The original Light Phone was an intriguing concept that hit the market last year, dropping all of the extras we’ve come to enjoy on smartphones for a clean design. Without internet access, a camera, texting or email, it was a simple device. And to its credit, we found it to be a fun alternative in our hands-on review.
As a follow-up to the original, Light Phone is back with a second generation this week on Indiegogo. The design has been reimagined with a few new features that were absent from last year’s edition. If the $400,000 raised so far tells us anything, Light Phone 2 is already seeing significant interest.
Light Phone 2 keeps many of the familiar design cues of the original. It’s hardly a departure in that regard. The same minimalistic handheld form-factor remains with the addition of text messaging. That same matte design of the original remains but instead of the number pad on the back, Light Phone 2 sports an all-new E-ink display. This enables a host of new features on the second generation.
The touchscreen found on the back opens the door to SMS messaging. There still isn’t a camera, so you’ll be limited to the usual text-only system of old. I’m particularly a fan of the interface, which is clean and minimalistic. I’m not sure how easy the keyboard would be to type on, as the device itself is not very big, but the visuals look great.
Along with the addition of texting, Light Phone 2 also includes 4G support that brings a few other advanced features. Most notably is simple navigation features with basic maps and the ability to call an Uber. There’s also the option for streaming music, but details are rather thin here at this time on how this is accomplished.
While the Indiegogo campaign is off to a roaring success, it appears that there are still some details to be finalized on the hardware side of things. The phone itself isn’t supposed to ship until April of 2019, which is a red flag in its own right.
That said, Light Phone has already gone through a crowdfunding campaign with minimal issues and we’ve worked with them in the past, so it may be worth a flier here. As always, be sure to exercise your best judgement in these scenarios.
The Light Phone 2 is currently available on Indiegogo for $225. That price is expected to jump up to $400 when (or if) it finally hits retail next year. Still, that’s a bargain in comparison to many smartphones out there these days. The question is, are you willing to forego many of the features that we’ve become so dependent on?