Explained: Is the Light Phone 3 a perfect device for your digital detox?

The recently announced Light Phone 3 now comes with a camera and NFC but remains true to its minimalist philosophy

Team Lounge
Published17 Jun 2024, 08:00 AM IST
Light recently introduced its third phone – Light Phone 3.
Light recently introduced its third phone – Light Phone 3.(thelightphone.com)

Indians tend to spend a lot of time on their smartphones. According to InMobi’s Mobile Marketing Handbook 2024, released earlier this year, Indians spend 4 hours and 5 minutes daily on their smartphone, outpacing the global average by an hour. The country ranks among the top 20 globally in terms of time spent on mobile devices, InMobi’s report said.

While every user chooses to spend time on their smartphone differently, there’s no denying the fact that mobile addiction is an inherent problem for many of us.

In recent years, the idea of minimalist phones – some of us prefer calling them dumb phones - has also picked up pace. One of the most talked about phones in that category is the Light Phone, which – as the US-based company says – is designed to be used as little as possible. No distractions, no social media apps, no feeds, email, or internet browser. A device that just lets you text and call.

What is the Light Phone?

The first Light Phone was announced in 2015 and released in 2017. The credit-card sized phone – weighing only 38.5 grams - worked as an extension of your existing smartphone. The Light Phone used its own number and users could forward calls to the device from their existing phone using an app. The device had a dot-matrix display, a battery backup of 20 days, and supported up to 10 speed dials.

Also read: SMS pings back to life to cut out digital noise

The Light Phone II was designed to be a standalone device with an electronic paper (or e-paper) screen, which is seen in many e-readers. It also came with LightOS, which included a customizable menu of tools like an alarm, timer, calculator, directions, directory, a music player, notes/voice memo, calendar and a podcasts tool. The Phone II also supports hotspot tethering and voice-to-text features.

Light recently introduced its third phone – Light Phone 3 – which comes with a host of new features but sticks to the minimal, no distraction philosophy. Let’s take a closer look at it.

How different is Light Phone III from the previous two models?

The Light Phone III present a significant upgrade from the first two models. The new Light Phone comes in a metal frame, with USB-C, fingerprint ID, a flashlight, 5G, and NFC. It weighs 124g. The most interesting additions to the minimalist device are a clickable wheel and a camera – that works like point-and-shoot film cameras (50m rear camera and a 8m front camera). The wheel can be used to control the screen's brightness, while clicking it turns on the flashlight on the device.

The display on the Light Phone III is wider and a custom matte OLED display. According to the Light Phone website, the wider display will also make texting easier for users and help the tools that are part of LightOS. Like in the previous editions, LightOS on Light Phone III will come with tools such as an alarm, calculator, calendar, directions, directory, hotspot, music, notes and voice memo, among others.

The Light Phone III present a significant upgrade from the first two models.

The phone also has a speaker grill at the bottom that not only gives it a distinct look from the last two Light Phones but also offers optimal acoustics.

The team behind the Light Phone says the Light Phone III is designed to last. The device come with more repairability options. The battery (1800 mAh) on the phone is accessible. Both the screen and USB port are also easy to replace. The Light Phone III also uses Sony SORPLAS recycled plastic for the battery cover and speaker grill, according to the information on its official website. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm chipset and has an IP54 rating. The device has 6GB and a storage of 128GB.

Will it work in India?

While the Light Phone II was not compatible with carriers in India, according to Light’s official website, the Light Phone III will be available in the country and work with Jio, Airtel, and Vi in the region.

The device is currently available for pre-order starting from $399 (approximately 33,337), with deliveries expected to start in January 2025.

Also read: The quest for smarter note-taking

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First Published:17 Jun 2024, 08:00 AM IST
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