Admit it – you waste too much time on your phone.
In May of 2015 I saw an interesting product on Kickstarter. It was called The Light Phone, and it was billed as “your phone away from phone.” What does it do? Almost nothing, and that’s the point. The Light Phone makes and receives calls and that’s it. You can’t send a text, listen to an mp3 or look up Willie Nelson’s age (it’s 147).
As I started to think about this I started to crave it. We all spend too much time on our phones, endlessly scrolling through Facebook to find out things about people that we barely know anymore. In particular, the way our phones do us a disservice is the way they unnaturally alter conversation. In a normal conversation its common to have awkward gaps in which there isn’t much to say. Navigating this is part of getting to know someone. A bit of anxiety arises, and you deal with it. These days, if people become anxious in conversation they immediately grab their phones, acting like their is something they need to check (there never is). If you simply don’t have the option to do that you can truly unwind and give your full attention to whomever you’re with. The same is true of a day outdoors. We’ve arrived at this place where we feel like the experience didn’t happen if we don’t immediately share the photo with our followers. This is insanity, and it completely defeats the purpose of getting lost in nature so you can find yourself.
The Light Phone is a wonderful solution to this modern dilemma. If I’m heading out for a day hike I don’t want any distractions, but I do want to have a phone at my disposal for emergencies. After my hike I might see if a friend wants to grab a pint. With the Light Phone I’ll actually have to call them, which is great! These are the main reasons I love the idea of the phone. Let’s move into the unboxing and review.
The Light Phone comes in a hardcover book that has 50 pages of beautiful outdoor photos. Upon opening it you sense immediately that this company is creating a unique experience for a truly unique product. The actual setup of the phone is easy. When you navigate to lightphoneapp.com, the desktop app automatically downloads and waits for you to plug the phone in. After watching a brief tutorial, you enter your phone number for call forwarding and that’s about it. You get nine speed dial slots, which is plenty for me. I didn’t enter my Mom’s number because I call her to talk at length, and the Light Phone isn’t for that. In fact, they say that it should be used as little as possible, because that’s the point. I entered the numbers the people I generally meet up with around town for a burger and a beer.
Call forwarding on the Light Phone is simple. They give you two numbers in the form of a contact. If you select the longer number, call forwarding is on. If you select the shorter number, call forwarding is off. Easy. On most phone plans a forwarded call just deducts from your regular minutes.
I placed and received a few calls and was pleased with the sound quality. It’s not as clear and pronounced as a full sized phone, but that’s to be expected. They’re working with limited space. The person on the other end had no problems at all understanding what I was saying. The ring tone is a very pleasant flute flutter, which kind of made me want to keep listening to it and not answer the phone.
My initial impressions and experience of the Light Phone are living up to the expectations. It’s worth noting that I wasn’t able to open the desktop app on my older Mac at home. I brought it into work and setup was a snap on the Sierra OSX. After you set it up there isn’t much need for the desktop anymore (except for the occasional update), so just find an up-to-date Mac for that initial setup.
I’m going to incorporate the Light Phone into my routine for the next few weeks and will share another post about the experience. It’s easy to think that it’s not a very big deal, but think about the times you’ve been several miles away from home only to realize that you forgot your phone. If you’re like me, it’s a sinking feeling. My phone connects me to everything. The irony of course, is that when used senselessly it also separates me from everything. The balance is tricky when you’re navigating the rat race day in and day out. The Light Phone might be exactly what I need to reclaim the moments that are supposed to truly be mine.
You can currently order The Light Phone for $150 here.