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Turn Your Smartphone into an e-Reader with This Case

Brian Heater
Tech Columnist
February 25, 2014

Smartphone displays and e-reader screens both offer distinct benefits. So why choose?

Check out this smartphone case from the Singaporean startup OAXIS. It snaps onto your handset and offers a second, low-power E Ink display, like you’d see on an Amazon Kindle.

The case communicates with your phone via Bluetooth and displays what your phone displays. That means you can use it to read books, get notifications and display the music you’re playing, even if your phone screen is off.

The case also has built-in buttons that let you do things like turn the pages of the text you’re reading, again without accessing the phone.  

So why use another screen? Well, any Kindle owner will tell you that E Ink technology offers a lot of benefits over the LCD or LED screens you see on your smartphone. There’s the battery, for starters: E Ink barely uses any, while your full-color smartphone display can hoover up a ton. E Ink is also a lot easier on the old retinas, particularly when reading for long periods.

Oh, and E Ink is a lot more forgiving in direct sunlight, where a phone screen can prove nearly impossible to read.

OAXIS already offers up one version of the phone for $129 — roughly the price of a standalone e-reader. The company is also coming out with a modular version, with a removable display that you can swap between cases should you upgrade your phone.

You could always just bite the bullet and buy a YotaPhone, which has E Ink and LCD on opposite sides, but just picking up a case seems like a much smaller investment in the long run.

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