This Brilliantly Minimalist 'Dumb Phone' Aims To Help Fight Your App Addiction

Its only functions are call, text, set alarms, and get directions.

Smartphones have undoubtedly improved our lives in many ways, but the downside to having so many apps at our fingertips is that we spend less time in the present moment. So many of us reach for our phones every time we have a few seconds of downtime only to scroll endlessly at nothing all that important. We use our smartphones to avoid social situations, to procrastinate whatever it is we should really be doing, and to keep us distracted.

Brooklyn-based startup Light hopes to disrupt these habits with their anti-smartphone, the Light Phone 2. The phone works as a a companion to your current smartphone, but has much, much more limited capabilities. And that's the point. 

Courtesy of Light 

"The Light Phone is an actually an experience we call 'going light' in which the goal is not to use the Light Phone to place lots of phone calls, but to disconnect from the internet at large and maintain the peace of mind that your are still reachable by those you love the most," the company explained in a blog post. "The value of the Light Phone is in it's intentional lack of features and the self-empowerment that comes with the conscious decision to leave your smartphone behind."

Their first product, the Light Phone ($150), was launched in 2015 and could only make calls and display the time. Users set up call forwarding from their smartphones to the Light Phone through Light's computer app. When they leave their smartphones at home, their Light Phones will receive their calls. Light described it as a "quite a smart 'dumb' phone."

But Light Phone 2 is a little more intelligent as it was designed to be a standalone phone. With the second-generation phone, users can call, text, set alarms, and get directions. No checking your email, or scrolling through Facebook, or taking photos of your food for Instagram. 

"By freeing you from your smartphone, Light Phone 2 encourages you to spend more quality time doing the things you love most, free of distractions," Light wrote in a press release. "In a time when we have grown accustomed to seeing our existence and self-worth through a hyper-connected portal of social affirmations, disconnecting is profound, and more important than ever." 

Courtesy of Light 
Courtesy of Light 

Light sold 10,000 of its first-generation phone in more than 50 countries. The company created Indiegogo campaign an to raise $250,000 to fund the Light Phone 2. They met their goal in just one day. 

Through the campaign, you can pre-order the new phone which will ship in early 2019. It's currently currently available in two colors — black or white. Through the crowdfunding campaign, the phones are discounted at $250 a pop, but will eventually cost $400 for customers buying outside of Indiegogo. 

Cover image courtesy of Light.

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