Get Off My Phone: 5 Alternatives to Buying the Light Phone (and save $300)
It’s potentially one of the most common addictions on the planet, and it’s sitting in your pocket. Half the world’s population now uses a smartphone around the clock, relying on it for everyday communication, alarms, entertainment, and dating.
With great connectivity, though, comes great responsibility. Studies have shown that constant smartphone interruptions cause inattention, hyperactivity and distracted parenting, while constant usage can lead to trouble sleeping, poor posture, and more. Yet many people truly have trouble disconnecting from their device.
Most people have plenty of reasons they want to reduce their phone usage, whether it’s to focus better, have more time for hobbies, or enhance their everyday mood.
One product that’s emerged as a potential solution to this problem is The Light Phone: a completely stripped-down phone that can essentially only make calls, text, play podcasts, show a map, and tell the time.
"On a practical level, many people struggled to adapt to this product."
On a practical level, many people struggled to adapt to this product. Realistically, many people do need their phones to look at work emails, take photos, check for instant messages from friends, or check the news - they just don’t want to be glued to their phones 24/7. On top of this, the Light Phone isn’t exactly cheap, ringing in at $300.
But how else can you stop looking at your phone? Here are 5 alternatives to the Light Phone that will reduce your smartphone usage (and leave your wallet happier).
1. minimalist phone App
The minimalist phone app pares down what you can view and quickly access on your phone without actually eliminating the apps and tools you may need on a day-to-day basis. Apps are shown as text, rather than attention-grabbing colorful icons, in order to reduce mindless clicking and scrolling out of habit - and it comes with an in-app time reminder, notification filter, and app blocker. Users interact with a simple, pared-down interface designed to reduce dopamine addictions. This minimalist-encouraging app is ideal for users who need a little push towards greater productivity and less scrolling, but who want to maintain the option of checking apps when necessary.
Pro: Uses your existing phone
Con: Android minimal only; not available for Apple devices at this time
Cost: Free basic version; premium features $4.99/month $9.99/year (approx. - tax dependent)
"This minimalist-encouraging app is ideal for users who need a little push towards greater productivity and less scrolling, but who want to maintain the option of checking apps when necessary."
2. Put Your Phone on Silent
Studies have shown that the constant noises and buzzes our phones make can actually contribute to us becoming less focused and attentive. Logically, it’s difficult to fully immerse yourself in a task if you’re constantly getting minor updates from Facebook, your bank, or even your photo editing app. If you’re not convinced this is a problem, consider this: the average American now checks their phone 262 times per day. Many people can immediately reduce their time on apps by simply putting their phone on silent mode. While this can be disorienting at first, it’s fairly easy to get into a habit of checking it once or twice an hour for new messages - rather than once every 5 minutes when you receive a ping.
Pro: Can be done with any existing phone
Con: Once the user opens their phone, it can become a distraction again
3. Nokia/TracFone/Other “Dumb Phones”
It’s easy to forget there was life before Smartphones but back in the wild 00’s we had cell phones - they just didn’t allow for easy internet surfing or app connection. If texting and calling serve most of your daily needs, consider getting a classic “dumb phone” and accessing apps like Facebook or Gmail through a laptop or tablet as needed, allowing for more intentional usage. And another benefit: you won’t need to charge your phone even half as often.
Pro: Fairly similar in usage to the Light Phone, but much cheaper.
Con: No apps possible
Cost: $30-$80 depending on brand
4. Space App
Just as counting your steps can make you more aware of your everyday activity level, Space app will make you more cognizant of just how much time you’re spending on your phone. This isn’t a preventative app - which is to say, it won’t prevent you from doing anything on your phone - it simply lets you know how frequently you’re opening your phone, and how long you’re spending on it. With this info it’s easier to track your phone usage and work to reduce it. You can always use Break Free in conjunction with other apps, like the Minimalist Phone App, in order to really crack down on your phone usage.
Con: May not be obtrusive enough to curb usage for some people
Cost: Free at basic level; pro level $14.99/6 months
5. Time Locking Box
Sometimes you just need a solid hour-long break from your phone. When you can’t trust yourself to disconnect, it might be worth giving a Time Locking Container a try. Place your phone in the container and set the timer - your phone will be locked in until the time is up. Just make sure you put in batteries first!
Pro: Distractions are 100% eliminated
Con: No phone usage at all possible while phone is locked
Cost: $30-$40 (depending on brand)
Get Off My Phone: Why it Matters
The smartphone is one of the greatest inventions of our lifetime and has completely changed the way we communicate and navigate the world.
However, an amazing tool can quickly become a lifestyle problem when people begin to miss out on real life interactions, and fail to bring focus and attention to their lives and their projects.
Use the Light Phone II alternatives we’ve listed here to get off your phone, and start living your life more fully.