There are several types of display technologies used in making modern smartwatches. To list a few examples are AMOLED display, LCD, LED, OLED, and E-Ink display. Each display has its own unique characteristics that make them ideal for some users and bad for others. One such display technology is E-Ink or better known as E-Paper display.
Today you can find E-Ink displays being used in various gadgets including phones, Amazon Kindle books, smartwatches, etc. However, they are niche products and not quite as popular as LCD or AMOLED displays. And, one of the many reasons for that is the lack of information about E-Paper displays among the masses.
Keeping that in mind, we have written this short guide on what is an E-Ink display and what are the benefits of using it over LCD or other displays. Along with that, we have listed the best E-Ink or E-Paper smartwatches that you can buy right now on Amazon.
- What Is E-ink Display?
- Best E-ink Smartwatches
- Final Verdict
What Is E-ink Display?
E-Ink display was conceptualized in 1997 at MIT. And, E-Ink Corporation a Massachusetts-based company owns the patents to the technology. However, the company was acquired by the Taiwanese firm Prime View International in 2009.
Despite not being as popular as AMOLED or OLED display it still has a fan following of its own. And what sets it apart from others is the fact that the E-Ink display can only produce images on the screen in black and white color. This display won’t put any stress on your eyes as the display doesn’t have any blue light coming from it. And, these unique characteristics make it perfect for prolonged usage and useful for reading, writing, or any other similar use case scenario.
Also, E-Ink displays have extremely low power usage compared to other LCD and AMOLED displays. That’s why various products like Amazon kindle claim weeks of battery life on a single charge.
Furthermore, it must be noted that in 2016 E-Ink Corporation announced that they have achieved a major breakthrough and now E-Paper displays can also produce colorful images. So it shouldn’t be long before we start seeing colorful E-Ink displays in the market.
What Are The Benefits Of E-paper Display?
There are several benefits of using gadgets that come with an e-paper or e-ink display.
- Low power consumption: The biggest and most tangible benefit of using an e-ink display is that it can be used in a variety of electronics without impacting power consumption. In fact, the e-paper display doesn’t consume any power when it’s a static image. Meaning, if you reading a page of a novel on your kindle, the only time your tablet will consume power is when it will load the next page on your screen. Once the page has been loaded on your kindle then the display won’t consume any more power unless you turn the page or interact with the display.
- Cost-effective: Unlike LCD, AMOLED, or OLED displays that are costly to make and implement, e-ink displays on the other hand are much cheaper. This makes them perfect for using them on gadgets like smartwatches, billboards, phones, etc.
- Readability in bright environments: E-Ink display offers one of the best readability found in electronic devices no matter whether you are indoors or outdoors.
So Then What Happened To E-ink Display?
Now you might be wondering, if this display is so good then why isn’t everyone using it? And, there are several reasons why the e-ink display never became popular among the masses.
First and foremost, the e-paper display has a low refresh rate so it isn’t suitable for consuming multimedia content like videos, gaming, etc. It is useful for only a few use case scenarios such as e-book readers, watches, smartwatches where there aren’t a lot of changes happening on the screen continuously.
The second reason was that the E-Ink Corporation didn’t launch the colored e-ink display until a decade later and that too was produced only in limited quantities. And, support for touch screens was also not there for several years which led to a subpar consumer experience.
Moreover, the e-paper display doesn’t have a dedicated backlight like an LCD display so that doesn’t make them suitable for night-time usage. All these factors led to the lower adoption of e-ink display in consumer products and still to this day it is considered as a product for niche audiences.
Best E-Ink Smartwatches
1. Skagen Hybrid Hr Jorn Smartwatch
If you like fashionable watches then you would love this e-ink smartwatch from Skagen. This watch features a 22 mm bracelet stainless steel strap that would ensure you look good whether you are at work or date. You can get this gorgeous watch in 3 colors which include black, grey, and brown colors.
Looks aren’t the only forte of the watch as it comes with built-in fitness tracking. So you can set daily steps goals, keep track of calories burned, and distance walked. This watch will motivate you to avoid living a sedentary lifestyle. You can also track your heart rate 24*7 no matter whether you are working out, resting, or sleeping.
Furthermore, Skagen Hybrid Hr is compatible with both Android and iOS devices so no matter what device you use this watch will work flawlessly. Also, you won’t have to worry about the accuracy of the watch as it will auto-sync and set to correct time from your phone.
Moreover, with the watch, you can also control the music being played on your phone using the button located above and below the crown. However, what makes this an ideal e-ink display smartwatch is that the smartwatch offers good battery life as well as a slew of several other smart features at a price of around $200.
Overall, we would say you would get a stylish watch that is also a discreet fitness tracker. It is a perfect watch for those who don’t want to wear a full-fledged smartwatch with poor battery life or an unattractive fitness tracker.
2. Fossil Men’s Collider HR
If you are a fan of the smartwatch with e-Ink displays then this relatively cheap hybrid smartwatch from Fossil is made for you. The watch comes with various smart features and a monochromatic display on the dial allows you to use them.
Talking about smart features, the watch has a built-in step and heart rate tracking that allows you to keep track of your daily fitness activities. Also, you would be able to monitor your calories burned, heart rate while running, and distance covered, which would help you in meeting your fitness goals.
Additionally, the watch can also track your sleep so you won’t have to wear a dedicated sleep tracker. Hence, you would be able to track how much deep, light, and REM sleep you are getting. You can use that to make lifestyle changes that can help you eliminate bad bedtime routines to get better sleep.
Apart from that, Fossil Hybrid Hr supports notification sync so you would be able to read emails, messages, DMs without taking your phone out of your pocket. And, whenever you will receive any new notifications the watch would alert you through vibration ensuring that you never miss any important notifications.
The biggest advantage of an e-paper smartwatch is that it consumes very little power and this smartwatch is no different. So it should come as no surprise that the watch offers 2 weeks of battery life on a single charge. Even if you run out of battery then you will be able to charge the watch up to 80% within 1 hour as you also get a fast charger from Fossil.
Furthermore, the e-ink display on the watch ensures that you can read the screen even under the direct glare of the sunlight. However, we all know that e-ink displays don’t have a backlight function which makes them difficult to read in dark. Yet, you won’t face this issue with the Fossil watch as it comes with a LED backlight function. Simply double-tap the watch face and it would illuminate the dial allowing you to read the screen in the dark.
It’s no secret that LCD, AMOLED, or other displays are better when it comes to screen readability. However, e-ink displays are extremely battery efficient when compared to any other display found in smartwatches.
Besides that, there aren’t many smartwatches or fitness trackers like these two watches from Fossil or Skagen that offer similar features along with 2 weeks battery life.
And, when it comes down to selecting a watch we would say both the watches are almost similar when it comes to specifications and features as Fossil also makes watches for Skagen. Also, the price of both the watches are similar that’s why we would recommend going with the watch or brand you prefer the most.
What Is An E-Ink Smartwatch?
E-Ink smartwatches are those watches that use e-paper displays that are also found on Amazon Kindle readers instead of LCD, AMOLED, and OLED displays. E-Ink/E-Paper displays are extremely battery efficient compared to any other display found on smartwatches.
What Is The Best Smartwatch with E-Ink Display?
Fossil Collider Hr is the best smartwatch with an e-ink display as it offers 2 weeks of battery life as well as health & fitness tracking. You can track your fitness activities, sleep, sync notifications, get weather updates, and a lot more.
Is Pebble Watch Dead?
Yes, Pebble was sold to Fitbit in 2016 and no other smartwatches have been launched by Fitbit under the Pebble brand name since then.