Low-Tech LightPhone 2 Begins Shipping

What is the most minimalistic design that a phone could have and still be functional? The answer is different to different people, but to some phone enthusiasts from a small company, the phrase ‘less is more’ led them to create the original LightPhone in 2017. Now, two years later, they have released the LightPhone 2 that attempts to improve on the shortcoming of the original iteration of the phone.

The original LightPhone was about the size of a credit card and was designed to be a minimalist phone that didn’t offer things like texting or applications. The only thing it allowed users to do was to call another person. While the initial response to the phone was positive, users quickly stopped using the device after they realized that it only connected to 2G networks, meaning that they would miss out on messages from their friends and acquaintances. The LightPhone 2 was designed to deal with these issues by creating a more usable device that still held to its minimalist roots.

A New LightPhone with More Applications

While the LightPhone 2 still doesn’t support T9 predictive texting that we have grown so used to in our everyday phone usage, it does give users the ability to send and receive messages. The e-ink screen is less responsive than other smartphones, but it appeals to the aesthetic of the design. The 2.8-inch phone comes in either gray or black and has Bluetooth and WiFi hotspot capability, as well as a battery that allows for up to two hours of talk time or thirteen days on standby. It also comes with a Micro USB port for charging, and the team intends to release a few more applications (which they term ‘tools’) for directions, ride-sharing, and music.

While the device is stylish, a user investing in it should ask themselves if they would spend $250 for a phone with such limited functionality. Most phones that offer basic applications can come in at a far lower cost. However, the phone does serve as a tool that provides functionality while a user may be seeking to break app dependence. With only 20,000 units being produced, potential buyers may have to act fast lest they lose their chance.