One of the biggest battery hogs on a smartphone is the display. Could a low-powered e-ink display improve the experience? Yes, and no, as you can see in this video.

E-Ink Android phone

A number of high-performing, cutting edge smartphones were introduced both at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show and this week’s Mobile World Congress. With super high-resolution screens and fast processors, however, most of these handsets run out of juice by day’s end, if not before. Would you give up some speed, features and functions for a Android phone that lasts for a few weeks on a charge? If so, this e-ink Android prototype might be right up your alley.

The folks at MobileGeeks took the prototype for a spin at MWC and you’ll immediately notice that the device is not quite ready for the market. Meaning: the touchscreen isn’t calibrated properly and the display refresh rate isn’t as fast as it needs to be. Still, there’s potential here if the technology improves.

Ideally, these lower-powered e-ink displays would offer fast frame rates and even color; some companies have attempted this in the past — namely Qualcomm and Pixel Qi — but actual products have been lackluster at best. In fact, Qualcomm ceased making screens with its Mirasol display technology and instead began licensing the tech last year.

Are we really close to smartphones that use e-ink touchscreens and last for weeks on a single charge? Not likely. But I could easily envision voice capability in a connected e-ink reader device.

We’re long past the point where voice is an activity limited solely to a “phone.” Communication is evolving to where we want to be in contact with others through a connected device no matter what that device is: A computer, a tablet, a game console, a television or even an e-ink reader. Well, as long we can turn the ringer off when we’re reading!

  1. The interface looks like a Palm Pilot.

  2. Honestly this is close to what i want from my smartphone. I carry and kindle and a phone and that is just silly. If i could merge the two i would be very happy

  3. Reblogged this on MisterDTV and commented:
    Weeks!? I wish I could get a day! :-)

  4. Reblogged this on Tim Chambers and commented:
    OK: The first example of eInk display phone, about MONTH of run time between charging….at least a week’s use between charges… Amazing.

  5. Without camera it’s perfect for enterprise meetings.

  6. I wonder what the price will be for this phone.
    With the price tag around 60-80 USD it could be a great phone for emerging markets.

  7. this phone is gonna be AMAZING
    When i’m outside and it’s really bright, then I will no longer STRAIN to read the screen
    It’s terrible, I have a Droid Incredible 2, and yeah it’s ‘readable’ in bright light, but the sun will be seen in the reflection and it’s BLINDING, same issue with the iPad < the iPad is even worse!!!

    If I have to make an emergency call, I don't want to strain to read the screen, I WANT TO MAKE THE CALL!!!
    Plus since I won't have a shit ton of apps on an e ink smart phone, it will hopefully run much faster, and boot faster, so that if there IS an emergency, it won't take 10 – 15 seconds to get to a call log some times.

    The only issues is no back– or front light. either one, there ***NEEDS*** to be a light!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It's a PHONE that will hopefully be used to CALL PEOPLE, so what if someone calls me at… 12PM at night, how the hell am I gonna answer it? Do I have to get up and turn on a lamp to press answer?
    If a warm white // like orange // led light was built in to light the screen at night, that would be GREAT and I would **NOT** hesitate to get this phone. Without a built in light, I'm not sure it's a good idea.


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