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This 'dumb' phone is getting more like an iPhone. It'll cost as much as one, too.

Jordan Hart   

This 'dumb' phone is getting more like an iPhone. It'll cost as much as one, too.
  • Light released a new "dumb" phone on Tuesday.
  • The new Light Phone 3 is designed for those who want a less-distracting device.

The phone designed to help you ditch your smartphone is getting more like a smartphone.

Light, a company that makes pared-down devices sometimes called "dumb" phones, launched the Light Phone 3 on Tuesday.

The Light Phone 2, which came out in 2018, could call and text. It also had navigation, music, podcasts, and a calendar, but no web browser. The newer model of the dumb phone comes with smarter features such as fingerprint ID, rear- and front-facing cameras, and the potential to support a digital wallet, according to the company.

"Ultimately, we wanted to make going light even easier," the release read.

Those new perks will cost you, though, as the Light Phone 3 is $500 more expensive than the previous version. It has a retail price tag of $799 — the same price as a new iPhone 14 Plus.

Light said it added a rear camera in its "own way" by designing it after a classic point-and-shoot camera complete with a real shutter button to make it "genuinely fun."

With the front-facing camera, Light Phone 3 owners can make video calls.

Quitting smartphones can be jarring, as previous reviews of the Light Phone 2 from Business Insider found, so a slightly smarter dumb phone could make the transition smoother.

There's still a demand, too. Over the past four years, some groups of Gen Zers have been trying to cut down on their screen time by using simpler phones without distracting apps. Parents have meanwhile said ditching their smartphones has made them more present with their children.

For some, that means buying a $40 flip phone, but Light phones are designed to have the capabilities of a smartphone — such as navigation, music, and podcasts — without the parts that may lead users to spend hours staring at a screen.

For a limited time, the Light Phone 3 is available for preorder at a reduced price of $399 until July 16. It's set to begin shipping in January 2025.

The company said it would continue to support and sell older devices, but "whether you daydream about a digital detox, want to pay more attention to your toddler, or are buying your very first phone, the Light Phone III is a tool for a better life."

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