A number of smartphone manufacturers have, for a while, been experimenting with E-paper displays with phones like the Hisense A2 and Yota’s Yotaphone 1 and 2 implementing an e-paper based display as a secondary screen. While the use of e-paper displays brought advantages like extended battery life, and reduced pressure on the eyes in bright lights, for phones like the Hisense A2, the addition of a second screen leads to an unavoidable increase in the price of the phones, which made them a bit not attractive to a certain category of the market. To mitigate this and go as bold as guys like Onyx (with the InkPhone), Hisense, announced the launch of a single E-ink Display based smartphone called; Hisense A5.
The A5 is a relatively affordable Smartphone with a single e-paper that allows the phone to attain a really long battery life. The A5 which runs the Android 9 Pie OS comes with a single black and white 5.84-inch E-Ink Carta display with a resolution of 1440 x 720 and adjustable screen brightness via the built-in front-lit system.
Under the hood, the A5 runs a Qualcomm 660 Octa-core processor, with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage, rounded up with a 13MP rear-facing camera, and a 5MP front-facing camera. All of this is packed into a Black or White colored case (option) and weighs about 158g, majorly due to the non-removable 4000mAh battery, which Hisense says could last up to 10 days on a single charge.
Some of the highlight features of the phone include:
- Cellular connectivity
– GSM – B2 / B3 / B5 / B8
– TDD-LTE – B38 / B39 / B40 / B41 / B34
– FDD-LTE – B1 / B3 / B5 / B7 / B8
– TD-SCDMA – 34 / B39
– CDMA – BC0
- 32GB or 64GB eMMC FLASH and MicroSD card slot for storage(up to 256GB)
- 4GB RAM system memory
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 octa-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.95 GHz and Adreno 505 GPU
- Adjustable front light and a 5.84” multi-touch e-Paper display with 1440 x 720 resolution display
- 5.0MP front-facing camera and 13.0MP rear camera with flash
- 3.5mm audio jack, built – in speaker and microphone
- 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi 4, GPS and Bluetooth 4.2
- 1 x micro USB OTG port
- Non-removable 4000 mAh battery which lasts up to 10days on a single charge
- built-in Gravity, Ambient light, and Proximity sensors
- Dimensions: 15.41 x 7.46 x 0.80 cm
Like every other smartphone, the A5 also has its plus and minuses. “Liliputing” reports that Hisense A5 has relatively limited support for the US wireless network; the phone only supports some of AT & T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon’s 4G LTE network bands, so depending on where you live, the Hisense A5 may actually serve better as an eReader or small tablet than as a phone. Also due to the slow refresh-rate nature of E-paper displays, the A5 also performs poorly for activities like gaming, video calls, and the likes, as such, it may really be an option for those who are only interested in activities like checking emails, reading e-books, browsing the web and accessing social media platforms.
Lastly, while the device runs on Android, it is important to note that it does not come with Google Play, which means you will have to find a way of getting Google Play on it, or side installs desired apps somehow.