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Light Phone 2 is an e-ink phone for people who hate smartphones

If you feel too connected to your smartphone, the Light Phone 2 is an elegant way to least partially. It's funding on Indiegogo now.

Published onMarch 6, 2018

light phone 2
  • The Light Phone 2 is an e-ink 4G phone with a few basic apps. When you are feeling too burdened by your smartphone, it can be a temporary replacement.
  • Striking in its minimalist design, the Light Phone 2 makes calls, sends messages, sets alarms, and that’s it.
  • The phone is currently crowdfunding at Indiegogo for $250 and a list price of $400.

Are you feeling too connected? Do you find yourself heading to bed to get some sleep, but instead scrolling through your phone for hours? Do you feel distracted by your phone in your pocket when you’re out at social engagements as if it’s yearning to be opened and toyed with instead of letting you engage in human interaction? Do you just, you know, hate smartphones?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are the target audience for Light Phone 2, a crowdfunding project that’s currently raising a ton of money on Indiegogo.

The first Light Phone was created by Joe Hollier, an artist, and Kaiwei Tang, a product designer. The two met at an NYC-based Google incubator in 2014. While trying to think up the “next big app,” the two realized that the last thing they wanted to do was ram another app down peoples’ throats. Instead, they tried to make something that did the opposite, something that pulled people away from their phones and back to real life.

light phone 2

The two invented the Light Phone, an e-ink device that looks like a small Kindle. The Light Phone did one thing, which was make phone calls. The duo produced 10,000 Light Phones and now are crowdfunding its successor, the Light Phone 2.

It's not ok for billion-dollar companies to crowdfund

This new iteration of the Light Phone will do a bit more, although what it will exactly do is not yet set in stone. The duo knows that they want the phone to make calls, send text messages, and set alarms, but other features may make it into the final product. For example, some sort of navigation app would be helpful, or maybe a weather service app.

But there are some things that will absolutely not be on the phone, like all social media apps, advertising, email, and news feeds.

The Light Phone 2 is not designed to completely replace your smartphone. It is instead supposed to offer you the choice between being fully connected and being partially connected. This partial connection is what Light Phone refers to as “going light.” If you’re going out on a date, for example, you don’t need all the features of your smartphone potentially interrupting your evening. So you leave your primary phone at home and grab your Light Phone instead.

There are some major hurdles the company faces with its product though. The first hurdle is the fact that most carriers do not allow you to duplicate SIM cards, so that means your Light Phone 2 and your regular phone would not be able to have the same number at the same time. A simple solution to this is to hot swap your SIM from one phone to the other, but that may not be practical for some people.

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Another issue is the price. The featured perk for the Indiegogo campaign is $250 for a Light Phone 2, which is a discounted price. The MSRP for the phone when it officially hits the market will be $400, which is considerably expensive for what is essentially a really fancy burner phone. It also seems a tad overpriced when you consider a Kindle, which is roughly the same concept but without a SIM card, costs $100.

However, some consideration should be given to the design of the Light Phone 2, which does look incredibly sleek and beautiful. It indeed would turn some heads if you took it out of your pocket in a group of friends.

The specs of the Light Phone 2 are below but obviously could change depending on how well the Indiegogo campaign performs. As of the publishing of this article, the campaign is nearly 300% funded at about $750,000, with 19 days left to go.

Light Phone 2 Specs
91mm x 55mm x 6.5-7.5mm thick
LightOS (modified Android)
4G LTE, Wifi, GPS
500mAh, 5 days standby; A few hours talk time.
Anodized Aluminum
80g (estimation)
Qualcomm MSM8909W
SIM Card:
Nano SIM
Vibrator, Loud Speaker, Headset jack