light-phone

In a world where our phones are getting smarter and smarter, a new Kickstarter project hopes to entice us with the promise of simplicity. Bearing the motto “your phone away from phone”, the Light Phone has all the functionality of a mid-1990s era analog phone — meaning it can call people, and that’s it, no texting even.

Bearing the motto “your phone away from phone”, the Light Phone has all the functionality of a mid-1990s era analog phone

Why the hell would anyone want to buy such a device? Its creators say the idea is that this credit card-sized phone is attractive, unobtrusive, and seamlessly forwards calls from your smartphone over to it for those times when you want to get away from distractions and “focus on the moment” but still want a way for people to get ahold of you for emergencies and other similar circumstances.

The Light Phone uses an app on your smartphone to quickly forward calls when you are away, but it actually has its own SIM card and even includes 500 minutes of prepaid talk time with purchase. While they are marketing it as a backup phone, it could technically be used as a stand-alone phone, though with no texting, email, or anything but calling, we can’t see that appealing to very many folks.

So we’re going to be honest, we see some appeal in the idea of a light, attractive basic phone that has 20 day battery life and can be used in situations when you want to “get away from it all”, while not completely going off the grid. The biggest problem is the price tag. At $100, the Light Phone is arguably rather expensive for what you get.

You can easily get a ‘dumb phone’ with calling, texting, and maybe even some basic apps at a fraction of the price of the Light Phone

These days you can easily get a ‘dumb phone’ with calling, texting, and maybe even some basic ‘apps’ (calculator, old school games, etc) with nearly the same level of battery life of the Light Phone and at a fraction of the price. There’s also plenty of ways to set up call-forwarding between two lines that would basically make this work the same way. The only downside is you’ll have to provide your own SIM, prepaid service, and the phone you buy is likely going to be considerably bigger than the Light Phone.

With all that said, we’re sure that the attractive look and size of the credit-card phone, as well as its promise of freedom from distraction, might be worth the $100 asking price for some users. In fact, 729 backers have invested in the project so far, pledging a total of $89,701 out of the $200,000 goal. Not bad, considering there is still 39 days left before the funding round ends.

What do you think of the Light Phone, anyone interested in picking one up? For more information, be sure to check out the official Kickstarter page.

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