The Hisense A7 CC is an Android smartphone with a 6.7 inch display, an octa-core processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and support for 5G wireless networks. It’s also one of the first smartphones to feature a color E Ink display.

First launched in China last month, where the phone sells for about $370, the Hisense A7 CC is now available from a couple of sellers who ship worldwide. You’ll have to pay a bit extra though, and you may end up with limited support for cellular networks.

CECT Shop is selling the Hisense A7 CC for $509, while the Fish cellphone Store is offering the phone for $535 and up through its AliExpress store.

The smartphone has a second-gen E Ink Kaleido display capable of displaying up to 4096 colors at 100 pixels per inch or 16 shades of grey at 300 pixels per inch. That means text and graphics will look sharper in black and white than they do in color, but unlike most devices with electronic paper displays, the Hisense A7 CC can display color.

E Ink screens are low-power, high-contrast displays that don’t require a backlit to be visible, but the phone has a front light that will make the screen easier to read in dark or dimly lit environments.

The screen refresh rate will likely be too low for serious gaming or for watching videos. But the advantages of E Ink include the ability to display a static image indefinitely (you can load a set of navigation directions, a recipe, or an image of your boarding pass and it will continue to be displayed even if your battery dies), high visibility in direct sunlight, and reduced eye strain when reading.

E Ink phones are aren’t exactly common – Hisense is one of the only device makers still producing them. While the company’s latest model is designed for use in China, it does have some support for cellular networks in the US and other countries, but it may not support all network bands – it’s missing support for one or more key bands on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon’s networks, for example.

If you want to try your luck, you can find a handy “show supported mobile operators” chart at the CECT Shop website.

Here’s a run-down of some other key specs for the Hisense A7 CC:

Display6.7 inch
2nd-gen E Ink Kaleido
2280 x 1080 pixel
4096 colors (100ppi)
16 shades of grey (300ppi)
ProcessorUnisoc Tiger T7510

  • 4 x ARM Cortex-A75 CPU cores @ 2 GHz
  • 4 x ARM Cortex-A55 CPU cores @ 1.8 GHz
  • IMG94466 GPU
RAM6GB
Storage128GB + microSD (up to 256GB)
Battery4,770 mAh
Charging18W fast charging
Cameras13MP (rear)
5MP (front)
SecurityFingerprint reader (rear)
Face recognition
PortsUSB-C
3.5mm headset
AudioAK4377AECB HiFi audio chip
Mono speaker
3.5mm audio jack
SoftwareAndroid 10 (without Google Play, which can be side-loaded)
WirelessWiFi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS
4G LTE
5G
Network bands2G/GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz (B5/B8/B3/B2), 3G/WCDMA 850/900/2100MHz (B5/B8/B1), 4G/FDD-LTE 850/900/1800/2100MHz (B5/B8/B3/B1), 4G/TD-LTE 1900/2100/2300/2500/2600MHz (B39/B34/B40/B41/B38), 5G/NR 2500/3500/4700MHz (N41/N78/N79)
Dimensions172 x 86 x 9mm
Weight221 grams

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  1. It’s a really neat concept for a smartphone. If they could sell a North American version for $370 or less, I’d probably buy one for using as an outdoors device.

    I’ve wanted an E-ink device with GPS ability for a while. When I’m out in the bush, I don’t like carrying a $1000+ flagship phone, and I’ve always wanted something easier to see in bright sunlight. Something like this would be fantastic.

    1. Because it’s only officially sold in China, and if you want to buy one that’ll ship internationally, you’ll have to go through a reseller that purchases inventory in China, marks up the price, and sells to the rest of the world. It’s probably cheaper than flying to China to buy it yourself, but not necessarily more cost effective than just buying a cheap phone and a separate eReader.

    2. This is really common when products are sold only in the domestic Chinese market. Exporters and Taobao proxy-sellers will charge a markup on the product to export it.

      1. The problem is that the markup obviously makes it less appealing, especially when you couple it with the limited band support outside of China. 4G has limited support in Canada and the US and in Mexico it has none.

        Otherwise I might be tempted to get it (still might be if the price drops).