You know you’re addicted to something when the producer of that particular product/service comes up with measures to help you regulate the usage. I’m talking about Digital Wellbeing here that was released by Google to regulate smartphone usage (just one example of many more). This incessant use of smartphones has had a devastating impact on our eyes and Kingrow K1 wants to set things right.
Kingrow K1 is a ‘smartphone’ with an E-Ink screen that we get to see on e-book readers like the Amazon Kindle. The use of e-ink display is what will say goodbye to eye strain, insomnia and macular degeneration (I googled this too).
Kingrow K1 Display
But unlike what we’ve seen with phones like YotaPhone (now defunct) where the E-Ink display was a secondary display, the K1 only has one E-Ink display. But this E-Ink display is interesting in that it has an adjustable front light.
This display measures 5.17-inches and has a resolution of 1280×720 with 283ppi. For an E-Ink display, this is definitely not a bad setup. This display will also double up the phone as a tinier, more portable e-book reader.
Kingrow K1 Design
The Kingrow K1 is by no means a phone that will blow you away with its design. With its substantial top and bottom chins, the phone seems to belong to 2017 more than today (or 2019 if we refer to the Razer Phone). As of now, we don’t have more information on the build materials of the phone.
On the bottom front, it flanks three touch-capacitive buttons which were something seen on most smartphones more than a couple of years ago. But given the touch latency of e-ink displays, its a wise decision to include them.
On the back, the phone has a single camera along with a flash unit. For people looking to snap selfies, there’s no camera on the front this phone.
Kingrow K1 Software
Surprisingly, the Kingrow K1 runs on a modified version of Android 8.1 Oreo that is more suitable for an E-Ink display. Unfortunately, there won’t be support for the Google Play Store. Instead, Kingrow will most probably have its own app store with compatible applications.
The Kindle app, amongst others, will be pre-loaded on the phone.
But Kingrow also claims that the phone will be able to meet all the social and entertainment needs on the go. This might mean that it will have support for IMs like WhatsApp and other social media applications.
Kingrow K1 Battery
The phone makes use of a battery that has a capacity of 3,100mAh that can be recharged via a USB Type C port. This battery is rated to last up to two weeks on standby, a week when used as an e-book reader and a couple of days when used as a smartphone.
Kingrow K1 Specifications
- 5.17-inch E Ink Carta display (1280 x 720 with 283 PPI).
- 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio P23 (MT6763) octa-core processor.
- 16GB of storage space.
- 2GB of RAM.
- MicroSD card slot with support up to 64GB.
- 3100 mAh battery.
- 8MP rear camera with LED flash and auto-focus.
- Android 8.1 Oreo operating system.
- Dual SIM.
- USB-C port.
- Dual speakers.
- 138 x 72 x 8.5mm.
- Colours: Black, Red, and Blue.
Kingrow K1 Price and Availability
The Kingrow K1 is expected to launch its campaign on Indiegogo very soon. The price of the phone is expected to be a modest $349. But users can take advantage of a $100 discount if they sign up for their newsletter on Indiegogo.
As of availability, there’s nothing we know yet. Kingrow has never had any experience with a retail product in the past. From what it seems, this is most likely their first effort. In fact, it doesn’t even have a website at the time of writing this article.
We can only wait and see where this goes. But if the phone does successfully launch, it stands to be one of the only choices for the niche that are looking for a smartphone with an E–Ink display.