eWritable > Blog > Bigme Announce New E-Ink Smartphone

Bigme Announce New E-Ink Smartphone

Bigme have announced that they are close to releasing an e-ink smartphone; the HiBreak.

They’ve disclosed very few details so far other than there will be two models (monochrome and Color), will be 4G enabled, have a camera, and that they will run Android. It is due to be launched at the end of May.

An e-ink smartphone is something that I’ve always wanted as a replacement to my Samsung, but there have been very few products available on the market. And the products that were available, I didn’t think were suitable for me.

Most e-ink phones (such as the Light Phone) are minimalistic and can only really be used for phone calls and messaging. Whilst I would love to be able to cut down my phone usage to these limited tasks, the practicalities of real-life make this impossible for me at the moment. I need Whatsapp and Messenger (because this is what my kids use) and I also need Google Maps (to use as a satnav). Without these caveats, I think I could easily manage with a very basic phone.

The one manufacturer that has had some success with Android-based e-ink smartphones is HiSense, however I’ve been informed that their software is a bit clunky and requires a little technical know-how to get it working with the Google Play Store. Some people have also reported poor quality reception with certain mobile networks.

Bigme’s naming of their new smartphone (HiBreak) suggests that this is the next generation of HiSense phones. As Bigme are a massive Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) in China, it wouldn’t surprise me if they originally manufactured HiSense products before HiSense branded them with their own name – so they likely have some experience in this area (at least on the hardware side).

And there is the Boox Palma, which isn’t actually a smartphone (there’s no sim card slot), but rather an Android e-reader in the same form factor as a smartphone. So, it’s possible to get Whatsapp and Messenger working but you have to be attached to a wifi network. Basically, you still need to carry a phone (or other GSM-enabled device) around with you as well as the Palma to get a signal and manage calls.

So, I’m quite excited to see how successful Bigme will be with their e-ink smartphone. Could it be the product that so many e-ink aficionados have been waiting for?

About the author

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Dan Dutton is passionate about E-ink writing tablets, which bring together the pleasure of writing on paper with the power of digital technology. When he bought his first tablet, he realised that there wasn't a lot of unbiased information available for people that were considering buying an E-ink tablet, and so he built eWritable.

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