The smartphone, which can also remain on standby for a month, was unveiled this week by E-ink, a Taiwanese manufacturer, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The phone lacks a camera like conventional smartphones.
According to the company, it is seeking partnerships with other companies to create full-fledged models.
The E-ink Android device will cost US$200 and is likely to attract the attention of travellers and heavy phone users.
This prototype is different from the Yota Phone created by a Russian startup in that it uses a single screen while the Russian phone uses E-ink as a second screen to augment the back.
A major highlight is the phone’s battery life and visibility even in bright sunlight, which is a promising aspect on the emerging markets, especially in Africa’s remote regions where electricity is not readily available.
With proof that the concept can work, Giovanni Mancini, director of product management for E-ink, said the next step is to get the devices to the market with the manufacturer of the prototypes already said to be in talks with telcos to launch the device.