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The Light Phone, an e-ink, minimalist phone. Is there a need for this?
#1  ZodWallop 09-08-2019, 01:25 PM
From time to time I see people proudly proclaiming their refusal to use a smart phone.

I just read this article about a company called Light that is introducing the Light Phone 2. This is a four inch phone with an e-ink screen and minimalist design. It can be used for calls, texts and an alarm. That's it. Due to the company's small size, the phone has a price tag of $350.

I think trying to create a minimalist phone is admirable. There's plenty of people out there that claim to want one. But as the article points out, the problem with minimalism is The One Thing. Every user will think the phone is just missing this one thing. Unfortunately, what that one thing is varies user to user.

Honestly, I feel that anyone that wants a minimalist phone would do well buying a Google Pixel and just don't install any apps on it.

Out of the box, you have phone, text, messaging, maps, a nice camera and a web browser. And you'd have an option for the One Thing you feel you're missing.

Anyway, interesting article. Worth a read.

(I couldn't decide if this was news: A new e-ink device is out, or general discussion: is there really a need for a minimalist phone?)
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#2  tubemonkey 09-08-2019, 01:47 PM
Quote ZodWallop
I think trying to create a minimalist phone is admirable. There's plenty of people out there that claim to want one. But as the article points out, the problem with minimalism is The One Thing. Every user will think the phone is just missing this one thing. Unfortunately, what that one thing is varies user to user.
The One Thing this phone is missing is a reasonable price. $350??? They're out of their minds if they think it's worth $350.

My idea of a minimalist phone is an old school flip phone. It's what I use. I make calls and I text. That's it, nothing else.
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#3  rcentros 09-08-2019, 02:52 PM
Quote ZodWallop
Honestly, I feel that anyone that wants a minimalist phone would do well buying a Google Pixel and just don't install any apps on it.
Two major problems with the Google Pixel... too expensive and too Google Android. I wouldn't mind something like the Light Phone, if the price was much, much lighter.
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#4  MGlitch 09-08-2019, 03:07 PM
The only issue with this is the price. People who want more from a phone have options. People who want a phone to be a phone and are willing to give up features for battery life and an easier to read screen for the features it has will welcome the light phone. Though probably not at the price point being offered.

I myself am very firmly not in their camp. But by the same token they aren’t in mine. We can coexist with these devices all being relevant in our different uses.
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#5  DiapDealer 09-08-2019, 03:15 PM
Samsung still sells a 4g flip-phone don't they? Talk & text. I was leaning toward that for my father since his 3G flip-phone won't work on Verizon's network after Jan 1st 2020. Isn't that already as minimalist as it gets in this smartphone age?
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#6  DiapDealer 09-08-2019, 03:56 PM
My mistake. It's Verizon's LG 4G LTE-Only Exalt I'm thinking of. $170.
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#7  ZodWallop 09-08-2019, 08:36 PM
Quote rcentros
Two major problems with the Google Pixel... too expensive and too Google Android. I wouldn't mind something like the Light Phone, if the price was much, much lighter.
A Pixel 3A is $399. $50 more than the Light Phone.

As for it being too Google Android, any phone is unless you get an iPhone.

You can of course remove all the Google apps and replace them with something else. The reason I was thinking of the Pixel is that Samsung phones for example come loaded with uninstallable apps. And many other phones at least come with carrier apps.
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#8  rcentros 09-08-2019, 09:47 PM
Quote ZodWallop
A Pixel 3A is $399. $50 more than the Light Phone.

As for it being too Google Android, any phone is unless you get an iPhone.

You can of course remove all the Google apps and replace them with something else. The reason I was thinking of the Pixel is that Samsung phones for example come loaded with uninstallable apps. And many other phones at least come with carrier apps.
I went to directly Google where the cheapest Pixel phone they had was $500 (and that was supposedly $300 off). $400 puts the Pixel in the normal high, mid-range price (I guess). I've never spent more than about $50 for a phone, so anything above that is too much for me. Especially if my aim is a "minimalist" phone. Minimal features, minimal price would seem to be the way it should work.

You're right about Samsung and all the additional crap they add, but would the Pixel let you get rid of Android apps you don't want (like most of them)?

For now I don't have to worry about it. I've still got my Blackberry Q10 that doesn't run on Android or iOS (it runs on Blackberry OS 10). Once they shut down support for this one I'm pretty sure I'll just go with a flip phone.
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#9  4691mls 09-08-2019, 10:11 PM
Quote DiapDealer
Samsung still sells a 4g flip-phone don't they? Talk & text. I was leaning toward that for my father since his 3G flip-phone won't work on Verizon's network after Jan 1st 2020. Isn't that already as minimalist as it gets in this smartphone age?
Fyi:. I read on Howard Forums that the CDMA deadline has been pushed back:

https://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1914903-Verizon-Wireless-Delaying-CDMA-Retirement
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#10  Deskisamess 09-08-2019, 10:18 PM
This phone would be perfect for my elderly mother-in-law. She used a flip phone for a long time, and when it died, they got her an android phone, but she really struggles using it. She just needs calling and texting.
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