Did I ever tell you about my InkPhone? This was a smartphone from 2014 that sported a 4.3″ E-ink screen. This phone was unfortunately canceled before it even sold out its initial production run. I was caught flat-footed by the cancellation and literally had to get mine years later, second-hand, and that was a shame because by the time I did the InkPhone was too old to be worth using (it ran Android Gingerbread).
Ever since then I’ve been looking for a replacement, and one possibility just crossed my desk. Meet the Kingrow K1, a smartphone with a 5.2″ E-ink screen which just went up for pre-order on Indiegogo:
The K1 runs Android 8.1 on an octa-core MediaTek MT6763 CPU with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. Powered by a 3.1Ah battery, the phone has Wifi, BT, an 8MP camera, and dual SIM card slots. The 5.2″ screen has a screen resolution of 1280 x 720, and yes, there’s both a frontlight and a touchscreen.
The pre-order price is $299, but only for the first 400 backers. After that, the price goes up to $349.
All in all those aren’t bad specs for the price, and while I am almost ready to rush out and order one, there are a few details that give me pause. Liliputing pointed out that the K1 won’t be shipping with Google Play but instead with its own app store. Sure, there’s a better than even chance that you can install Google Play, but that’s not guaranteed.
Another possible issue with the phone is that Kingrow hasn’t told us yet which network bands the K1 supports. This means that we still don’t know cell networks will be compatible with the phone. While I’d bet that the K1 will work in most countries there are companies I’d rather not do business with. If, for example, the K1 only worked on T-Mobile, I’d seriously consider passing on the phone.
How about you? Are you going to get one?