Chinese electronics company is probably best known in the West for its televisions, but the company also produces smartphones, and it looks like one upcoming model is a dual-screen version with an AMOLED screen on one side of the phone and an E Ink display on the other.

This wouldn’t exactly be the first device of its type, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen this kind of dual-screen phone. The Hisense A2 hasn’t gone on sale in China yet, but the phone did pass through the TENAA website recently, suggesting that it’s coming soon.

hisense-a2

The TENAA filing describes the phone as a handset with a 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display on one side and a 5.2 inch, 960 x 540 pixel E Ink screen on the other.

Advantages of the E Ink screen include sunlight visibility, low power consumption, and the ability to display a static image without using any power — so you can load up a shopping list, directions, boarding pass, or other notes and it’ll stay on the screen indefinitely even if your battery dies. You could also use that screen to read eBooks or other documents.

The phone’s other features include a 1.4 GHz octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a microSD card reader, a 3,000 mAh battery, a 16MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, and Android 6.0 software.

via TechGrapple, and Phone Radar

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23 replies on “Hisense A2 leaked: dual-screen phone with AMOLED and E Ink displays”

  1. The Siam 7X is available right now at a reduced rate ($199.00, since it was launched a year ago). It has dual SIM as well. From the Huffington Post: “one SIM card for each network carrier or more importantly, [is] a way to use one phone for two uses: Business & Personal.” Pretty neat.

    https://www.siamsmartphone.com

  2. Im still using my Yotaphone 1. lol. It’s back screen is busted after a little accident. Anyways, was going to get a yota2 but then I learned the Yota 3 was making a (doubtful but hopeful) push for next year. This on the other hand though gives me a new horizon to chase.

  3. What ever happened to those low power sun light readable E Ink display competitors? I guess they got dropped for various reasons. Was really hoping to get a device with one of them.

  4. I was gonna buy a Yotaphone 2, but it has no microsd. This one just made the top of my list, can’t wait for pricing info!

  5. The “yotaphone 2” costs 120- 150 usd has a snapdragon 800 and dual screens too. I doubt hisenses offering will be as competitively priced

    1. Hardly fair to compare it with a discounted older model of phone. The launch price was more than twice the one you quote.

      1. Fair enough, still, dispite hisense’s offering, being better spec’d, and newer, the yotaphone, is not too bad, and cheap enough, to be a ‘disposable’. People love cheap stuff…atleast i do ?.

  6. After all these years they are still using a low-res e-ink panel? At least upgrade to 1024 x768, geez.

    1. High pixel density e-ink is rare (and I’m assuming, expensive), even the large e-book readers with higher resolution still tend to have equivalent pixel density, maybe a phone manufacturer (Yotaphone, again?) can have an updated design that counts as high-end/premium that can have a pixel dense e-ink display

    2. More black and white pixels?…. Whatever turns you on 😉 . That is why you also have a HD screen on the other side. The e ink display, is mostly intended for reading texts ebooks, when your battery is low, also as an ‘always on’ clock/ notification bar. Imo, 960 x 540, is quite generous for this purpose.

      1. It’s not B&W, but if it were then all the more reason to have a higher ppi.

    3. You’re joking, right? (I can’t tell this early in the morning)

      That screen resolution you mention is for a 6″ screen and is about 212 ppi. The Hisense A2 has a screen resolution of 211.8 ppi.

      1. No, I’m dead serious. I’m complaining because the YotaPhone 2 (YP2) is my daily driver, and it has a smaller 4.7-inch panel with the same resolution, which makes it sharper. However, the font rendering is pretty crappy compared to even my first-gen Kindle Paperwhite — I finally realized Amazon wasn’t kidding when they said they fine-tuned their proprietary fonts for optimal display on an e-ink screen. I’m not sure how to describe it unless you try to read on the YP2 for more than 10 minutes, but the text is just not as “clear” as on the Paperwhite, so the Paperwhite either has a better e-ink panel, better fonts, better grayscale rendering engine, or maybe all of the above. I’ll try to take a screenshot and post it for you guys later…

        For those who own a YP2, here are some tips to improve the legibility on the back screen: (1) experiment with different ereader apps since they can use different fonts (I found that the Kindle app’s font looked the best); (2) go into Accessibility and enable high contrast fonts (though this is a compromise since fonts look better on the color screen with this option disabled); and (3) increase the font size and/or make it bold.

        TL;DR: Adding more pixels never hurt legibility, especially when you only have 16 shades to work with.

        1. That’s a software issue, but you are absolutely right in that Amazon perfected font rendering on the Kindle.

          We were seeing that 5 years ago when the Kindle still had an 800 x 600 resolution screen and yet still had nicer looking fonts than the Iriver Story HD, which had a 1024 x 768 resolution screen.

          BTW, one way you might improve the reading experience is to install Amazon’s Bookerly and Ember fonts. You can find a copy here:
          https://the-digital-reader.com/

          1. Thanks, the Kindle app already comes with Bookerly. I’m not sure whether it’s the same Bookerly that’s on the Paperwhite, but it would explain why it produced the most legible e-ink text on the YP2.

          2. I gave you those fonts so you could set them as the system fonts. That should help improve other apps like the web browser.

      2. FYI, here’s a comparison of the e-ink text on the Paperwhite (212 ppi) vs. YP2 (234 ppi):

        Kindle Paperwhite (1st gen), Caecilia font:
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/

        Kindle for Android, Caecilia font:
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/

        Moon+ Reader, default serif font:
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/

        Full-res pics are here:
        https://imgur.com/a/GCOe0

        Pardon the low contrast on the Paperwhite snapshot — it’s because of the screen protector. Since the Kindle app is using the same font as the Paperwhite, the software tuning that Amazon made obviously goes beyond just the fonts; it seems they also tweaked the font rendering itself to offer some sort of subpixel anti-aliasing. The YP2 e-ink text looks so jagged and rather ugly compared to the Paperwhite when I have the two devices sitting next to each other.

        I’m not sure if the Hisense A2 will improve on this experience, but I’m not holding my breath. Just know what you’re buying into: it’s not quite the “Kindle on the back side” experience that I hoped for when I bought the YP2, but having only spent $135 lessens the pain :). Somehow I don’t think the Hisense A2 will be released at the same price.

  7. I think a phone like this would be perfect for Amazon to reenter the smartphone market. A dual screen phone which emphasizes E book reading seems like a no brainer to me. A phablet sized device with an E ink screen on one side to make calls, jot notes, read shopping list, emails and of course books. While on the opposite side a color screen to watch media on. This would create a unique device which would set it apart from the average android phone. Amazon penchant to sell it devices at manufacture cost plus ads on lock screens could give it an unbeatable price. They could make money hand over fist by loading it up with Amazon services geared towards prime members.

    1. I wish Amazon would just make a cheap e-ink paperwhite android phablet phone with calling and mobile internet capabilities.. it wouldn’t have to be the most capable phone… but imagine the ads they could make of it .. the only phone to get you through the week before needing a charge. Start with the 6″ paperwhite screen, slap a cheap Mediatek SOC or a Qualcomm SD210 with basic LTE 2/4/12/17 in it and i think you’d have a winner..just price it at $100 with Amazon’s ads service

      1. If they thought they would sell, no doubt Amazon would have done it already. More likely, when they tested the idea, people didn’t want a black and white screened phone with a slow response time.

        1. I think it could be a great stepping stone between the smartphone and the dumbphone while providing a useful device

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