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Old 02-05-2019, 07:03 AM   #1
M.I.H
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Onyx Boox Note Phone concept

Just putting it out there. Would anyone be interested in a phone like this from Onyx Boox? (Factoring in that it needs to be as realistic as possible with specs etc. that a smaller company could actually produce).

[Original areamobile photo (Onyx Boox e43): https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&r...9871755455635]
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Last edited by M.I.H; 02-12-2019 at 07:31 AM. Reason: Updated specs
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:09 AM   #2
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Would love something like that if the price were right and the quality decent, but would like the camera to be a bit better. It would be so nice to actually see what you were taking a picture of in direct sunlight.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:11 AM   #3
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An e-ink optimized and capable smartphone without superfluous gimmicks is what i'am waiting for since years.

Are you from Onyx?

Are we speaking just about some consumer fantasies or about an actual product proposal?

Last edited by orebmur; 02-05-2019 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:22 AM   #4
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Are we speaking just about some consumer fantasies or about an actual product proposal?
Given that a Google search show the "Onyx Boox Note Phone" appearing nowhere but this forum, I'm suspecting the former.

Also, I'd note that I haven't heard anything of a 5" 300DPI screen in production, so this would likely be a special, small-run order from E-Ink Corporation, pushing up the prices.

Addendum: checking with the E-Ink Corp website, the closest they do is a 5.2" 1280 x 720 display.

Finally, a manufacturer would have to pay for optimising phone and camera apps for E-Ink, adding an additional cost that would be specific to this product, rather than spread over a number of products.

Overall, this idea seems a bit of an outlier, well outside the envelop of what an averagely risk-averse business would attempt.

Last edited by Hrafn; 02-05-2019 at 11:27 AM. Reason: Addendum
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:44 PM   #5
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Overall, this idea seems a bit of an outlier, well outside the envelop of what an averagely risk-averse business would attempt.
That's too bad because I think there could be a substantial market for such a device - if they got it right - just like there has been shown to be a substantial demand for large screen eink devices.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:59 PM   #6
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That's too bad because I think there could be a substantial market for such a device - if they got it right - just like there has been shown to be a substantial demand for large screen eink devices.
Actually, Onyx-Boox did attempt something like this a couple of years ago, the E43 -- which was available on Aliexpress, albeit at a fairly hefty US$199 for something well below the suggested specs above.

Given that this idea does not seem to have been particularly successful, I doubt if O-B will make another attempt at something similar any time soon.

Discussion thread for the E43 on this forum is here.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:15 PM   #7
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I had completely forgotten about that thread. Even with the very limited specs of that device, I think I would have gone for it... Would really love one with improved specs, though. A decent camera would be really nice.

I think there would be a definite market for it. They just need to get it right. It is very annoying not being able to see a screen outside in direct sunlight. An eink screen would be great for those of us not into playing games and the like on a phone. I would just really like a small and practical device.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:32 AM   #8
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There are, and have been, a fair number of attempts at E-Ink phones (O-B themselves had an earlier attempt, the Midia, back in 2014 -- but it never made it into production). This site provides a list of a number of them. The most successful of them (i.e. the ones that engendered follow-up products) appear to have been dual-screen phones.

I rather suspect that there is a fairly wide difference between a "definite market" and a profitable market.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by orebmur View Post
An e-ink optimized and capable smartphone without superfluous gimmicks is what i'am waiting for since years.

Are you from Onyx?

Are we speaking just about some consumer fantasies or about an actual product proposal?
Hi, Not from Onyx. Just putting the concept out there for interest and possibly to create some support to follow through on manufacture of such a device by Onyx.

Onyx fairly recently tried to guage support for a follow up to the e43/e45 phone they manufactured in 2013/2014. See fb link: https://www.facebook.com/33298286012...7805848977884/

When I contacted Onyx. They told me they "don't have the Eink phone plan this year". Consumer fantasy? Maybe/probably? But i wouldn't be hugely surprised if we see another phone from them in the not too distant future.
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:43 AM   #10
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For those who are interested how Onyx did with the E43:

I posted something over in the german subforum back then, including the unboxing and trying out some software.

All in all it was a try, and a nice little pocket-E-Reader, but not really usable as a mobile (and they screwed up terribly by using faked IMEI).

But I still use it as an E-Reader sometimes.

(IMHO Yotaphone took the best turn in this matter. I don't own one but from what I read the double-display-approach works far better than something with just an E-Ink display.)

Last edited by beachwanderer; 02-06-2019 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:08 AM   #11
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I rather suspect that there is a fairly wide difference between a "definite market" and a profitable market.
Yes, good point that... How and ever, that's also what some were saying about large screen eink ereaders and yet they seem to have been more profitable than the nay-sayers were expecting.

And, of course, if you build a subpar device, you can't expect it to be a fair indication of the potential market.

As for the dual screen, it never really appealed to me personally. However, the specs on the Yotaphone, from what I recall, did seem to be much better. Again, highlighting the need to get things right.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:12 AM   #12
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For those who are interested how Onyx did with the E43:

I posted something over in the german subforum back then, including the unboxing and trying out some software.
Very jealous. The one video I watched looked quite nice. Too bad they messed things up on the phone end of things.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:40 PM   #13
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When I contacted Onyx. They told me they "don't have the Eink phone plan this year". Consumer fantasy? Maybe/probably? But i wouldn't be hugely surprised if we see another phone from them in the not too distant future.
Producers like Onyx are notorious for mediocre software on their readers. They are not alone, IMHO Boyue is even worse.

Do you really think they would be even remotely capable to provide a serious smartphone if their flagship products still leave so much to desire?

The one thing all those e-ink readers suffer from is subprime software. For my purposes, with the arrival of 10 inch readers the hardware is all there already, but the software is still similarly insufficient. You might get more speed for the money hardware-wise but if the provided software doesn't become significantly better there is no point for it.

For e-ink phones, better have a look at existing products like the HiSense A6 or the Yotaphone offerings.

Last edited by orebmur; 02-06-2019 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:27 PM   #14
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Just placed an order for a HiSense A2 Pro as they seemed to be having a bit of a sale on over on Aliexpress. Much better price than I had originally seen for the Yotaphone 3 and they seem to be very similar in terms of specs.

Would really have preferred a single-sided dedicated eink phone, but as there doesn't seem to be one on the horizon anytime in the foreseeable future...
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:02 AM   #15
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Producers like Onyx are notorious for mediocre software on their readers.
Sorry, but I'm not agree with you. The software on my Onyx Note works like a charm.
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