Light’s Anti-Distraction Light Phone III Has an OLED Screen

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Key Takeaways

  • Light announces the Light Phone III with a black and white OLED screen, simple camera, and NFC for payments, but no email or social media apps.
  • Features include a manual light wheel, fingerprint ID, larger speakers, 5G connectivity, and significant hardware upgrades from the Light Phone II.
  • Pre-orders open until July 15th with a 50% discount for early adopters, reducing the price from $799 to $399.

Light has announced its newest model, the Light Phone III, which features a black and white OLED screen, a simple camera, and an NFC chip for payments — but no access to email or social media apps.

Designed for those who want to stay connected without doom scrolling through social media or wasting time browsing the web, the Light Phone III features a larger e-paper display than its predecessor, with a shorter design that should make it easier to text while holding the phone vertically.

That display features matte glass, with the AMOLED screen only lighting up white pixels, so it feels a lot like the Light Phone II. According to TechCrunch, Light co-founder Joe Hollier said the new model retains many of the things people loved most about the Light Phone II’s e-paper display, with a different feel from typical reflective smartphone screens.

Other features coming to the new model include:

  • Manual Light Wheel to adjust screen brightness
  • Center-focused camera with no zoom
  • Larger speakers for listening to podcasts or music
  • Fingerprint ID integrated into the power button
  • Flashlight
  • Aluminum frame
  • NFC
  • 5G connectivity
  • 6GB RAM, 128GB memory, and more modern Qualcomm chips

It’s quite an upgrade from the 1GB of RAM and 8GB of memory offered in the Light Phone II, but there’s a price hike, too. Where the Light Phone II retailed for $299, the new Light Phone III costs $799. Light’s focus on sustainability with higher-quality materials and a user-replaceable battery goes some way to justify that price.

Light was founded in 2014 with a plan to create something different from the more-is-more smartphones on the market, loaded with distracting apps. The original Light Phone Kickstarter campaign saw over 3,000 backers pledge $415,127 to get the project off the ground.

The company’s minimalist approach became popular with 25- to 40-year-olds looking to remain connected while being offline during their downtime. All the best bits of owning a smartphone are still there: texts, calls, calendars, alarms, and maps. 

This approach is also good news for anyone who values privacy. Features such as navigation are provided by Light itself rather than tech giants like Google, eliminating the worry of data being tracked and shared.

Pre-orders for the Light Phone III are now open until July 15th, with 50% discount for early adopters, taking the price down to $399. You can use the Light Phone III with your existing carrier or sign up for a plan with Light starting from $30/month for 1GB of data,which may be enough if you’re not spending all day on social media.