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.
Keeping that in mind, I 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, I have listed the best E-Ink or E-Paper smartwatches that you can buy right now on Amazon.
- What Is E-ink Display?
- E Ink Watch & Smartwatch Comparison Table
- Best E-ink Smartwatches
- Final Verdict
What Is E-ink Display?
The 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 read 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 the 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, and 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.
E Ink Watch & Smartwatch Comparison Table
VIEW ON AMAZON
Best E-Ink Smartwatch For Fitness Tracking
Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition
Best Budget E Paper Smartwatch
Hybrid E Ink Watch For Sports
Citizen CZ Smart Gen 1
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 e-ink watch features a 22 mm bracelet stainless steel strap that ensures I look good whether I was at work or date. I also liked the fact that I can get this watch in 3 gorgeous black, grey, & brown color variants.
Looks aren’t the only forte of the watch as it comes with built-in fitness tracking. So I was able to set daily steps goals, keep track of calories burned, and distance walked. This watch motivated me to avoid a sedentary lifestyle by reminding me to take a walk every once in a while. I also tracked my heart rate 24*7 no matter whether I was 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 e ink watch will work flawlessly. Also, you won’t have to worry about the accuracy of the watch as it will auto-sync and set the correct time from your phone.
Moreover, with the watch, I was also able to control the music being played on my 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 and a slew of several other smart features at a price of around $200.
Overall, I would say you would get a stylish e-ink 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. This e-ink hybrid watch comes with various smart features and a monochromatic display on the dial that allows you to use them.
Talking about smart features, this e-ink smartwatch has built-in step and heart rate tracking that allowed me to keep track of my daily fitness activities. Also, I monitored my calories burned, heart rate while running, and distance covered, which helped me in meeting my fitness goals.
Additionally, the watch also tracked my sleep so I didn’t have to wear a dedicated sleep tracker. Hence, I was able to track how much deep, light, and REM sleep I was 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 I was able to read emails, messages, and DMs without taking my phone out of my pocket. And, whenever I received any new notifications the watch alerted me through vibration ensuring that I never missed 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 ensured that I was able to read the screen even under the direct glare of the sunlight. However, I hope you know that e-ink displays don’t have a backlight function which makes them difficult to read in the 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.
3. Citizen CZ Smart Gen 1 Hybrid E-Ink Smartwatch
Citizen is the latest entrant in the e-paper display smartwatch game & let me tell you I am loving it. I have recommended many Citizen watches under 500 on my blog & they make some of the best watches. They are popularly known for Citizen eco drive watches which can be charged using fluorescent & solar light.
It really felt good on my hand and it also had that build quality that Citizen is known for. Speaking about the size, the watch comes with a 44mm case which is made of stainless steel. It also has a 26mm band size which is the biggest band size available on any of the e-paper smartwatches available on this list. Some users with small wrists might find it to be too big on their hands but it was okay on mine.
Like the previous two watches, this one too has a heart rate sensor which means I was able to track my heart rate 24*7. Also, the accelerometer on this e ink smartwatch allowed me to track my steps, runs, & other workouts.
However, one of the USPs of this smartwatch is that you can track golf on this smartwatch. So you will know the weather conditions, information about holes, par, regular courses, back course, & handicap info. But to be honest, the golf profile on the smartwatch is not as good as Garmin golf watches.
Still, I did find the e ink display on the smartwatch to be useful during golf as it is easily readable in direct sunlight. Most smartwatches can get difficult to read under direct sunlight.
Notification sync on this smartwatch was also a useful feature when I used the smartwatch. I was alerted whenever I received emails, sms, & other notifications. Also, the vibration alert on the smartwatch is pretty good as well.
4. Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition
Till now all the smartwatches I have mentioned just focuses on the E-Ink display. This might be enough for hardcore e-ink smartwatch enthusiasts but not for users who value accurate fitness tracking. For those users, Fossil has launched the Wellness edition hybrid eink smartwatch.
This smartwatch comes with the latest heart rate sensor that delivers an accurate heart rate per minute reading during a workout. Similarly, this hybrid smartwatch can track blood oxygen which is not available on any other e ink smartwatch on this list.
To make it easy to monitor your daily fitness goals, Fossil has added a dedicated health watch face. This allowed me to track my sleep, blood oxygen, calories burned, progress toward daily step goals, & more on the watch face.
Also, the automatic workout detection feature on this smartwatch definitely came in handy to me as I tend to forget to start workout tracking.
Similarly, like all the smartwatches with e-ink displays, this too has a backlight which came in handy when the light was a little low in my surrounding.
Besides the usual features, I also found that this smartwatch comes with Alexa as well. Using it, you can set reminders, start timers, & more.
One notable difference that I have noticed in this latest Fossil smartwatch is the reduced battery life. With all the features enabled battery life gets reduced to 4 to 5 days. However, I am sure for casual users it will last 10 to 12 days on a single charge.
On a final note, I would say that this is the best e ink smartwatch that you can buy if you are willing to spend $200.
5. Fossil Neutra
If you don’t want to spend $200 on the latest & greatest then Fossil Neutra will be perfect for you. This smartwatch comes with a 1.1-inch eink display with a resolution of 218 x 218.
In terms of display readability, I will say that there is not much difference between any smartwatches with e ink displays. Despite the low price, this e ink watch’s screen performed decently & using the two buttons next to the crown I was able to operate the watch.
However, in terms of features, there is a difference like this e ink watch doesn’t have blood oxygen tracking. Using it, I was able to track my basic health vitals which include steps, sleep, & heart rate tracking.
I also liked that I was able to wear this epaper watch while doing my day to work as it is also water resistant up to 30m. So I was able to wear it while washing my hands or riding my bike in the rain. Another feature that I liked is the music control, it allowed me to control the music being played on my smartphone.
Like all the previous e ink smartwatches, this watch comes with a vibration alarm feature too which allowed me to wake up without disturbing others. All in all, it is the best e ink smartwatch if you are looking for a reasonably priced smartwatch with e ink display for around $100.
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.