Hey, if you're thinking about buying the
Light Phone 2, you've come to the right place. In this video, I'm going to give an overview of
all the current features, including a walkthrough of the user interface, some pros and cons, and
my recommendations on whether or not you should get the phone. So the light phone is a basic phone
that's designed to be used as little as possible. Basically, that means it can call and text, and it
has a few simple tools.
But the philosophy of the company behind the phone is that it won't include
things that will keep you hooked with endless scrolls, like social media and news and things
like that. If you want to learn more about digital minimalism, I have a playlist that I'll link at
the end of this video. Alright, so the device itself comes in black and light gray. I obviously
have the black version. The price is $299. This silicone case was an additional $25. Here's the
Light Phone next to an iPhone 6s just for a size comparison.
In terms of the buttons and jacks,
on the top, you've got the headphone jack and the power button. On the bottom, you've got the
charging port and the microphone. And on the side, you've got the menu button and the up volume and
down volume buttons. On the other side underneath the case is where you'll find the tray for the SIM
card. The phone comes with a USB charging cable, but no charging block. It's got an e-ink touch
screen, which is the same as what you'd find on an Amazon Kindle or similar e-reader. And you'll see
in a moment that the e-ink screen needs to refresh from time to time, which means that it just
flashes blank for a split second as it transitions from one screen to the next. Having an e-ink
screen also means that you get some ghosting – or remnants of the previous screen – but that has not
been an issue for me so far. The screen also has a backlight, which is good news for using it in the
dark. When you order the Light Phone, you can ask for them to send you a SIM card, or you can just
use your own, and that's what I did with a Verizon SIM card.
And you can check on their website to
see if your carrier is compatible with the Light Phone. If you're in the US, you can also get a
data plan directly from Light that's supported by AT&T's network. You can still get the Light
Phone if you live internationally, but again, I'd recommend checking out their website to double
check compatibility. I do know that as of right now, the phone only supports a standard American
English keyboard. Alright, time for a walkthrough of the user interface. I know that other people
have done much more in-depth versions that you can check out if you want more information
after watching this video.
Alright, so this is the home screen, and at the top you can see the
battery life indicator, the service indicator, and that's also where you'd see icons for a
hotspot link or bluetooth or anything like that. There's the clock in the middle, and that can
also display the date if you want. And if you have a notification – so a text or a missed call –
there will be a little asterisk by the clock, like this. From this screen (and from most screens in
the phone), you can adjust the volume. The lowest level is called "nothing," which means there's no
sound, no vibration, and no screen indicator. The next level up is called "vibrate only," which is
pretty self-explanatory. And then you get several levels of ringer volume. If you press this circle
button at the bottom here, it opens the phone and brings you to the central phone and contacts
These are all grouped by your most recent interactions, but you can also search
for contacts or conversations at the bottom. So if you open a conversation thread, you get
the text and call history. So you can see texts and missed calls from either party along with
the time stamp. On each of these conversations, you have the options to compose a new text
message, to make a phone call, or to exit out. And you can see there – that's about the time
delay for a lot of the functions on this phone. So if you were to make a phone call,
this is what it would look like. Now you have the options to access the keypad, to
put it on speaker, or to mute the phone or to hang up (down here). I will say that I've tested this
out with standard Apple wired headphones that have a microphone, and that works really well for phone
calls. It's actually how I prefer to talk on the phone.
If you want to compose a new message, you
hit compose, and then you can select who you want to send that to. And then you can search your
contacts for a recipient, choose from the list, and then if you want to compose a group message,
you can add a second recipient using this button. And then you can go to compose your text message.
So just for a speed comparison, I'm going to show you how long it takes me to text the same
sentence on both the Light Phone and my iPhone. So there is a slight delay with texting with the
And the keys are really small, and so it's easy to hit the wrong key. Fortunately,
if you do need to make an edit, you can move the cursor and select a different spot. Backspace and
type again. But there is no autocorrect currently on the Light Phone. When you're ready to send it,
press the send [button], and then it becomes part of the conversation thread with that person.
Now group messages are typically labeled by the initials of the people in the call, but you do
have the option of renaming a group or even muting notifications from that group.
A couple things
for text: pictures don't come through, but you can have it set up to forward pictures to your
email address. Emojis kind of come through, but they don't always show up super well. And I found
that contact cards sent from iPhones don't work at all. I also just found out recently that you
can include accents in your text messages. Okay, now for the tools. So to access the toolbox, you
can press the side button over here.
So right now, I have all the tools that are currently available
loaded onto the phone. And you can actually choose not to have them if you don't want. So "phone"
would take you back to that list of calls and texts like I showed before. Alarm is a basic
alarm, and you can set one at a time. And when you're ready to set it you just press the alarm
button and then it's good to go. The calculator is just a simple calculator and can perform basic
functions. And then the music app. I'll show you in a second, but music is all loaded through
the dashboard, which is the online portal for the Light Phone. These songs are all downloaded
to my phone and if you want to play one… You see the controls there, name of the artist,
name of the song. The phone does have a speaker it can play out of, but again, there's also the
headphone jack and then bluetooth capabilities. For podcasts, there's a thread of all the
most recent podcasts.
You can check out the podcasts that you're subscribed to, which
again happens through the dashboard. And so you can look at specific episodes. When you're on
wifi, you can download episodes to then play back later. [Jose] It's time for another episode of the
Dumbphone Show, and today we have Sam Reid with us. He's a content creator from the Studio Revue.
So when you pause it, you can see the time stamp there. I will say that if you navigate away from
this for a certain amount of time – for example, if you try to come back to it the next day – it
will not save your place in the podcast.
And then last but not least is settings. And I mainly want
to highlight airplane mode, notifications… you can change the way you get notifications, you can
change the sounds. So that's my current ringtone, and my current text message sound, and the sound I have for my new alarm. Here you
can also turn off that asterisk that I mentioned earlier. I'll skip preferences for now. In terms
of bluetooth and wifi, here's where you can connect with bluetooth devices. I know they're
working out some bugs on connecting to certain cars and other products. For wifi, you can choose
to turn it on or off and then when you turn it on, it'll search for networks and you can choose a
network and enter a password.
In my experience so far, I don't think you can connect to wifi
networks that have a login page – places like Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, or even hotels.
I think it's just simple password-protected home wifi networks. And then finally, the
personal hotspot. You can turn that on and it'll give you the name of the network
and then the password. I've found that to be pretty effective so far. You may have
noticed that there's no voicemail tool, and what you have to do is
just call your own number and listen to your voicemail like you would on
a landline or on an old school cell phone. [woman's voice] To listen
to your messages, press 1.
I know you shouldn't base your purchase on the
promise of future updates, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention the navigation feature, which
is set to release this week. My friend Jose had a conversation with Joe from the Light Phone team
about the navigation feature, and you can watch that conversation by clicking up here. Joe also
mentioned in that conversation that one of the things coming down the pipeline is potentially a
voice-to-text feature, which is something that I would be really excited about. Okay, so this
is the dashboard.
You can import contacts. I was able to import mine pretty smoothly from
Apple. You've got device info, which just includes serial number, model, software version. And then
the toolbox. So this is where you can actually add or remove the applications from the phone. So
as you can see, the only mandatory ones are phone and settings. The rest can be added or removed.
So for music, it actually functions a lot like an mp3 player. So you need to have the files on your
computer to add. And then once you upload them, they'll sync with your phone.
So as far
as I know, you can only have one playlist, but you can arrange it, you can add songs, you can
delete songs. And as you can see here, I've only used about twenty percent of the 1GB of storage.
And then lastly for podcasts, you have to actually search and add podcasts to your list of podcasts,
and then they'll show up here, and episodes from these podcasts will refresh onto your phone.
So obviously when navigation becomes available, I'd be able to add it through the dashboard.
Alright, so let's talk pros and cons. First off, I would consider the price a pro. I know a lot of
people have complained that the price seems pretty steep, but if the alternative is buying a brand
new iPhone, this is actually super affordable, especially from such a young company.
is that Light gives you the option to pay for a carbon offset, which means that you can elect
to pay an additional three dollars to offset the carbon footprint of this product from production
all the way through end of life. Another pro is just the look and feel of this device. I
really like the way it feels in my hands, the way it looks to hold it, and I would throw in
there too, durability. So far, I've had no issues with the structural integrity of this phone.
Here's one pro that started off as a con: I found myself in several situations where
I've wanted to take pictures, and haven't been able to because there's no camera.
think it's a pro because it's really allowed me to be present in the moment in a way that I
haven't been able to with a smartphone. A huge pro that you hear people bring up for e-readers is
being able to read the screen in broad daylight, and I would say that absolutely holds true for the
Light Phone. There's no glare or difficulty seeing at all.
On such a small phone, the battery isn't
that big, but I haven't had any issues making it through a normal day with calling, texting, and
even using tools like music and the hotspot. And the hotspot has been another huge pro for me.
That has come in handy a number of times. Last two pros: one, on a personal basis, I have been able
to avoid this habit of "doomscrolling" through Instagram and Twitter and social media apps that
sucked up so much of my time before. And secondly, I just want to give a shoutout to the Light
Phone team and the company behind this phone, because I think what they're doing is really
good, and they have really great customer service and have been really responsive to emails
and requests for support.
Alright, as for cons, I would say first off, texting and some pretty
basic functions do take a lot longer than they would on a smartphone. And I would say the flip
side of that is that it causes me to be a lot more intentional and thoughtful about what I'm saying
and how much I actually need to say. Another con that I mentioned before is that there are just
some incompatibility issues with iPhones. Someone tried to send me a contact card from their
iPhone, and I had to apologize and say, "Hey, can you please type out the number." But at the
end of the day, not a huge deal. This one's less of a con about the Light Phone and more of just
something I miss about my smartphone, which is smart pay. I can't tell you how many times I've
gotten to the checkout of the grocery store and realized I don't have my wallet on me, and I've
been able to use my smartphone. And so obviously, that's not something that this basic phone
There are a handful of cons for me with the texting interface and that's just
because as far as I know, there's no caps lock, there's no autocorrect, and there's no copy
and paste. And like I mentioned before, currently no voice-to-text, but I hope that
that will change in the near future. And I will say that there are a number of bugs that the
company is aware of, but they're working through. So one of those is if you're typing out a text
message and you get a call, once that call's over, your text won't be there anymore when you get
back. But I reached out to them, they told me that they're aware of it, and they're hoping to work
that out in future updates. So real quick, I want to give you my take on the Light Phone and then
my recommendation on whether or not you should get it.
So all in all, I would say it's been really
great. I found that I have more free time to do things like reading when i normally would have
been scrolling through my phone. I would say I'm more present when I'm around people and I'm less
distracted when I'm doing things like driving, to be honest. And this part is huge: I will say that
there are workarounds for the majority of things that I would have previously needed to do on my
smartphone. Now some of those things do require additional devices. For example, for running I'm
about to purchase a low-end Garmin GPS watch just so I can track the distance for my runs. For my
car, I'm currently using an old TomTom GPS from like 2010, but it gets the job done and gets me
where I need to go. And of course, if you want to take pictures, it's helpful to have a camera
that isn't part of your phone. Some of the other workarounds are just text- or call-based.
of the ones that I'm most excited about – again I found out from my friend Jose, and I'll link his
video up here – but it's a text service where you can text them your starting address and your
destination address, and they will send you, via text, turn-by-turn directions. There are also
numbers that you can save in your phone, and when you call, there will be a recording of the weather
forecast for the next several days for your area. And I don't know if you guys remember ChaCha, but
that was a texting service that you could text in the mid-2000s to ask questions, kind of like
Google. And they'd text you back the top search result.
Unfortunately, I looked it up, and ChaCha
shut their doors in 2016. And finally, I'll just say that when I made the switch, I did keep my old
iPhone to be able to use on wifi. And I can also use the desktop versions of things like Instagram
and YouTube and even iMessage by using the email address associated with my Apple ID. For me, the
biggest switch is that the smartphone is no longer a part of my everyday carry. It stays at my desk
and it doesn't come with me everywhere I go. Okay, so here's my official recommendation: I think
that you should get this phone if you're ready to stop spending tons and tons of meaningless time
on your phone. Like I said before, the Light Phone is designed to be used as little as possible to
free you up to live your life, and I think that's incredible.
I'd also recommend this phone if
you're a parent looking for a basic phone for your kid. Now I don't have kids of my own, but I do
work with high school and middle school students, and I would feel totally comfortable giving this
phone to a middle schooler. Now I would say that I would not recommend getting this phone if
there are features on your smartphone that you are dependent on, whether that's for work
or your personal life.
There are just things that the Light Phone cannot do and, frankly, is
not designed to do. I'd also say don't get this phone if you're not ready to make a significant
adjustment from your smartphone. I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a huge change, and it takes
some getting used to. And finally, I would not recommend this phone for an elderly parent. I know
that some people are looking for basic phones for someone that might be older or maybe less tech
savvy, and while the Light Phone is definitely a basic phone, I would just say that the screen
size and the responsiveness of the touch screen would probably be a little tricky for someone who
is older. But that wraps it up for this review, please let me know in the comments if you have
any questions that I wasn't able to cover. And once again, definitely go check out Jose's
channel, because he has a lot more content about current and future features for
the Light Phone.
I'll see you soon..