Anyone for a smartphone that can last the entire work week on a single charge?
When Motorola launched the Droid Razr Maxx, geeks everywhere applauded the capacious 3300mAh battery it packed. Though it came at the expense of a few extra millimetres of thickness, it was almost universally praised for delivering the kind of endurance today’s users deserve from a smartphone. But if you’re willing to sacrifice a thin profile for some extra hours, what about giving up some other functionality that will gain you days?
If you’re willing to forego a colour display on your smartphone, this new handset from Onyx International will let you operate for a full week on a single charge. That impressive longevity is owed to its E-Ink display, similar to the ones found on e-book readers like the Amazon Kindle and Kobo Touch — or the Pebble smartwatch.
The full colour displays in today’s smartphones and tablets (and their accompanying backlights) can be pretty big power hogs. E-Ink displays, on the other hand, only use power only when they’re changing states — like when you’re flipping pages on an e-Reader. So while you’re reading a new text message, the display won’t be using any power. As you type (or get bombarded with new messages) it would sip a few mW. Normal smartphone chores like taking calls and running mobile apps will still gulp down juice, but just imagine how long a phone like this would last compared to the Razr Maxx if the two sported the same battery.
In addition to colour, you also sacrifice responsiveness. e-Ink displays take a while to realign, so they’re not great at displaying motion. Scrolling through web pages can be choppy, and video playback takes on a decidedly 1950s feel.
But there’s one other big benefit, too: daylight readability. I really do like my iPhone, it’s a fantastic device. But it would be infinitely more awesome if I could actually read it outside when I’m standing in the sunshine. For Onyx’s e-Ink smartphone, the sun poses no problems at all. In fact e-ink displays often look better in bright sunlight than indoors.
People who enjoy flipping through photos and watching videos on their smartphones won’t be interested in this device. If, however, you want a phone that can go for days and days without a recharge, the Onyx e-Ink Android would be tough to beat. Though there are plenty of supersized, multi-core beasts on the market for power users to choose from, a phone like this could carve out a nice niche for itself.
An e-Ink phone could also be a hit with thrifty types, since the displays are generally quite a bit less expensive than their full-colour counterparts.
Could you do it? Would you be willing to skip a full colour display on your smartphone in exchange for stand-out battery life, daylight readability, and a very reasonable off-contract price?
[Source: ARM Devices]