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Old 01-30-2019, 12:43 PM   #1
pata
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Hisense A6

I finally received my Hisense A6. Believe the hype. This eink screen is high resolution and lovely to read on. The frontlight works pleasantly and is easy to adjust. It's actually possible to use the device without looking at the OLED display at all.

The only concern is that there is no way to install Google Play right now. However this is not replacing my main phone, this is just my ereader substitute, so it's still a viable device for me.

Although Google Play doesn't work, I've been able to use FDroid, Amazon Store for Android and APKMirror to install Firefox, Libby, Kindle and Moon+ Reader (free version). The volume buttons work to turn pages in the Kindle app and Moon+ too. How nice it is to have physical buttons for a Kindle. I haven't run into any compatibility issues so far.

Anybody else get one?
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:02 PM   #2
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No, but I've considered one. Nice to hear from an actual user.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:13 PM   #3
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I'm super keen to get an A6, it's just no Google Play that is stopping me. Are you able to install the Yalp Store from F-Droid?

Is there any decent GPS Navigation option?
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:05 PM   #4
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I'm super keen to get an A6, it's just no Google Play that is stopping me. Are you able to install the Yalp Store from F-Droid?

Is there any decent GPS Navigation option?
Thanks I didn't think of Yalp Store! I am able to install that. Through Yalp, I also installed GBoard successfully. However it can't install Google Maps. A6 is not rooted and I can't work around that. Which other GPS Nav app should I try?

There's a XDA rumor posted yesterday that official gapps version is coming soon and the ROM will work on current hardware. You might want to wait for that. Even without Google Play I'm happy with mine though; the hardware is solid.

My only niggle is it's a little weird having that flash/camera module in my face all the time. I might put tape over it.
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:34 PM   #5
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Without Google Map then the best GPS Nav you're going to get is likely OsmAnd+ from F-Droid - https://f-droid.org/en/packages/net.osmand.plus/

Fingers crossed the rumor becomes fact.
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:55 PM   #6
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Is the eink front light adjustable or is it limited to a static brightness level when turned on?
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:44 PM   #7
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I have built a wiki page for this product Hisense A6

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Old 02-01-2019, 11:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by eldon View Post
Is the eink front light adjustable or is it limited to a static brightness level when turned on?
It's adjustable. You can see a demo here (start at 23:25)

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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
I have built a wiki page for this product Hisense A6

Dale
NB: gizmochina is wrong; the A6 does NOT have a 3.5mm headphone jack. It supports USB-C headphones and a pair is included in the box.

Last edited by pata; 02-05-2019 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:54 AM   #9
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I've had the A6 for over a week. Libby is the only Reader app I've installed that doesn't enable using the physical volume buttons to turn pages. It didn't seem possible to rectify without root nor access to paid Play apps. I finally found MacroDroid which I set up to simulate a swipe gesture (the free version is limited to five macros but I only need two for Volume Up and Volume Down) so that's sorted.

This is my basic setup so far:
  • FDroid, Yalp Store, Amazon Store for Android: installing apps
  • Kiwi Browser: apkmirror, general browsing
  • GBoard: keyboard
  • Libby: public library
  • Kindle, Kobo: ebook stores
  • Bookari, PocketBook: ePub reader
  • Moon+ Reader: PDF reader
  • Aard 2: dictionary
  • MacroDroid: volume key paging in Libby
  • VolKey: volume key scrolling/paging in Kiwi Browser

I've dabbled with Comixology, VizReader etc but I don't think this is the right device/display (aspect ratio) for comic books. I also dipped into Netflix, Crunchyroll, Newpipe (for Youtube) etc and while there's a charming novelty in watching anime on the eink screen I don't this is the best device for that either. The OLED display is great for video but I want to focus on books instead.

My next objectives will be setting up Calibre Companion/Dropbox then organizing my catalog (I got the 64GB version and still have a lot of space) and figuring out paid apps through Yalp Store
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:48 PM   #10
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Anybody else get one?
I have placed an order for an A2 Pro. I very nearly canceled that order to get an A6 for the fronlight, but then had to reconsider when I discovered that the A6 does not currently support the Google Play Store.

It was a really hard decision to make as I would love the frontlight as well as the extra RAM and extra battery capacity... However, I have a few paid-for apps that I would really like to have installed and so I opted for the A2 Pro instead... It also happened to be half the price which was a definite plus.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:53 AM   #11
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However, I have a few paid-for apps that I would really like to have installed and so I opted for the A2 Pro instead...
It's possible to download paid-for apps through Yalp store. I've now installed Calibre Companion and the paid versions for Moon+Reader and Bookari. I created a throwaway account and used Play Store gift cards but you can sign in with your regular Google account if you don't mind the risk. In-app purchases don't work though
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:55 PM   #12
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It's possible to download paid-for apps through Yalp store. I've now installed Calibre Companion and the paid versions for Moon+Reader and Bookari. I created a throwaway account and used Play Store gift cards but you can sign in with your regular Google account if you don't mind the risk. In-app purchases don't work though
Thanks for the info. Good to know going forward. However, my A2 Pro is currently somewhere in-transit. Probably about a week or two yet until it arrives. Can hardly wait.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:39 AM   #13
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Although Google Play doesn't work
i really don't understand those niche vendors like Yotaphone and Hisense trying to discourage normal people this boring way of alternative apps and hacks.
You do one phone right, you cripple the model after.
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Old 02-27-2019, 02:59 PM   #14
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Question Mark - If you have any questions about the hisense a2 pro maybe I can help. I have one two and love it. I will probably be getting the A6 when the price comes down to 200USD in a year or two and when Google Play is added. The A2 Pro was about double the current 200~ price a year or so ago on aliexpress.

underscore - I do not think that Hisense is trying to discourage normal people. Google and their services are not allowed in China so Hisense cannot just add Google Play to the phone. Hisense is a Chinese company that markets this phone to the Chinese market. If they sold the device in other countries I bet that they would get approval and give Google their cut so that Google Play would be installed on the phone out of the box.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:03 PM   #15
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Question Mark - If you have any questions about the hisense a2 pro maybe I can help. I have one two and love it.
Thanks. Much appreciated. According to the tracking, my A2 Pro finally seems to be moving again. It seemed to have been stalled in China for about a week. I imagine there was quite a backload of parcels waiting to be shipped out as much of the country tends to shut down over the Chinese New Year.


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I will probably be getting the A6 when the price comes down to 200USD in a year or two and when Google Play is added. The A2 Pro was about double the current 200~ price a year or so ago on aliexpress.
Yup. That's my plan as well. Unless, of course, somebody else comes out with a dedicated e-ink phone.


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underscore - I do not think that Hisense is trying to discourage normal people. Google and their services are not allowed in China so Hisense cannot just add Google Play to the phone. Hisense is a Chinese company that markets this phone to the Chinese market.
I suspect that they were probably rushing a bit to bring the A6 to the market before potential customers opted for a Yotaphone 3 instead. As you say, Google Play might not be a huge concern for its domestic market. However, from what I have read, they will eventually be adding Google Play to the A6.
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