How do you get an Android smartphone to last two weeks on a single charge? Take away the colour. That’s the thinking behind the monochromatic Onyx Midia InkPhone.
The new YotaPhone 2 on show at MWC blurred the lines between eReader and smartphone with its double-sided dual display design, but its biggest shortcoming is finding compatible services for the E Ink side of the handset. Chinese manufacturer Onyx has chosen a different path, with its foundations in Kindle-esq eReaders the company has just unveiled the InkPhone at CeBIT 2014 in Germany.
On first inspection, it’s more eBook reader than phone, with no cameras on the front or back to speak of and a basic 1GHz Rockchip CPU paired to minimal amounts of RAM (512MB) and just 4GB of internal storage. When you’re not reading a book, the Onyx Midia InkPhone transforms into a more familiar Android Gingerbread smartphone, admittedly showing all the familiar graphics in monochrome.
The reflective glass does somewhat negate the sunlight legibility factor of the display by upping problematic reflections, but it also serves as a capacitive touch layer over the front-lit 4.3-inch E Ink display, so you can swipe are as you would any other Android device.
Aside from being expandable by up to 32GB via microSD card, this is a phone for those who don’t need frills. With video watching and most games out of the question, this is best suited to those who like to read, check their emails and messages and make calls. The 1800mAh battery will last a full two weeks on a single charge, which is arguably its best asset.
Want to get your hands on one? Engadget learnt from Onyx’s Polish distributor, Arta Tech, that the InkPhone should be hitting retail in markets like Poland and Germany at the start of next month with an expected RRP of around €140 (£117). Tempted to drop your colour-screen smartphone for some InkPhone action? Let us know your thoughts below.