Sydney: While most phone makers are leap frogging each other with smartphone screens that are bigger, brighter and bolder, one of the phones to make headlines at the Mobile World Congress last week was a smartphone that only needs recharging every few weeks.
The prototype of the smartphone, made by electronic paper manufacturer E Ink, were loaded with a web browser, a message inbox, a contact directory and an ebook reader, reports the Herald Sun.
Because an E Ink device only uses battery power when it's redrawing the screen, the battery life on the prototypes was said to last up to a month or several weeks of normal use. The E Ink phone uses the same screen technology as Amazon uses in Kindle and Pebble uses in eWatch.
Nicholas Carbonnier of ARMdevices.net, said the prototypes could be made as a low-cost option for under 200 dollars that would suit people in markets where limited power supply was a greater concern than full smartphone features.
Carbonnier said E Ink was also working on clip-on covers for popular smartphones that would add an E Ink screen to the back of the phone. Russian manufacturer Yota also showed off its dual-screen smartphone, which had a normal colour screen on one side and a black and white E Ink screen on the other.
Yota said the dual-screen phone would have a much longer battery life, because people would read long articles, check social media updates, display photos and boarding passes without having to drain their phone's battery or wake it up from sleep mode.
The Yota phone, which was unveiled at International CES in January, will be produced by a Singapore company and launched late this year.
First Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 09:25