Onyx Teases a new 4.3″ E-ink Smartphone, 6″ E-ink Android Tablet (video)

onyx e-ink smartphone 4.3Onyx was the first to show off a working smartphone prototype with an E-ink screen last year, and they’re back again today with a new prototype.

Charbax caught up with Onyx at the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair this week, where they showed him the new gadgets. Both the new smartphone and tablet run Android, have an E-ink screen, and have frontlights.

The PhoneTab E43 is an upgrade to last year’s E-inkPhone.  It’s running Android 2.3 on a 1GHz CPU, and instead of the 4″ screen that Onyx was working with last year the new prototype has a 4.3″ screen. The Onyx rep didn’t mention the resolution, but the product page lists it as 480×800. That is an improvement on the 4.3″ E-ink screen that is found on the Yotaphone. The Yotaphone has 2 screens, and the E-ink screen has a resolution of 640×360.

The PhoneTab is equipped Wifi, Bluetooth, a microSD card slot, and it supports GSM network. Onyx has revealed that they plan to launch the PhoneTab in their home market of China in July with a European launch to follow. The latter launch will probably depend on support from a telecom or a local partner.

Charbax points out that Onyx is much more focused on Android than they used to be. The rep confirms this with the remark that Onyx has 15 engineers working on Android on E-ink.

onyx e-ink tablet 6 Onyx also showed off one of their newest ereaders, or should I say a 6″ Android tablet. This is the Boox R65, and it is running a full version of the stock Android 2.3, and yes that does mean you can install other reading apps like Kindle, Kobo, or Nook.

This device has a frontlight, IR touchscreen, and it is equipped with the 6″ HD E-ink screen. As you can see from the video it also has page turn buttons, but don’t let the buttons fool you. From the way it is described this is intended to be more of an Android tablet than an ereader.

Now if only it weren’t running such an old version of Android.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Thomas14 May, 2013

    Why Android 2.3? Are they releasing it in 2010 or have they just forked the OS enough that they can’t use 4.x on it?

    1. Nate Hoffelder14 May, 2013

      That’s what I was wondering as well. The production model had better have 4.0 or it’s not worth buying.

  2. Ana14 May, 2013

    I’m reading the specs. Only 256 M RAM? I suppose that’s why they’re working with Android 2.3. I’m waiting for them, but with Android 2.3 I can’t officially install my favorite reading app, so maybe I’ll pass

  3. rafar19 August, 2013

    This is the phone i was looking for since many months! I can’t find a way to buy it.
    In the onyx-international site appears a “buy” button, but it doen’t work. I’ve search in the USA and Europe sites but the E43 doesn’t appear in the list of products.
    Please tell me, Do you know Where can i buy it?


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