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Forget Gorilla Glass – E Ink displays could replace the backs of future phones


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As much as it’s about smartphones, connectivity and networks, MWC 2024 is also a bounty of weird and wonderful tech, especially from smaller brands, and one such example is the Infinix E-Color Shift phone. 

Just a concept/prototype for now, but with real potential to become a real thing, the E-Color Shift phone makes use of E Ink Prism 3 tech to change the color and pattern of a phone's back, either perpetually or at a user’s request.

Basically, it’s the answer to the question: “How can I constantly customize the back of my phone?” Now that’s not a question I’m sure a lot of people are asking, but it must be something that's on Infinix’s mind. 

And it’s actually pretty cool in real life. Seeing the phone's back cycle through a series of colors and patterns when it’s on charge is oddly hypnotic, and acts to make the phone more of an ornament rather than just a slab of metal and glass. And when it’s disconnected from a power source it’ll settle on the pattern and colors that were last displayed – take a look at the TikTok below to see it in action. 

@techradar

♬ Aglow (Intro) - Slowed Down Version - Karamel Kel

Yet there’s more to the E-Color Shift phone’s capabilities than just some flashy patterns. Things like notifications and a clock can be displayed, turning the back of the phone into a form of basic always-on screen. But as E Ink is being used, this is likely to be more power-efficient than even the latest LTPO panels found in the screens of some of the best phones, notably, the iPhone 15 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Now I don’t think having an E Ink rear panel is going to be a fixture on future phones, especially as I reckon more brands will adopt titanium and glass designs. But it could pave the way for more interesting charging cases, for example, and the E-Color Shift phone is at least trying to inject some creativity into a mobile tech segment that feels like it's starting to plateau in terms of innovation and intriguing design. 

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