About a month after launching the new HiSense A7 5G smartphone with a 6.7 inch grayscale E Ink display, Hisense has added a color model to the lineup.
The new Hisense A7CC has the same basic features as its black and white sibling, including an octa-core processor, support for 5G networks, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and an octa-core processor. But it has an E Ink Kaleido color display capable of displaying 4096 colors.
The Hisense A7CC is available from Chinese retailer JD.com for 2,399 CNY (about $370 US), making it only a little pricier than the grayscale version which sells for 1,999 CNY ($310).
Update: The HiSense A7 CC is now available for purchase globally for about $510 and up.
The phone’s not available internationally yet, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it had limited support for non-Chinese wireless networks. But at that price, the Hisense A7CC is only a little more expensive than dedicated eReaders featuring color E Ink displays, so it would probably make a half decent tablet.
Kaleido technology doesn’t provide the same kind of vivid colors you’d see from an AMOLED or LCD display, and E Ink displays tend to have slow refresh rates. So this might not be the kind of phone you’d want to use for gaming or video playback. But E Ink screens are easily visible in direct sunlight or brightly lit rooms, even without any artificial illumination. The displays are also energy efficient and don’t use any electricity to display a static image indefinitely.
All of which is to say that E Ink is an unusual choice for smartphones, but commonly found in eReaders. The addition of color can make some content such as digital comics or magazines look a little more interesting, and color could go a long way in making E Ink phones a little more usable.
Th Hisense A7CC is actually the second color E Ink phone from the Chinese electronics company. Last year’s Hisense A5 was the first, but that phone had a smaller screen, a slower processor, and less memory and storage than the new model, which has features that include:
- Unisoc Tiger T7510 processor
- 4 x ARM Cortex-A75 CPU cores @ 2 GHz
- 4 x ARM Cortex-A55 CPU cores @ 1.8 GHz
- IMG94466 GPU
- 6GB RAM
- 128GB storage
- 4,770 mAh battery
- 18W fast charging
- Android 10
- 13MP rear + 5MP front
- Fingerprint sensor (rear)
Unfortunately with the future of 3G in many areas in question, these become more of a gamble. Most of them support 3G in most places, it was easy, there were 4 primary bands that guaranteed some coverage in most places if you had them. But with 4G and 5G taking over and there being tons of bands… Well, cheaper/lower-end devices tend to only cover a few of them and normally local ones (a serious issue I’ve faced when buying an unlocked phone from China while being in North America)
I wonder how’s the battery life.
I wonder how difficult it would be to strip all of their software from it, install a different launcher, and still retain a UI that is still high-contrast enough to be E-ink friendly.
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