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Introducing the dumb phone

Amid an abundance of smart technology, with constant alerts and notifications demanding our attention, a so-called ‘anti-smartphone’ sounds like it could offer an appealing change of pace. The Light Phone, described by its creators as ‘your phone away from phone’, has been designed to function as a ‘back up’ means of communication in case of emergencies. The unique selling point; it is refreshingly featureless. It does literally nothing except make and receive phone calls.

Every smartphone owner has fond memories of their first primitive mobile, with a battery which lasted forever in comparison to the iPhone. The Light should prove delightful to many in that regard, as it is said to last for up to 20 days on a single charge, and comes with 500 minutes of pre-paid talk time. The entire device is the size of a credit card, weighs just 36.5 grams, and will only set a buyer back $100.


The Light Phone was created by Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang at Google’s 30 Weeks incubator in New York. “We started building this because it became very clear that true happiness means being present,” says Hollier. “So much of our days are spent connected and staring at screens that we are losing that presence in so many situations. We built the Light Phone as a way for people to find balance with their connectedness.”

Hollier and Tang have raised over $148,000 on Kickstarter at the time of writing this, and are 38 days away from their $200,000 goal – check out their campaign here. The Light Phone currently has an estimated shipping date of May 2016, and while a year’s wait sounds like a lot, bear in mind: this incredibly simple device will never need to be replaced with a newer model.

“It’s not that we think people should never connect again,” says Hollier, “it’s just that taking a break is extremely healthy in every sense of the word.”

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