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Hisense and Onyx show off phones with color and higher-refresh e-ink displays

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Posted · Original PosterOP
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they seem to be slowly chipping away at what makes e-ink unique. massively low power consumption.

 

as someone who currently uses an e-ink device every day, never have i thought "this needs colour and a better refresh rate" i would use my phone or tablet for something like that

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56 minutes ago, Arika S said:

they seem to be slowly chipping away at what makes e-ink unique. massively low power consumption.

 

as someone who currently uses an e-ink device every day, never have i thought "this needs colour and a better refresh rate" i would use my phone or tablet for something like that

I mean yes, but if a magic world existed where they kept low power consumption but added those benefits, I wouldnt look the gift horse in the mouth.


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Well, they can be viewed in direct sunlight unlike LCD displays...so yay?


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Well it could help addiction I guess?


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Posted · Original PosterOP
9 hours ago, Arika S said:

they seem to be slowly chipping away at what makes e-ink unique. massively low power consumption.

 

8 hours ago, Curufinwe_wins said:

If a magic world existed where they kept low power consumption but added those benefits

8 hours ago, Dabombinable said:

Well, they can be viewed in direct sunlight unlike LCD displays...so yay?

 

Okay did some research on e-ink device battery life:

  • Yotaphone 2 (5-inch 1080p IPS + 4.7-inch 540p e-ink displays, 2550mAh, 20hrs of use w/ e-ink as main display)
  • Hisense A6 (6-inch 1080p AMOLED + 5.6-inch 720p e-ink displays, 3330mAh, 5-10 of mixed use, 14hrs of use w/ e-ink as main display)
  • Kingrow K1 (5-inch 720p e-ink display, 3100mAh, 10-20hrs of use)
  • Kindle 2019 (6-inch 800x600 e-ink display, 890mAh, 5hrs to 14hrs of use)
  • Kindle Oasis 3 (7-inch 1680x1264 e-ink display, 1130mAh, 11hrs to 15hrs of use)
  • Kobo Aura One (7.8-inch 1872x1404 e-ink display, 1200mAh, up to 15hrs of use)
  • Onyx Boox Max 3 (13.3-inch 2200x1650 e-ink display, 4300mAh, 14-21hrs of use)
  • Onyx Boox Note (7.8-inch 1872x1404 e-ink display, 2800mAh, 10-16hrs of use)

 

So it seems like if a phone had a 1440p e-ink display with a 5000mAh battery it would still get 50% better battery life than one with an IPS display. This of course assumes that both color and refresh rate will be highly variable depending on what app is on-screen: 10-20hz for basic things (calls, texts, settings), 30-45hz for everyday apps (images, email, videos, word/excel), and 60-90hz for visually-intense things (photography, video recording, games). Color mode would ideally only be switched-on if enabled by the user or for apps that feature color content.

 

Battery energy density improvements in existing Lithium-Ion (+30-40% by 2025) and 3D-lithium/solid-state batteries (2x-3x by 2030) would also no doubt add to the cause if e-ink displays one day pack enough performance both to match IPS displays in high-framerate/color-intensive applications and ultra-low power draw in basic/monochrome-appropriate use cases.

 

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3 hours ago, Results45 said:

 

Okay did some research on e-ink device battery life:

  • Yotaphone 2 (5-inch 1080p IPS + 4.7-inch 540p e-ink displays, 2550mAh, 20hrs of use w/ e-ink as main display)
  • Hisense A6 (6-inch 1080p AMOLED + 5.6-inch 720p e-ink displays, 3330mAh, 5-10 of mixed use, 14hrs of use w/ e-ink as main display)
  • Kingrow K1 (5-inch 720p e-ink display, 3100mAh, 10-20hrs of use)
  • Kindle 2019 (6-inch 800x600 e-ink display, 890mAh, 5hrs to 14hrs of use)
  • Kindle Oasis 3 (7-inch 1680x1264 e-ink display, 1130mAh, 11hrs to 15hrs of use)
  • Kobo Aura One (7.8-inch 1872x1404 e-ink display, 1200mAh, up to 15hrs of use)
  • Onyx Boox Max 3 (13.3-inch 2200x1650 e-ink display, 4300mAh, 14-21hrs of use)
  • Onyx Boox Note (7.8-inch 1872x1404 e-ink display, 2800mAh, 10-16hrs of use)

 

So it seems like if a phone had a 1440p e-ink display with a 5000mAh battery it would still get 50% better battery life than one with an IPS display. This of course assumes that both color and refresh rate will be highly variable depending on what app is on-screen: 10-20hz for basic things (calls, texts, settings), 30-45hz for everyday apps (images, email, videos, word/excel), and 60-90hz for visually-intense things (photography, video recording, games). Color mode would ideally only be switched-on if enabled by the user or for apps that feature color content.

 

Battery energy density improvements in existing Lithium-Ion (+30-40% by 2025) and 3D-lithium/solid-state batteries (2x-3x by 2030) would also no doubt add to the cause if e-ink displays one day pack enough performance both to match IPS displays in high-framerate/color-intensive applications and ultra-low power draw in basic/monochrome-appropriate use cases.

 

If apps are programmed correctly, you wouldn't need a whole display refresh, only the areas where the image is being altered. So you'd see even less power consumption than you would at 10Hz for example.


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People seem to be forgetting what makes e-ink so amazing which is multiple features that when used together create an ultra low powered display. Those things are 1. The ability to display a easy to read display in direct sunlight without excessively high brightness levels. 2. The ability to do screen refreshes in single spots only when info updates rather than the whole display all the time therefore a higher refresh won't impact battery life. 3. The ability to completely run out of battery and still have something on the display is cool and very useful for showing important info. I had a pebble watch and e paper was awesome especially for a low powered smart watch.

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The point of e-ink was for it to consume 0 power when not changing. Which is why it worked so well with e-book readers. It wasn't consuming any power while you were reading that one page...

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21 minutes ago, RejZoR said:

The point of e-ink was for it to consume 0 power when not changing. Which is why it worked so well with e-book readers. It wasn't consuming any power while you were reading that one page...

And that'll keep on being a thing as long as the manufacturers or app developers don't force a full refresh for elements that don't need it.


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The most battery draining aspect of phones are network connectivity. Enable airplane mode and watch it last over 24 hours.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 hours ago, Mira Yurizaki said:

I'm bummed IMOD never went anywhere outside of Qualcomm's smartwatch.

I feel the same way about ray-tracing on mobile graphics Imagination show-off 3 years ago: https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1143274-imagination-developed-ray-tracing-for-smartphones-3-years-agowill-apple-rekindle-the-project/.

 

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I would like to see reflective display technology thrives in the future so that everyone's eyes are better protected.

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Good ideabut Android needs to go. I reckon that's the cause of it having low battery life. These phones need to have a unique OS just for them like E-Readers do. Take out the fancy things like camera, video playback, Hardware acceleration etc. Needs to be a semi-smart phone.

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3 hours ago, Ragingsilver said:

Good ideabut Android needs to go. I reckon that's the cause of it having low battery life. These phones need to have a unique OS just for them like E-Readers do. Take out the fancy things like camera, video playback, Hardware acceleration etc. Needs to be a semi-smart phone.

The operating system has nothing to do with how much battery life you get. OnePlus has been able to get the same battery life in their phones as iPhones, which tend to be the battery life king in terms of efficiency.

 

It's really down to how good you've tuned the software to not do superfluous things.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 hours ago, Mira Yurizaki said:

The operating system has nothing to do with how much battery life you get. OnePlus has been able to get the same battery life in their phones as iPhones, which tend to be the battery life king in terms of efficiency.

 

It's really down to how good you've tuned the software to not do superfluous things.

 

Yup.

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On 1/14/2020 at 2:09 PM, Dabombinable said:

And that'll keep on being a thing as long as the manufacturers or app developers don't force a full refresh for elements that don't need it.

Good luck. The entire fad of responsive design is to move crap around as frequently as possible so it fits on the page. I miss the days of designing a static website that loaded in 100ms and not these obnoxious sites that take minutes to completely load due to the excessive use of third party assets and forced HTTPS. 

 

If you want battery life to come back up, something needs to give, and unfortunately the only way you twist the website developer's arm is by making your device popular, but also suck at rendering their site. Unfortunately I don't see eInk systems replacing anything, as the thing they're meant to replace (paper without a backlight) and largely those have been superseded by better things already. Where eInk might make some headway, if it gets large enough, is conventional advertising like Subway car and Transit station/shelter advertisements, because they can then double as interstitial screens for when the transit vehicle arrives and can switch between "en route" and "now boarding" type of signage, as presently there's really not a lot of indication if and when a transit vehicle is going to arrive except in automated vehicles (Vancouver's Skytrain)

 

For mobile devices, eInk might fit into the lowest priced slot of mobile phones, but I somehow doubt there will be any market for "mostly useless" smartphones. A lot of low-end Android devices are in that "useless" tier already, and they get by with IPS screens which are only cheap in volume.

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41 minutes ago, Kisai said:

Good luck. The entire fad of responsive design is to move crap around as frequently as possible so it fits on the page. I miss the days of designing a static website that loaded in 100ms and not these obnoxious sites that take minutes to completely load due to the excessive use of third party assets and forced HTTPS. 

 

If you want battery life to come back up, something needs to give, and unfortunately the only way you twist the website developer's arm is by making your device popular, but also suck at rendering their site. Unfortunately I don't see eInk systems replacing anything, as the thing they're meant to replace (paper without a backlight) and largely those have been superseded by better things already. Where eInk might make some headway, if it gets large enough, is conventional advertising like Subway car and Transit station/shelter advertisements, because they can then double as interstitial screens for when the transit vehicle arrives and can switch between "en route" and "now boarding" type of signage, as presently there's really not a lot of indication if and when a transit vehicle is going to arrive except in automated vehicles (Vancouver's Skytrain)

 

For mobile devices, eInk might fit into the lowest priced slot of mobile phones, but I somehow doubt there will be any market for "mostly useless" smartphones. A lot of low-end Android devices are in that "useless" tier already, and they get by with IPS screens which are only cheap in volume.

Just scrolling through LTT there are a plethora of areas where there is static content. Also, what technology has superseded E-Ink in the ability to be viewed in full sunlight as if it were a piece of paper? Or indeed have static screen portions use no power at all? BTW cheap Android phones can have even have oled btw, and they are far from useless.


"We also blind small animals with cosmetics.
We do not sell cosmetics. We just blind animals."

 

"Please don't mistake us for Equifax. Those fuckers are evil"

 

This PSA brought to you by Equifacks.
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2 hours ago, Dabombinable said:

Just scrolling through LTT there are a plethora of areas where there is static content. Also, what technology has superseded E-Ink in the ability to be viewed in full sunlight as if it were a piece of paper? Or indeed have static screen portions use no power at all? BTW cheap Android phones can have even have oled btw, and they are far from useless.

Your own avatar is an animated gif. Try again.

 

The point is that the "web browser" which a lot of "apps" are written against are absolute CPU and GPU hogs to begin with, and you want to save power by trying to make the screen not update? That's not how it works at all. You're asking to go back to 1999's internet where it was mostly text and the odd image. That is what eInk was designed for, static pages. As soon as there's anything animated on it, any energy saving goes out the window, and to decide which pixels to update requires constantly polling the GPU for deltas. That's just not how software is designed and hasn't been designed that way since Windows 2000.

 

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1 hour ago, Kisai said:

Your own avatar is an animated gif. Try again.

 

The point is that the "web browser" which a lot of "apps" are written against are absolute CPU and GPU hogs to begin with, and you want to save power by trying to make the screen not update? That's not how it works at all. You're asking to go back to 1999's internet where it was mostly text and the odd image. That is what eInk was designed for, static pages. As soon as there's anything animated on it, any energy saving goes out the window, and to decide which pixels to update requires constantly polling the GPU for deltas. That's just not how software is designed and hasn't been designed that way since Windows 2000.

 

That's by choice. Most of the background is actually static (even when scrolling), the the bar up top is static, the notification bar is mostly static. And profile pictures are purely by choice, and most people don't have them animated. BTW, have you seen or used a modern e-ink display?
The technology has come a long way since its inception, and its not necessarily software that needs to be in charge of what area to refresh. The display controller itself could handle that.


"We also blind small animals with cosmetics.
We do not sell cosmetics. We just blind animals."

 

"Please don't mistake us for Equifax. Those fuckers are evil"

 

This PSA brought to you by Equifacks.
PMSL

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17 minutes ago, Dabombinable said:

That's by choice. Most of the background is actually static (even when scrolling), the the bar up top is static, the notification bar is mostly static. And profile pictures are purely by choice, and most people don't have them animated. BTW, have you seen or used a modern e-ink display?
The technology has come a long way since its inception, and its not necessarily software that needs to be in charge of what area to refresh. The display controller itself could handle that.

The problem is in comparison to OLED and IPS. 

 

IPS, the screen is always lit, or it's off. So you can not save power while the screen is lit.

With OLED you save power where the screen is not lit, by virtue that it's a LED and only consumes power when lit. However, most "dark modes" on devices are not pure black, so no energy is saved.

With eInk, the screen is supposed to remain static when not powered, however because that's not how operating systems are designed to work (they are either always on, or always off), the entire screen is refreshed due to the GPU compositing. So I'm pretty sure eInk is just never going to be viable for mobile phones or tablets unless a device is marketed exclusively as a replacement for a magazine/newspaper/book.

 

This is why I suggested advertising would be better. Presently a lot of malls and banks and various other shops have these really large screens that show image retention after a few months, and all they do is show static images (like the menus and order Kiosks at McDonalds), this is something where they would work a lot better with the ambient light already around it.

 

But I digress, my intention was not to pooh-pooh on eInk, but that it has any future in mobile phones. 

 

This article was written in 2019

https://goodereader.com/blog/e-paper/e-ink-smartphones-are-the-big-new-trend-of-2019

 

And every device is a monochrome device.

 

And if you look at this video from the first post in the thread

 

He says straight up it's an e-reader. It's physically impossible for eInk to be in the same league as IPS, but it could certainly eventually eat OLED's lunch in devices like watches. With that said, if you look at the tech specs on eInk, they have very narrow operating temperatures, which would make them unusable outdoors.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Nice thoughts!

 

With OLED being more and more prevalent in Sub-$350 phones and microLED penetrating the market as an alternative to OLED for all kinds of screen sizes in the next 5 years (TVs & monitors first then laptops, foldables, phones, and holographic AR displays) I think it's safe to say that the days of IPS technology in upper-mid to flagship products are numbered.

 

E-ink displays are known for being good in sunlight because of their transreflective/anti-glare properties similar to tacky looking T-LCD displays commonly found in GPS and diplays with matte finishes ~ think Pro XDR w/ nano coating but with poorer backlighting and much more light scatter. This combined with such low power consumption means it will always have a place in e-readers and sketching-writing tablets.

 

Even if e-ink tech never reaches the point where it becomes a viable ultra-low-power alternative to OLED & microLED it should at least exist alongside IPS displays in budget phones and tablets.

 

I could easily see affordable micrOLED dual-fold devices with anti-glare nano coating on-par with eInk sunlight viewing performance arriving in coming years:

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7jB393N.png&key=e924940fa025cd5b9bc203ecf89d3b87e7d16038be2d013b1d4c8790eaf8d96e

My 13-inch dream jack-of-all-trades device

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