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The Light Phone 3 is the least dumb dumbphone you can go for

With dumbphones booming again, the Light Phone 3 is the least dumb option. It cuts down on features to help you spend less time scrolling

Light Phone 3

We’re in a dumbphone boom again. People are realising they’re spending too much time glued to the top smartphones, and want to cut down. Nokia brought back some of its brick phones, for example. But the problem with these is that they’re too limiting – it’s too hard to switch. Which is why the Light Phone 3 is the least dumb dumbphone you can go for. This third-gen device puts the minimalist experience first, but keeps the features you need the most.

Five years on from the Light Phone 2’s debut, the Light Phone 3 is ready to hit the dumbphone scene. While still holding onto its core idea of simplicity, it’s got a few new tricks up its sleeve. The headliner? A fresh display. Gone is the e-ink screen, swapped out for a 3.92-inch black-and-white OLED panel. According to Tang, nearly half their users couldn’t get on with E Ink’s refresh rate, so this new screen is a nod to user feedback. With a 1080 x 1240 pixel resolution, it’s hardly mind-blowing but does the job without the lag.

A nifty scroll wheel on the side lets you adjust the brightness, helping you avoid glaring screens at night, apparently. And the wheel doubles as a flashlight switch. A camera, or rather two, now grace the Light Phone 3. This marks a big departure from its predecessor’s camera-less design. On the back, you’ve got a 50-megapixel snapper, with an 8-megapixel front camera for selfies or video chats. Don’t expect fancy features, though – there’s no editing, no filters, just snapping the moment.

Futureproofing is another area where the Light Phone 3 makes strides. There’s an NFC chip for potential payment functions, a USB-C port because it’s 2024, and a replaceable battery to keep the device ticking for years. Toss in a fingerprint reader, a Qualcomm SM 4450 processor, 128GB of storage, and 6GB of RAM, and you’ve got a solid, if slightly understated, package. The phone itself is bigger than before, with co-founder Kaiwei Tang likening it to the size of an old BlackBerry.

The Light Phone is on a mission to find the sweet spot between utility and simplicity. In other words, trying to make a dumbphone that’s still smart enough to be useful. The brand isn’t anti-app per se, just against the noise that comes with most of them. Think music, podcasts, calendars, navigation, and notes. Tang even talks about possibly adding Spotify, Uber, and Beeper integrations, to give users the essentials without the chaos.

Fancy ditching your regular smartphone for this minimalist option? The Light Phone 3 is up for pre-order directly, with shipping set for next January. At the moment, it’s priced at $399, but Light pegs the final retail price at $799. That’s getting a little close to flagship smartphone pricing for my liking.

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Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around seven years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home

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