The Oukitel U6 is a smartphone with two displays: a 5 inch, 720p color display on one side and a 4.7 inch, 960 x 540 pixel E Ink screen on the other. The design is similar to that of the Yotaphone 2, but Oukitel’s smartphone is about half the price of the Yotaphone 2.
Like the Yotaphone 2, the Oukitel U6 isn’t officially sold in the US. But this Chinese phone is available for pre-order from stores including Geekbuying and Gearbest which ship Chinese products to the US. It’s expected to ship in September.
Just keep in mind that it probably won’t support 3G or 4G LTE networks… so while the $270 phone might come in handy if you like the idea of a smartphone that you can use as E Ink eBook reader, it might not be the best option if you’re looking for high-speed mobile data.
Oukitel had originally hoped to ship this dual-screen phone with a MediaTek Helio X20 processor, but since that chip isn’t ready yet the company is selling the phone with a MediaTek MT6735M quad-core CPU instead.
A model with the Helio X20 chip will be available in 2016 as the Oukitel U6 Pro.
The Oukitel U6 features 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, and Android 5.1 software. There’s a microSD card slot for up to 32GB of removable storage, and the phone supports 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. The phone has a 2200 mAh battery.
It’s a dual SIM phone with support for 2G GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz networks, and 3G WCDMA 900/2100 MHz networks as well as 4G FDD-LTE 800 1800/2100/2600 MHz.
The most unusual thing about the phone is its E Ink screen, which is a low-power display that can show up to 16 shades of gray and which features about 235 pixels per inch.
E Ink uses no power to display a static image and doesn’t require a backlight, which is why NOOK and Kindle-style eReaders have battery life measured in weeks or months rather than days. You can use a dual-screen phone like the Oukitel U6 to display custom graphics on one side of the phone while using the color screen on the other. Or you can use the E Ink display to read eBooks, view weather or calendar details, or interact with other content.
While the Yotaphone 2 includes software that basically makes it possible to run any Android app on the E Ink screen, a recent demo video of the Oukitel U6 shows that only certain apps work with the grayscale screen. Right now that includes an eReader app, a music player, and an app that can display notes, appointments, and weather information.
Oukitel says more apps are on the way.