E Ink Android smartphone boasts a week battery life

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

Chinese e-reader manufacturer Onyx has an E Ink smartphone under development for the Android platform.

The E Ink smartphone in full sunlight (right) next to a super AMOLED screen at maximum brightness (left).
(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

Onyx is experienced at working with E Ink display technology, we'd say; the company manufactured the rebranded BeBook Club and Neo, both of which were decent, if expensive, for their time.

Now it has turned its attention to smartphones, with an Android model in the works. According to ARM Devices, the phone's battery can last up to a week on a single charge, which is impressive for those who might be sick of charging their devices daily.

Since it's E Ink, the display is black and white only, but it can be read easily in full sunlight, as you can see in the video below. The refresh rate also looks a little slower, and it would probably have a hard time running apps — but it looks like an interesting way to combine a smartphone with an e-reader.

Known specs are few at the moment: it has a capacitive touchscreen, runs on an ARM Cortex-A5 processor and is super light, coming in at less than 100 grams. The prototype in the video below is the only model in existence; it's so new that it doesn't even have a name, but it's expected to launch sometime next year.

What do you think? Would the sunlight legibility, longer battery life and potential as an e-reader make it an attractive prospect, or is its lack of AMOLED functionality a deal breaker?

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GarthB posted a comment   

What about nighttime viisability? Without a light you wouldn't be able to see the screen? A dual e-ink / High Res screen would be awesome - switch from one to the other with a tap.


ZoranZ1 posted a comment   

would be good for someone that just wants to make calls emails


Will1505 posted a comment   

I could see the nokia 3310 in sunlight too..........that only displayed black too

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