Hands-on with the Light Phone II – Honest Review

Hands-on review with the Light Phone II.
Is it worth it? Does it deliver on its promises?

Monday, December 20, 2021
• Published by
Cory McCabe

I was asked to take a survey from the folks at LightPhone.com

In that survey, I had an opportunity to share anything with them, and, well, I got honest.

Unfortunately, there isn't one thing that could have me using the phone again or, frankly, recommending it to others.

The promise of a phone that will never have media feeds or social media is admirable, and I am still in love with that mission.

But when it's at the cost of

  • a frustrating typing experience (there is a voice dictation feature)
  • no emoji
  • no audio messages
  • no 3rd-party apps for messaging international friends who primarily use 3rd party messages apps
  • no ability to forward URL links texted to you (I hear it's being worked on, but still not a perfect great experience)
  • no select/copy/paste for any text
  • no viewing images
  • no way to look up any information (i.e. something like what Google used to offer with searching the web/articles via SMS queries)

The Light Phone—even though it's version II—feels very much like a beta.

I knew exactly what I was getting into when purchasing, yet I have buyer's remorse.

So, I don't think there's one thing that could get me switching my SIM back to the LPII. It needs to feel familiar enough to a typical phone experience in terms of what it can do, while still offering uniqueness and keeping its promise to never have social media feeds. 

What do you think? Would you be okay with these lack of basic features? Is it worth gaining mental freedom from social media at the cost of potential frustration with lack of other usefulness phones can offer today?

Remember, you also don’t have:

  • Notes (grocery lists, creative thinking, screenwriting notes, lyrics—less desirable alternative: text yourself, but you can’t go back and edit or add to a single, organized note)
  • Reminders
  • Calendar events
  • Weather