The Light Phone, a poster child for the digital detox, is back with a new model designed to let users “leave behind their smartphone”.
The original device from 2015 was designed to be a basic, secondary phone that connected to a main smartphone and acted as a way to stay in touch but without the plethora of features on most modern devices.
Now the Light Phone 2 has launched on crowdfunding site Indiegogo – and already smashed its funding goal with three weeks of its campaign left, suggesting that giving up a smartphone is becoming an increasingly popular idea.
The Light Phone 2 is similar to the original in that it is a basic metal body with a low-energy, black and white e-ink display. This screen is then navigated using two buttons on the side of the phone.
In a step up from the original Light Phone, which could make and receive calls and not much else, the 2 has some additional features.
It now supports 4G and has a music player and navigational tools, but add in the alarm, calling and messaging facilities and you have essentially the phone’s full list of features.
The idea behind the device is to enable users to step away from their smartphone and the numerous news and social media feeds that fill that device.
The company calls this idea “going light”, hence the phone’s name, and argues that operating systems have become more “convoluted and confusing” for users.
Instead, they say, a few simple tools are enough to keep users in touch without their phone taking over.
Unlike the original Light Phone, which linked to a user’s smartphone as a secondary device to take calls, the 2 is an independent phone with its own SIM card.
That first device has around 10,000 users, according to the firm, and more than 2,000 people have already backed the crowdfunding campaign for the Light Phone 2, rocketing it to more than 675,000 US dollars in funding having had a goal of just 250,000 dollars.
Light Phone says the aim is to start shipping the new phone in April next year.
More basic mobile phones are very much on-trend right now.
Nokia has just unveiled a revamped version of its classic 8110, a year after bringing back the 3310, with both phones designed to offer more basic functions in a world of devices now being powered by artificial intelligence.