Onyx International EINK Android smartphone prototype emerges

ARM Devices showed off the upcoming Onyx International EINK smartphone with an e-ink display on Tuesday in a video posted on YouTube. Yes, you read that right. A smartphone with an e-ink display, the same kind used by non-tablet ebook readers. Its best feature is also possibly its worst feature: the e-ink screen, which allows the display to be visible in direct sunlight while achieving a battery life of 1 week.

The EINK features a super light rectangular body, weighing in at less than 100 grams. In the video, the battery life is stated as lasting one month, but according to ARM Devices, it is actually closer to one week. Inside you'll find an ARM Cortex-A5 processor. There's a SIM card slot on the side, and what looks like a mini-USB port.

The EINK runs a version of Android that has been optimized for e-ink displays so that less screen refreshes are required in order to access info on the phone. While the original e-ink devices introduced a few years ago featured unbearably slow refresh rates, the EINK has a decent refresh rate. There were a few times the phone seemed to hang, and several occasions where the screen had to be tapped two or more times.

While the EINK device would make a nice ebook reader, it's doubtful that it will find any sort of widespread successful as a smartphone. The average smartphone user will quickly become frustrated with the slow speed at which the phone can be browsed, having been spoiled and whatnot by current smartphone offerings. The lack of color, video, and just about everything that makes smartphones awesome is probably a deal breaker for most.

[via ARM Devices]