Bigme HiBreak smartphone to launch soon with E Ink color and grayscale display options

Chinese device maker Bigme has released a number of e-readers and e-ink tablets over the past few years, and now it’s setting its sights on smartphones.

Upcoming Bigme HiBreak The smartphones in this series are basically mid-range Android phones with E Ink displays and support for 4G cellular networks. There will be at least four models to choose from at launch, with the first model going on sale on May 26, 2024.

All four models will feature 5.84-inch E Ink displays, but the company plans to offer a choice of black and white or Kaleido color displays, as well as MediaTek Helio P35 (MTK6765) or Dimensity 900 processor options.

The full lineup is as follows:

Monitor/Chipset Helio P35 (Black and White) MediaTek P35 (color) Tianji 900 (black and white) Tianji 900 (color)
CPU 4 ARM Cortex-A53 @ 2.3 GHz
4 ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.8 GHz
2 ARM Cortex-A789 @ 2.4 GHz
6 ARM Cortex-A55 @ 2 GHz
graphics Think PowerVR GE8320 @ 680 MHz Mali-G68 MC4
Memory/Storage 6GB/128GB 8GB/256GB
operating system Android 11 Android 14
price $219 – $309 $249 – $339 $339 – $429 $369 – $459

Bigme hasn’t revealed many other details yet, but images of the phone show it has a USB-C port, no headphone jack, and front and rear cameras.

Are there some other things to remember? This isn’t the first phone (or phone-sized device) to feature an e-ink display. Hisense has been offering models for years, and if you don’t need cellular capabilities, the Onyx BOOX Palma is a pocket-sized e-reader with an Android-based operating system and a phone-shaped design.

But phones with e-ink displays are still rare, and there are some good reasons why they’re not more common. While e-ink has many special properties that make it ideal for e-readers or distraction-free note-taking devices, it also has some drawbacks that make it difficult to use for other purposes.

High-contrast, low-power displays can be viewed using only ambient light, unlike most other display technologies, which typically look like better one More effective in direct sunlight than artificial light. They only consume power when the image on the screen changes, allowing a single image to be displayed indefinitely without draining the battery (you can even whip out your boarding pass and it will be on while your phone is boarding Remains on screen) Battery is exhausted and cannot be turned on).

However, the refresh rate of e-ink displays is much lower than that of LCD or AMOLED screens. While you can speed up these rates by reducing image quality, this…will reduce image quality. Although E Ink now offers color displays in addition to 16-level grayscale black and white screens, the color palette of E Ink color displays is very limited compared to other color display technologies. Colors also tend to look muted or washed out, and because Kaleido monitors apply color filters over black and white displays, color content has about half the pixel density of grayscale content.

All of this goes to show that while Bigme’s new phones may run an Android-based operating system, many Android apps and games won’t run well on these phones because they aren’t optimized for e-ink displays. These phones would probably be great as devices for reading content…and not much else.

Still, there seems to be a growing demand (or at least buzz in the media) for distraction-free devices. no Optimized for movies, animations, and all the other gorgeous things that keep us glued to our phones for hours. So maybe one more option in this area would be nice.

Via Bigme, /r/Bigme and Kit Betts-Masters (YouTube)

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