Light Phone: A Mobile Phone that Only Makes Calls, Nothing Else

Mobile Phone that Only Makes Calls

There’s another way to go in the mobile technology race. In a market full of feature-rich smartphones, Light Phone offers something different — it lets you do nothing but make and answer calls.

Light Phone is a mobile phone that only makes calls, plain and simple. (OK, it keeps time, too.)

It has no browser, no NFC, offers no games or apps, and doesn’t even text. What it does promise is simple contact without the distractions and added hassles of “unwanted rings, dings, and pings,” as the company puts it.

The phone’s minimalist design matches its functionality, for sure.

Light Phone is about the size of a credit card and is practically blank. The front display has no buttons or even what would look like a screen. Instead it lights up to reveal a touch module so you can dial a phone number, see the time, and view incoming calls.

And man, can it hold a charge. The company claims Light Phone can go for 20 days straight before needing to be charged. It’s just one more thing that can cut down on the frustrations common with most mobile phones.

On its own, Light Phone is a pre-paid GSM cell phone that can work independently of your carrier. Each phone comes with its own SIM card and phone number. And for an added perk, the phones come pre-loaded with 500 minutes.

But Light Phone can also work like an extension to your existing smartphone. The phone’s one and only “app” is pre-installed. What the “app” does is allow you to have incoming calls made to your smartphone forwarded to Light Phone. This way, you can have the option of leaving your main phone at home without being completely cut off from the rest of the mobile-ready world.

For more information on Light Phone check out the Kickstarter video below.

The flexible options offered by Light Phone may be especially helpful for those small business owners who need a simple phone for calls. And with its $100 price tag, it can be a cheap, prepaid standalone phone or an extension line.

Designers Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang met at Google’s 30 Weeks incubator in New York City, where they put their heads together to create Light Phone. They say on Light Phone’s Kickstarter page:

“We aren’t creating new technology, we’re using the best existing technology in a new way. We have stripped away everything but the phone itself, the only essential connection that the user needs.”

The duo is currently crowdfunding to bring their product to market. Their Kickstarter campaign has thousands of backers and more than $269,000 in pledges.

But backers will have to wait a while to get their phones. Light Phone won’t be shipping until June 2016.

Image: Light Phone

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Tabby McFarland Tabby McFarland is a staff writer and web researcher for Small Business Trends. As a staff writer she specializes in social media, technology, special interest features, and e-commerce. A geek at heart, Tabby loves to be online interacting with the blogging community. Tabby is a WAHM (work at home mom) and is also an avid Pinterest enthusiast with a strong sense of style and creativity.

15 Reactions
  1. Good. I guess we all need a phone that does not do all. This is good especially for those people who only need a phone for calls and nothing else.

  2. Alejandro Castillo

    Love the idea! My only question is will you be able to store and save contacts on the light phone?

  3. I don’t find this as a user-friendly gadget. I’m an “SMS-person”. I am more comfy in sending an SMS first before making a call because i have this feeling that I don’t want to bug the person I am trying to reach.

  4. I hate smart phones and I hate the idiots that are attached to them 24/7. I believe they are known as i_unts by some.

  5. I really need this phone.
    I’m sick to death of being expected to work in IT all day on a keyboard, then sit there, all night, on the couch, txting until I go to bed. Absolutely sick of it.
    I’m getting this or one similar.
    If people want me, they can bloody well call me like they did in the 80’s.

  6. This is perfect for teens. I want one for my daughter. No texting while driving, no social media distractions, just essential communication for safety purposes. I’m with Alejandro, though. Having access to a contact list is quite important in my opinion.

    • Same here; great for my pre-teen child…I think it’s easy to bully someone through text and this is exactly the kind of phone in interested in for her, to avoid all that abusive kind of thing. It’s easy to hide behind a text, isn’t it? And this looks so great. If they made a chunkier version that could be chucked into the school bag, I’d be even happier!

  7. Great idea for teens so they have emergency access while at school but not spending their day texting friends instead of learning!

  8. Chetan Kantilal Shah

    How to buy this phone??

  9. this is great. As long as it will store a good number of contacts. Exactly what I and 95% of my friends would like.

  10. If it stores contacts, I want this phone for my 88-year old mother…as her memory ain’t what it used to be!

  11. I love this idea and it being only a phone is what we all need to disconnect from the obtrusiveness of a smartphone. Get idea and concept, I am going to get one for every member of my family so we can connect to each other and not be distracted by outside interference.

  12. Douglas Rodewoldt

    This cell phone sounds like an absolute Godsend. Back to basics is ALLl I ever wanted. The $20,000 question though is…’will this work in Canada’?

  13. Evelyn Essling

    I want to replace my land line with a cell phone, but we must keep our home phone #, as we were in business before retirement and so many people know our number

  14. Given that this phone is flat, with an exposed screen, what protections against unwanted 911 calls are designed into the lightphone? I’d be more interested in the product, if the lightphone came in a “flip” or clamshell configuration.