go off the grid. The Light Phone solves for that, so you can truly turn the pings and buzzes of countless notifications off, and just have your phone to communicate by calls or texts, and little else.  It’s easy to transfer incoming calls to the lightphone, then back to your regular phone, using their app.

the light phone 2

Any cons?

OK, so reality check: You might actually miss the modern conveniences you’ve come to rely on when you leave your smartphone—enhanced with a zillion time-saving apps—at home. For example, the camera and GPS, not to mention the ability to summon a Lyft or Uber at a moment’s notice when you’re rushing around. You’ll also have to shell out $250 for a supplemental phone, plus $5 a month for service.

the light phone 2

My take

This is a worthwhile investment if you’re someone that really struggles to turn the world off when you need a digital break or moment to recharge. And if you really are worried about the lack of, say, GPS, travel or hike with someone that has a fully-functioning smartphone complete with all the apps that you can “borrow” as needed.

Beyond that, there are also kid-friendly benefits. (Think about it: It’s the perfect device for teens that you’d like to be able to reach in an emergency or simply to coordinate rides/plans, but who don’t need all the bells and whistles of an iPhone X.)

It’s expensive, but I do like the idea of having an “alternate” phone that just does calls and texts, so I don’t feel completely cut off, but doesn’t tempt me with games, news and social media. And it’s a chic looking gadget, to be sure.

What do you think? Would you invest in a Light Phone?



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