Author Topic: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money  (Read 2436 times)

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Offline edy

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Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« on: December 24, 2018, 12:58:28 am »
They're back! If anyone remembers Light Phone 1 ("The Original") it seemed to be a copy of many credit-card phones that we saw listed on Alibaba for $15. Now these people are back with Light Phone 2:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/light-phone-2#/



It seems to have some upgraded features..... Raised so far $2.2 million!

Price... $300 for one, $500 for two phones (WOW! Pricey!)

Feature list, I think it is a bit ambitious:



So, thoughts? Still not sure how well Light Phone 1 did... but it was delayed and didn't seem to live up to the hype. Here we go for round 2!  :popcorn:

BTW - Here's a review from someone who got the Light Phone 1:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/09/light-phone-review-i-lived-without-a-smartphone-for-a-week.html

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 01:27:57 am by edy »
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Online ataradov

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2018, 01:28:41 am »
Just one though - how clueless are all those excited people in the comments? And especially people throwing their money away.

But also, it would be nice to identify a $15 counterpart. For now it is pretty clear that they won't be able to deliver the same slick design as in their renders. Just this alone is deceptive.
Alex
 

Offline edy

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2018, 02:31:15 am »
There are a few options out there coming out:

https://www.e-ink-info.com/ntt-docomo-card-keitai



The main thing is how to spin their own OS. Also, this phone above is $280 so not cheap at all... they really need a cheap option to compete and still be profitable. They already have experience with a $15 card phone. The next generation card phone still uses a tiny LED display, but they could use e-paper instead. They will need programmers to re-write all the graphics and spin their own software for the phone. I'm not sure how expensive that is to do. If it is just a matter of adapting the LED display in those cheaper phones to e-Paper it may be fairly easy.

There is another possibility in that there is already another phone in the works that they know about, and they are getting a custom batch made during one of the first runs. By now they have deeper connections in the Chinese manufacturing industry and help from Accelerators/Incubators like HAX (https://hax.co/) so I do not doubt they can pull this off. Of course, the question still remains WHY? People obviously have an issue with addiction to smart-phones or connectivity, they are using this as a way to control their addiction? Did anyone hear of AIRPLANE MODE? What about getting a $50 flip-phone and swapping the SIM from their regular phone to the flip-phone and putting it on silent? I fail to see the purpose or appeal for this but whatever floats your boat!

I still would like to know how they solved that "transfer" function for the Light Phone to pick up calls instead of the main phone. Remember they were supposed to have an app that allowed forwarding certain calls to the phone. They were supposed to offer some kind of preloaded SIM for it? What ever happened to that issue? Oh yes... they didn't... We knew all along that it wouldn't work as expected due to different carriers:

https://www.thelightphone.com/troubleshooting/

There is no "app" for your main phone. The app is for your computer. It lets you edit your contact list in the Light Phone more easily when it is attached to your computer via USB. Also, it creates a VCF contact for your main phone that basically provides a call-forwarding code and un-forwarding code (usually *21* something) and sends it to your main phone. You can do this yourself, and in many cases you have to because different carriers use different forwarding codes (for example Bell/Verizon use *72 and *73 to cancel). You need to have a separate phone number and therefore SIM/plan to use the Light Phone, adding even more to your monthly cost.

Again, it makes more sense to either use your existing phone in AIRPLANE mode, or just remove the SIM and put it into a cheaper phone with less features and longer battery life, if you really want to unplug from social media. There are plenty of "feature phones" which will only accept calls, you can ignore texts or mute them and not check, they have no real apps (like Facebook, Twitter), a garbage browser (if any)... Maybe a crappy camera, calculator and some basic stuff.

Their video is hilarious:

 
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 02:51:37 am by edy »
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Offline james_s

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2018, 05:51:27 am »
What's the point? How is this better than a compact smartphone or one of the later feature phones? Doesn't seem like there'd be much market for something in between. I do think that most smartphones on the market are way too huge but this seems a bit light on features.
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2018, 05:52:54 am »
The big selling point is stand by time, I guess. But realistically, I don't see the appeal. What difference does it make if you have to charge the phone once a day or once every 5 days?
Alex
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2018, 07:00:02 am »
That's nothing new though, I had a compact flip phone years ago that I could charge once or twice a week, it even had a web browser on it although the user experience was not great. This thing seems only marginally more capable than my old flip phone and yet it costs as much as my iPhone.
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2018, 07:05:09 am »
Yes, I thought that too. But I think having modern connectivity (4G) is also a part of it. And the price is just what they can charge for it.

But yes, it does not make much sense. Design is nice on the renders. But if you look at the practical implementation linked above, it looks pretty meh.
Alex
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 07:21:31 am »
I think if the price was $100 and the design was really elegant then it might be a reasonable niche item. I'd be shocked if there is a large market for it though when it seems everybody wants gigantic smartphones. Even Apple is making huge phones now, originally I got an iPhone because it was the smallest smartphone I could find with decent specs. If I could have got the SE scaled down 10-15% smaller than it is I would have. I still want a nice color screen, camera, GPS, browser, podcasts and whatnot though.
 

Offline edy

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 06:04:23 pm »
So the Kyocera KY-O1L already exists and looks very much like what they are trying to do with this Light Phone, although it appears to have way more features and costs about the same:

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/10/18/17993400/docomo-business-card-phone-kyocera-ky-o1l-japan



The only possible advantage this P.O.S. could have is an e-Paper display, maybe saving battery life. But remember reception and having the antenna on and trying to grab a signal is going to be a huge drain on battery, no matter what your display type. Most people have a backlight timer and display is off most of the time. When your phone starts to burn inside your pocket it is because the battery is being drained due to poor reception/signal, NOT the display!

The other issue is the processor and apps and background tasks happening, size of battery and robustness (can it take a beating). This article does some comparisons:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/recommended/tech/best-basic-phones-dumbphones/

Quote
The new Nokia 3310 wins this one by a country mile. On standby, you'll get 3-4 days out of the Light Phone, 7-10 days on the Alba Flip, and somewhere between 21-25 on the Nokia 8110. The 3310 will last for 31 days on standby.

So why not pick up this phone from a reputable manufacturer for a lot less:

https://www.nokia.com/phones/en_int/nokia-3310

They even reviewed minimalist phones here:



They reviewed JELLY ($125), Nokia 3310 ($60), PUNKT MP 01 ($230), and LIGHT PHONE ($150). Honestly, I'm surprised that LIGHT PHONE even made the list (not to mention PUNKT also). Seriously, we saw in the previous thread on Light Phone 1 that there were a number of comparable credit-card format phones already available for $15-20. None of those were reviewed, but somehow LIGHT PHONE made the cut for this show.... I think it is all a bunch of marketing WANK! It was maybe the only phone that was popularized enough that Westerners would know about it... Yet the other AEKU phones and such have been around for a while. 

Also Light Phone never made it past 2G I think... what a JOKE!!!!! Same goes for PUNKT. That was the main reason it was DEAD IN THE WATER before it even got launched. You remember everyone complaining that they are shutting down 2G networks and their Light phone was being delivered and wouldn't even have a carrier to use it with? In the video, I remember the guy bashing PUNKT because it was using 2G, but don't remember them mentioning anything when it came to the LIGHT PHONE. WHAT????  :wtf:

And the video above ends with probably the smartest comment so far and rebuke of all these phones. Basically, he said a lot of communication today is via text. Yes some phone calls, but most of these minimalist phones make it hard to enter text. The part that overwhelms people who are trying to "minimal" is all the social-media garbage that surrounds them. What they need better is a functionality where the phone OS has an "anti-social" mode that is like Airplane mode but basically locks down all the social-media apps (you would have a Blacklist/Whitelist) that blocks data to certain apps.

I'm sure you can take Android and modify the OS to allow some kind of app "block" list, where you can by default have a number of social media apps already on that list. You can add more, or take some off. So in addition to airplane mode, you could have vacation mode or some other "mode" that curates the communication you want. That is already possible now with notification settings but people are too lazy to figure that stuff out. They want to press a single button and switch all the annoying apps off when they feel like it. Better yet, have the phone itself create a log (like it does battery usage of different apps) and know which apps are most bothersome and shut those off when you go into "minimal disturbance" mode, or whatever.

All these stupid "light" phones are simply expensive and limited annoyances. The only one on the list above that I would even consider is the Nokia, purely for battery life, small size, cheapness and durability.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 06:07:39 pm by edy »
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Offline james_s

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 07:03:30 pm »
It's pretty easy to avoid social networks, I don't let any of the social apps near my smartphone. If you're not paying for it, you're the product.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2018, 09:58:56 pm »
Seems to be a bit of a bandwagon with these:

Palm 'palm'

And that's 350GBP, which is a lot of dollars (though not as many as there used to be). Clearly, Palm think there is a sufficiently large market to support this, so price isn't necessarily the be-all and end-all.
 

Offline edy

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2018, 11:10:11 pm »
That Palm phone looks a lot like the Unihertz Jelly phone. Both tiny form factors, both running Android. But there are no shortage of these! Look on eBay and YouTube reviews, there are a pile of tiny phones now running some flavour of Android, some of which even try to look like iPhones:



They are cheap. On eBay you can find them for as low as $50... newer cute iPhone knock-offs are going to be $100. Here is a link to AliExpress:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Anica-i8-Smallest-mini-4G-Data-Ultra-thin-Smartphone-Dual-SIM-Dual-Standby-Android-6-0/32912241546.html?shortkey=Z3iqMRfm&addresstype=600

Again, I don't see the purpose of these devices. They seem to allow standard installations of APK's from the app stores, plus the added bonus of having a huge security gap in them because you have no idea what Chinese modifications have been made to the OS. Apart from making the screen smaller, they still have the ability to install all the apps... so how is this reducing your smartphone addiction? Seems just to make things more frustrating because you can't see what you are doing and can't type!

I guess it is all relative. The last few phones that I now use have come from friends that are 2nd or 3rd generation behind. For example, after trying to survive on my BlackBerry Z10 (free phone for developing apps), I ended up getting someone's old iPhone 4S (that I had to fix the charging port on for <$10) and that still works well. Then I got iPhone 5C from someone, and recently somebody gave me their iPhone 6 which had some screen issues which I fixed. And even if I did buy a phone I wouldn't pay that much....

So for a "companion" phone I would not pay more than $50-100 if my main phone is $400-500. But people who have $1000+ flagship phones, they will probably drop $300-400 for some P.o.S. companion phone. I couldn't justify this expense for the features I am getting. But who are we to judge? There is a market for anything. I can't help but laugh. The addiction is not just to smartphone, but it seems to shopping for tech!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 11:13:04 pm by edy »
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2018, 11:32:22 pm »
Quote
Again, I don't see the purpose of these devices

Small, fit in pockets. Nothing to do with reducing addiction AFAICS (other than perhaps by making it tedious to try to use, say, Twitbook'ap without glasses.

As an example, my primary phone is a neat 75 x 155, but when I am out on a call on the bike that's far too big, so I switch to a 55 x 105 LG40 on those occasions. Fits in my waterproof's pocket, easily does one-handed SMS and has enough oomph to run an audio spectrum analyzer, which is all I need at those times. Low-res screen mean I can just about read it despite it being small :)

I think these things are an antidote to the phablet trend.
 

Offline edy

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2018, 11:43:48 pm »
I think these things are an antidote to the phablet trend.

I think part of the push for larger phones is also to try and squeeze a larger battery in the device. There is some curve relating increased power consumption due to screen size versus increased battery capacity. At some point, the larger you make the device the more battery reserves you seem to gain when compared to the detrimental use of energy as you increase the screen size. Perhaps also due to this marketing trend to push "thin" phones to absolutely nothing, it also is killing battery capacity. If you made the phones a bit thicker, put some more battery capacity in there, you could make them smaller and more practical for extended use without sacrificing. There must be a market for different form-factors and this drive for thin (and now "flexi-phones") is going to be leading us to yet another stupid trend I think.
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Offline james_s

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2018, 11:55:19 pm »
To get more battery in a phone I'd rather have it thicker than wider and taller. The iPhone is already thinner than it needs to be, it could be nearly twice as thick and still fit comfortably in a pocket.
 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2018, 05:36:03 pm »
But if iPhones were any thicker they would have less excuses to squeeze out useful hardware features like a headphone jack or an SD slot... >:D
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Offline amlu

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2018, 08:45:52 pm »
meeeh... i`m still using my business class nokia e73. Does the job, calls, texts, good camera, even a basic browser (opera mini) All the modern tech is just  too big to fit in the pocket/too fragile to live on the road. Full qwerty keyboard helps and the thing is indestructible. Bought it second hand, using 8 years now and is still working with changed battery. (fully replaceable, open the back and swap it...)
 Hoping to find a suitable  replacement one day, in probably distant future :-)
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Light Phone 2: The Search for More Money
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2018, 09:26:35 pm »
Ok I should have just said smartphones in general. Plenty of Android phones are thinner than they need to be too. It's even harder to find a decent spec Android phone in a small form factor.
 


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