But at least one model a redeeming feature inside: it runs Android.
Earlier this month a lucky blogger was ripping apart the two review units he had been sent, and while he was fiddling around with the InkCase i5 he some how managed to make the case go into a recovery mode – an Android recovery mode.
The i5 has only a single button, so he wasn’t able to capitalize on his find, but it is cool nonetheless.
The InkCase i5 was one of the first InkCasemodels released in 2013, and it was built for the iPhone 5. Like all the InkCase models, the i5 was designed to pair with a smartphone over Bluetooth and act as a second screen.
I’ve had my hands on one of the early InkCase models (the N2, for the Galaxy Note 2). I ripped that one open and can tell you that it had the guts of an ereader inside. It had a weak CPU, 2GB storage, and Bluetooth.
The InkCase i5, on the other hand, packs in a 1GHz Rockchip RK2818 CPU. By the standards of 2015 that’s not very powerful, but it is enough to run Android.
In effect, Oaxis has made an Android E-ink device to wrap around your iPhone.
I can’t tell you why Oaxis used two different chip designs for the two early cases, but I do wish they had put more work into them. If the i5 had a touchscreen (or at least a d-pad) it would be worth hacking just for the fun of it. Similarly, the N2 would have made for an adequate ereader if the software had been better.