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

Mobile Phone that Only Makes Calls

The mobile technology race doesn’t always entail a flurry of features and applications. In a bustling market brimming with feature-stacked smartphones, Light Phone stands out with a divergent proposition -it is basically a cell phone that only makes calls.

This back-to-basics approach may seem unconventional, yet it provides an essential service in a stripped-down, user-friendly form. With its minimalist design and straightforward operation, Light Phone keeps it simple, prioritizing call functionality over everything else.

Key features of the Light Phone include:

  • Basic Functionality: It’s a mobile phone that specializes in making and receiving calls. Apart from telling the time, it doesn’t delve into any additional features.
  • Distraction-free: There’s no browser, no NFC, no games or apps, and no texting functionality. This ensures a simple, distraction-free communication experience, free from the “unwanted rings, dings, and pings,” as the creators say.
  • Minimalist Design: True to its ethos, Light Phone’s design is minimalistic and aesthetically pleasing. It’s about the size of a credit card and features a nearly blank facade.
  • Innovative Display: Absent of any visible buttons, the front display lights up to reveal a touch module, allowing you to dial phone numbers, view the time, and see incoming calls.
  • Long Battery Life: Light Phone impressively holds a charge, boasting up to 20 days of usage before needing a recharge.
  • Standalone or Extension Device: Light Phone can function as a prepaid GSM cell phone, independent of your primary carrier, or as an extension to your existing smartphone. It comes with its own SIM card and phone number, along with a pre-loaded 500 minutes of call time.
  • Call Forwarding Feature: The phone’s singular “app,” which comes pre-installed, allows incoming calls to your main smartphone to be forwarded to the Light Phone. This feature gives users the freedom to leave their primary phones at home without severing ties with the outside world.

cell phone that only makes calls

By deviating from the mainstream and embracing simplicity, Light Phone has carved a unique niche for itself in the ever-evolving mobile technology landscape.

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

Light Phone’s flexible options present an appealing proposition particularly for small business proprietors in need of a straightforward, fuss-free communication device for essential calls.

With an economic price point of just $100, it conveniently serves as a cost-effective, prepaid standalone phone or a complementary extension line, making it an ideal choice for those looking to streamline their communication needs without denting the budget significantly.

Creative minds Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang had their paths cross at Google’s 30 Weeks incubator, a vibrant hub for innovation in New York City.

It was here, amid the humming buzz of ideas and creativity, that the concept of the Light Phone was born.

Their shared vision and dedication to simplicity is clearly articulated on the Kickstarter page for Light Phone, where they communicate their passion for the project to potential backers.:

“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.”

In 2016, the Light Phone was a much-anticipated product, with potential customers eagerly waiting for its release. Their Kickstarter campaign, awash with backing from thousands and amassing pledges surpassing $269,000, exhibited the fervor surrounding this novel concept.

The creators announced that the first wave of Light Phones wouldn’t start shipping until June 2016, adding a layer of suspense to the already palpable excitement.

Fast-forward to the present day, 2023, this minimalist phone continues to defy expectations and maintains its spot as a best seller.

Its sustained popularity stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of simplicity in an increasingly complex world.

The Benefits of a Minimalist Mobile Experience: The Light Phone

The Light Phone, a mobile device that solely focuses on making calls, is a breath of fresh air in an era dominated by feature-heavy smartphones. This article delves into the benefits of using such a minimalist phone and how it aligns with the needs of modern consumers who are seeking simplicity and focus in their daily lives.

  • Distraction-Free Lifestyle: In a world where constant notifications and endless apps can overwhelm, the Light Phone brings back the essence of communication – making calls. This helps users focus on the present moment and engage more deeply in their real-world interactions.
  • Promotes Work-Life Balance: For professionals, the Light Phone can be a tool to maintain work-life balance. By using it during off-hours, they can ensure they’re reachable for emergencies without the distractions of a full-fledged smartphone.
  • Ideal for Digital Detox: People looking to take a break from the complexities of social media and app notifications can use the Light Phone as part of their digital detox strategy. It allows staying connected without the addictive elements of a standard smartphone.
  • Enhanced Productivity: By stripping away non-essential features, the Light Phone encourages productivity. Users are less likely to get sidetracked by apps and social media, allowing them to concentrate on tasks without unnecessary interruptions.
  • Simplicity and Ease of Use: The Light Phone’s minimalist design and straightforward interface make it exceptionally user-friendly, especially for those who find modern smartphones too complicated or for the elderly who prefer simplicity.
  • Extended Battery Life: With its focus on basic functionality, the Light Phone boasts an impressive battery life, reducing the need for frequent charging and making it reliable for critical communications.
  • Portable and Lightweight Design: The credit card-sized Light Phone is highly portable and can easily fit into small pockets or wallets, making it a convenient option for travelers or those who prefer to carry a lighter load.
  • Secondary Phone for Emergencies: Its long battery life and primary focus on calls make the Light Phone an excellent choice for an emergency backup phone, ensuring connectivity in critical situations.
  • Eco-friendly Choice: By eliminating the need for power-intensive features, the Light Phone is a more eco-friendly option compared to standard smartphones. Its long-lasting design also counters the throwaway culture prevalent in the tech industry.
  • Fashion Statement and Conversation Starter: The sleek and unique design of the Light Phone also makes it a fashion statement and a conversation starter, appealing to those who value aesthetics and uniqueness in their gadgets.
FeaturesLight PhoneTypical Smartphone
SizeCredit-card sizeVaries, typically larger
FunctionalityOnly calls and timeCalls, texts, apps, internet browsing, etc.
DisplayMinimalist, lights up for useTypically LED/LCD, always visible
Apps & GamesNoneThousands available
Text MessagingNoYes
Internet BrowsingNoYes
Battery LifeUp to 20 daysTypically 1-2 days
NFCNoUsually yes
Standalone DeviceCan be used standalone or as an extensionUsually standalone
Pre-loaded MinutesComes with 500 minutesBased on plan/provider
Price$100Varies widely, often higher

Image: Light Phone

More in: 16 Comments ▼

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.

16 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.

  15. I have been looking for such a phone for ten years without success.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *