Call it the anti-phone. The Light Phone seeks to remove text messages, email, and constant alerts from your everyday world when you need a little more quiet and privacy. It offers minimal features, such as receiving and making calls, and a digital clock on the tiny dot-matrix display screen. The Light Phone aims to extend your current smartphone in situations where you don’t need, or want, a computer in your pocket.
My first reaction when I heard the term Light Phone was of something really cool, like a smartphone with a built-in lightsaber. Unfortunately, there is no lightsaber, and the phone really isn’t that smart, which is the point. It’s really meant to be a “light” version of your current smartphone.
The Light Phone is about the size of a credit card. It measures 3.4 inches x 2.0 inches and weighs just over an ounce. It contains a white-on-white touch screen that displays only a keypad and the clock. Ten numbers can be held in memory for speed dialing. You’ll need to set those up if you plan on making many outgoing calls with the device. It doesn’t appear to have any type of contacts app, or even a menu of any type. A micro USB port is available for charging, and the phone can live for 20 days in standby mode on a single charge. A MediaTek 6250 CPU powers the unit.
The Light Phone is the brainchild of Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang, who have formed the Light company, to promote the product. The developers are seeking funding of $200,000 to begin production of the Light Phone on a large scale. Currently, they have reached nearly half that amount. If they can meet their funding goals, the phone is expected to be available mid-2016. You can preorder one now for a rather expensive $100 from the Light website. It is unclear if that will be the final price.