GADGET

Light unveils a new minimalist phone with a black-and-white OLED screen


As Apple races to to its smartphones, other companies are moving in the opposite direction. One such company, Light, just unveiled its , offering a stark contrast to the app-filled gadgets we all stare at way, way too much.

The Light Phone III eschews the e-paper screen , opting for a sleek black-and-white OLED. It still doesn’t offer any access to social media, the internet or even email. This is, first and foremost, a phone. It’s not completely bare, however, as the Light Phone III includes a camera and an embedded NFC chip for making payments. It also allows access to navigation tools, a simple music player, texting, voice notes, a calendar, a timer and an alarm.

It’s larger than previous generations, with a cute form factor that can “the Rabbit R1, but serious.” There’s no half-baked AI integration here, however, but there is an analog scroll wheel on the side for navigation and for making adjustments. It’s around the width of modern iPhones, but much shorter. The team says this was on purpose, so as to make it easier to text while holding the device vertically.

A person texting on a phone.A person texting on a phone.

Light

Light has also paid for private access to navigational information, so Google won’t get ahold of any tracking data. The camera looks to be a simple point-and-shoot that can’t compete with modern offerings from Google or Apple, but will get the job done.

Other specs include 6GB of RAM, up from 1GB in the Light Phone II, 128GB of memory and a newer Qualcomm chip. There’s a fingerprint ID on the power button and loudspeakers at the bottom. The battery is much larger than what was included with previous iterations and its user-replaceable.

Now, here’s the bad news. The Light Phone III is $800, which is more than twice the price of the $300 Light Phone II. That’s a whole lot of cheddar for what amounts to, well, a phone. Deleting all of the intrusive apps on your current smartphone costs $0, though that’s easier said than done.

However, Light is running a deal for early adopters. The phone’s available for $400 for a limited time to crowdfund mass production. Models should ship out in January.



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