Can minimalist Light Phone 2 replace my iPhone? I changed for a week

Light Phone 2 is not about highlighting the highest specs like iPhone 13 or Galaxy S22. Instead, it is about what is not there. It is intentionally missing many of the known telephone utilities such as the camera and web browser as it is made to be used as infrequently as possible. As a girl tired of a smartphone and spending too much time online, I was immediately intrigued intentionally basic telephone and I knew I had to try. So I said goodbye to my iPhone 11 for a week and used it $ 299 Light phone 2 instead. I wanted to see if it could become my new everyday phone and almost could.

There is no email, web browser, messaging or camera, and no social networking apps like Instagram or TikTok. The only feature that was initially lacking was social media, but that was quickly replaced by making the phone more comfortable to use – that’s what this phone is all about. I liked the more I was present with my friends, family and those around me. What this phone is not my favorite part of using it.

light phone 2 outside

Light Phone 2 has an E Ink display.

Jessica Fierro / topwatchbest

What’s in Light Phone 2?

The phone is available in two utility colors: light gray and black. It can make calls, send text messages, serve as a hotspot and alarm. You can add tools for music, podcasts, navigation, and calculator. Additional features such as the voice memo tool are anticipated in the near future. Unlike most modern phones, this do have a headphone jack. There is also Bluetooth support for connecting wireless headphones and electronic paper or an E Ink display similar to the one found on e-readers.

light phone 2 tools and a headphone jack

Light Phone 2 works with selected US carriers or with its own service plan.

Jessica Fierro / topwatchbest

Depending on your location, you can choose the US or the international version of the phone. It’s unlocked with 4G LTE connectivity, and while compatible with select carriers, Light also has its own service plans for US users. As this phone is not compatible with my current smartphone carrier, Xfinity Mobile, I opted for a $ 70 / month Light subscription with unlimited calls, text messages, and data. There’s also a $ 30 / month plan with unlimited calls and texts, and 1GB of data. Additionally, if you sign up for the annual Light service plan, you can purchase the Light Phone 2 for $ 99.

Unlike iPhone or Android, you oversee your Light service plan, add phone tools, contacts, and up to 1 GB of audio files to your phone from a website called Dashboard. After uploading files via this interface, they appear on Light Phone within minutes as long as you are connected to Wi-Fi or LTE.

back of light phone 2

There is no camera on the back which made me use my real camera to take pictures.

Jessica Fierro / topwatchbest

What can Light Phone 2 do?

While it depends on location, in my experience LTE tethering and hotspot work flawlessly. When I connect my laptop to my personal Light hotspot network, I can stream videos as easily as if I connected to a Wi-Fi network. The phone’s 4G LTE works well for applying updates quickly, importing Dashboard files to the device, and accessing directions.

I also liked the music on that phone. 1GB of audio is enough to store your music for a week, and I really enjoyed the focus on listening that came with not having a seemingly endless library at hand. It made me choose the music to download more consciously and present myself more when listening to the songs. As I knew that was all I had, I listened more carefully and as a result I enjoyed the music more. The songs appear in one playlist, but the search bar makes it easy to find specific artists and songs. New podcast episodes are automatically imported when you select a series from the dashboard if your device is connected to a Wi-Fi or LTE network.

Regarding battery life, with regular use, it went one to two days before having to charge. However, if I was doing something more data-intensive, like importing files from Dashboard to LTE, I would have to connect twice a day. When it comes to tips, bluetooth, alarm, and calculator, these tools work well and exactly as you’d expect.

The only feature I never got used to was texting because of the phone’s E Ink display. On the one hand, this screen does not emit blue light and you can read it outside as it does not create glare which I love. Finally looking at blue light can stress the eyes and can adversely affect sleep.

light phone 2 SMSes

Typing on Light Phone 2 is slow.

Jessica Fierro / topwatchbest

But the E Ink screen is also less responsive than a typical phone, and I couldn’t get used to its slower typing speed. Sending plain text has become quite time consuming as I was waiting for each letter to be entered, and there is no autocorrect or copy and paste functionality to speed up composing a message. However, the voice-to-text option on your phone is very thorough, so it helps to speed up texting if you prefer to speak rather than write.

The Light Phone 2 currently sells for $ 299, which is a lot less than my iPhone but more expensive than many budget phone models. If you’re not really looking for a simpler type of phone, Samsung’s Galaxy A series offers a few options well under $ 300 – such as $ 250 Galaxy A13which includes 5G support. And if you don’t want to give up on your smartphone but want to use it less, maybe consider turning it on time control on screen.

light phone 2 and iphone

Light Phone 2 and iPhone 11.

Jessica Fierro / topwatchbest

I loved using the Light Phone 2 as its features are overall strong and what has kept me from living the moment in ways I’m not used to when using my iPhone. With that being said, it doesn’t make sense to make this change permanently as I work on social media and need some form of mobile access to apps like Instagram and TikTok to keep up with the trends.

While it’s not possible for me to only use Light Phone 2 at this point, this challenge inspired me to think about using Light Phone 2 as my primary phone and my iPhone as secondary phone. At least it helped me to interact more consciously with the smartphone. Spend less time pointlessly scrolling on TikTok, and more time meeting face-to-face with family, friends, and the world around me.

For more information on my time with Light Phone 2 watch my video where I try the phone in my daily life.

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