REVIEWED: Oaxis InkCase i7 for iPhone 7
With a Kindle-style eInk screen on the back, this iPhone 7 case gives you the best of both worlds, but insists on using its own charging cable
Phones are getting too big. Fed-up of taking a Kindle and your phone on trips? Cue the InkCase i7, which puts an eInk display on the back of your phone.
Forget video, forget colour; this is about providing you with an E-Ink screen that doesn’t run out of battery (for, like, a month or two) that can put articles, books and even photos on the back of your phone that can be read anywhere – even if your phone has run our of battery.
It’s not a new idea – YotaPhone 2 has done it before for Android (and has a bigger 4.7-inch eInk screen that’s higher resolution) – but InkCase i7 is a genuinely useful idea if you read a lot. InkCase i7 – a decent, hard-wearing wraparound case on its own – gives you a 4.3-inch E-Ink display and support for ePub and TXT formats for ebooks. So its not quite a Kindle; in fact, Amazon fans won’t be able to read any of their ebooks on the InkCase i7. However, with EPUB the dominant format away from Amazon, you won’t have trouble finding anything to read on the InkCase i7.
Using the app
Getting books onto the InkCase i7 is done via an InkCase app, which is easy enough to use; you link to the InkCase via Bluetooth, and configure the photos, ebooks and even Pocket articles you want to sync. It’s a little fiddly, but it works OK – and it’s something you could do once a month, or just prior to a trip away. Reading is OK, though the screen does feel rather small, and the user interface takes a while to get to know (its also branded rather oddly – there is a he logo on the front of the UI).
However, we do have one major issue with the InkCase i7; it uses its own proprietary charger. Oh no! More cables to travel with? That’s really bad news – a micro USB cable or, better still since this is aimed only at owners of the iPhone 7 – recharge via Apple Lightning.