This e-ink 'phone' is actually a pocket-sized screen that connects wirelessly to your actual smartphone

This e-ink ‘phone’ is actually a pocket-sized screen that connects wirelessly to your actual smartphone

Although E Ink’s electronic paper technology works well in devices such as e-readers and e-notes, it is less suitable for devices that are intended to do more than just read and take notes. So, while Dasung’s new Link appears to be a phone, it’s actually a pocket-sized E Ink screen designed to occasionally connect to a user’s more capable smartphone.

With the introduction of electronic paper screens capable of displaying full colour text and images in recent years, a number of companies have released E Ink-based smartphones designed to make staring at them for hours easier on the eyes, as well as to leverage the low power consumption of E Ink screens to help maximise a mobile device’s battery life. However, due to the limitations of electronic paper technology, such as screens with low refresh rates, these devices, such as the Hisense A5C we tested back in 2020, have been pretty bad.

We’ve been spoiled by the beautiful full-color, high-resolution screens on smartphones from Apple, Google, and Samsung, so Dasung isn’t attempting to compete with any of those devices with its new E Ink-based Link. The Link may resemble a smartphone, but it is intended to connect to Apple or Android-based devices wirelessly or via a cable tether, and to serve as a compact external display that also includes the benefits of electronic paper technology for certain tasks.

Dasung’s product launch video for the Link has been shared on YouTube by the E Reader Channel (it starts around the 9 minute, 12-second mark), and while it’s all in Chinese, some of the device’s key features have already been translated and shared online. It has a 6.7-inch black and white E Ink display with a 300 pixel per inch resolution, adjustable screen lighting, and touchscreen capabilities that allow the user to operate the UI of a connected smartphone without having both devices open in front of them.

The general idea is that users can use the Dasung Link for tasks like reading ebooks, emails, text-heavy websites, and even texting while benefiting from E Ink screens. While Dasung claims the Link has a “Turbo” refresh mode that makes scrolling appear faster and smoother on its electronic paper display, users will still prefer to play games or watch videos on their smartphones.

The Dasung Link is now available for pre-order in China in three different models: one that connects wirelessly to iOS devices, one that connects wirelessly to Android devices, and a thinner, less power-hungry model that foregoes wireless connectivity in favour of a USB-C connection to certain smartphones from Huawei and Samsung. Pricing has yet to be announced, but we’re hoping the device will be more affordable than the more expensive E Ink smartphones we’ve seen released so far.