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  • The Light Phone: The First Minimalist 'Smart' Phone
Technology Articles > Cell Phones > Others > The Light Phone: The First Minimalist 'Smart' Phone

We all could stand to work a bit less. To look at our phones a bit less. To disconnect a bit more. Most of us have walked into metal poles or into traffic simply because our minds are focused on social media or emails. It’s a distracted world that we live in.

Thanks, mostly, to the invention of the smartphone.

Some of us might welcome the invention of a smartphone that’s not entirely smart. Some might not. Either way, it now exists. The Light Phone is being billed as the world’s first minimalist smartphone - but it doesn’t do anything other than make calls, receive calls, and retain eight contacts.

Flawed Minimalism

Minimalism has a design. A purpose. The theory, as it stands, is meant to allow us to focus on what’s important. But minimalism also has a tenant that The Light Phone seems to have missed. Minimalism stands for less ‘things,’ but more quality.

A smartphone that doesn’t allow texts, emails, apps, or anything else is partially on the right track towards less mobile distraction, but storing only eight phone numbers is where this phone falls short. Storing a complete contact list would have been a better design. Right now, The Light Phone is a minimalist phone, that’s true, but it’s also kind of useless.

The Details

The Light Phone is white in color, is flat and thin, and includes just a keypad, a clock display, a speaker, a micro-USB port, a microphone, and a speaker. It doesn’t come with Bluetooth connectivity, a camera, volume rockers, or any kind of app setup - you can’t access any app store using this phone. Or WiFi for that matter.

It’s a phone. It dials numbers. It holds up to eight numbers, and it allows you to receive and send calls. That’s it. So you might think that a phone with virtually no features would be on the inexpensive side. But, again, the Light Phone falls short where price is concerned.

Pricing Details are Misaligned

The Light Phone sells in the US right now for $150. That’s not on the high end of things where smartphone are concerned, but this is not a smartphone. It’s just a phone. Some have noted that the phone should sell for $50. Or, maybe, even $100. You still have to pick up a cellphone contract to use the phone, but it’s safe to say your data charges would be significantly less.

The Light Phone began as a Kickstarter project back in 2015. The phone has just surfaced in the US (a couple of years later), and should be available in the rest of the world at the end of May. If you happened to back the project in 2015, you should be getting your phone soon.

Who Might Use It

If you do not text, use apps, use Bluetooth, or have any need for a mobile Internet device, you might like this phone. For those of us that are looking for a more minimalist phone design and less connectivity - but still want to check emails and send texts - this isn’t the best phone option.

The Light Phone does look pretty and adhere to a minimalist design, but it’s not practical for most people -- unless you really want to live off the grid.