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  • Hisense A6 Review: With E-Ink and Tradeoffs


    Some smartphones occupy the top lines in the benchmarks, others — take pictures almost like DSLRs, others — boast of huge screens. At the same time in functionality, they are not much different from the first iPhones and devices on Android. Hisense A6 is a rare species. It offers an unusual user experience, combining a familiar phone and an e-ink reader.

    Hisense A6

    Creating a gadget with two displays is not as easy as it may seem. It is necessary to balance the thickness of the body and the capacity of the battery, provide a good heat sink in a multi-layered device and place the antenna so that the connection is reliable. It is possible to count all smartphones existing today with the additional screen on electronic ink on the fingers of one hand. And two such models — A2 and A2 Pro — are released by Hisense. Releasing a new product called A6, the Chinese brand already had a good experience and had to cope with children's diseases difficult in engineering mobile phone. Let's see if that's true. Let's start with the most important and unique feature — the second screen.

    Always on display

    Additional black and white screen is the largest among all the analogs of the diagonal of 5.61 inches. Thanks to 1440х720 resolution in pixels and e-ink is impossible to discern any individual pixels or "ladder". Unlike conventional AMOLED and IPS, the E-Ink display does not emit light, but only reflects — like plain paper. It is constantly active but consumes a minimum of energy. Reading e-books on A6 is a pleasure, and the eyes do not get tired.

    A major update to this model is the appearance of the additional backlight of the screen. Now it is comfortable to read even in complete darkness. The brightness level varies widely. At the maximum value, it does not hit the eyes and is uniform throughout the area. It is a little inconvenient that you have to make too many taps to turn on the backlight and adjust it: go (from the rear display) to the "Settings", then to the "Screen" menu, and then to the sub-section of the brightness level.

    On the left — the backlight is off, on the right — the maximum level

    On the left — the backlight is off, on the right — the maximum level

    It must be said that there are two versions of A6: for China (without Google Play) and the rest of the world. Hisense is now officially present in Russia. It is in our market that the smartphone made its debut with the "global" firmware version. And it, unfortunately, has limitations. For example, the IR transmitter placed on the top of the gadget does not work. In addition, the firmware for the PRC provided by the widgets to the rear of the display, and the Russian — no. Most likely, the problems will be solved in the latest updates, but so far the additional screen can only mirror the image from the main one.

    When the phone is idle, the E-Ink panel displays the time/date on the background of the Wallpaper. The gallery already has a set of contrasting black and white images, in addition, you can set your own pictures. But the lack of special widgets upsets. After all, always on the active screen would look appropriate notification messengers, weather forecast, the stock price (we are all busy and respectable gentlemen) or at least the battery indicator. By the way, in Yotaphone similar widgets for any needs — 30 pieces, and it is very convenient.

    Hisense A6

    Button on the left side Hisense A6 puts the image on the secondary display from the primary. You want — swipe screens shell Android if you want — run applications, such as a reader or browser. Everything is as usual, only in shades of gray. The display, of course, is updated with a delay, but it is not critical for reading. Individual applications in the settings are able to switch to "smooth mode", then even get to watch videos and cut into games. This increases the frame rate but slightly lost clarity. For the sake of experiment, we started "tanks" on the black-and-white screen. Bitness of the image in this mode is reduced, the picture looks somewhat blurred and faded. But the update frequency is tolerable, in each match it was possible to knock out one or two frags. Again, it was an experiment for the fan's sake. The main duty — text display — panel E-Ink performs perfectly.

    Design and ergonomics

    Hisense A6 assembled soundly, the materials do not cause a sense of cheapness. The body has a metal edging. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 on the top and Gorilla Glass 3 on the back. On both sides, there is an oleophobic coating. The smartphone resembles a small e-reader: the front and back surfaces are absolutely flat. This does not affect the convenience of holding since the corners of the device are rounded and its thickness is only 8.4 mm.

    The main display is AMOLED, and it has all the advantages inherent in this technology. Shades are juicy, black color is really black. It is possible to find fault unless to the maximum brightness which could be more. The screen is impressive: six-inch, with a fairly narrow frame at the top and bottom. There are no cutouts and no holes.

    Hisense A6

    As there is no headphone jack. You will have to listen to music through a standard headset with USB Type-C interface, or through any of your headphones and adapter, which is not included, or via Bluetooth. But the lack of NFC in the phone is upsetting.

    The fingerprint sensor is mounted in the power button located on the right side of the device. The solution is convenient, but there is a funny nuance: it is necessary to register at least two fingerprints of opposable fingers. For example, the thumb and forefinger. After all, if you unlock the gadget, looking at the side with the e-Ink screen, the sensor is on the left. Well, either you need to enter the black-and-white bar pattern.

    Hisense A6

    Works device running a fast and responsive operating system — Android 9. The standard set of navigation keys in it is reduced to a minimum. In priority gestures, to which you get used for half a day use. If you don't count the app store Hitbuy, the shell is absolutely clean. A very small number of changes in the system are due to the settings of the additional screen.

    Camera: selfies in black and white

    Hisense A6 cannot be called a smartphone with advanced photo capabilities. He has one main camera with a 12-megapixel sensor. There is an led flash. The camera application is laconic — there are no even manual shooting settings. But there is a mode of "Night". It allows without the use of a tripod and HDR (he, by the way, quite thoughtful) to pull the frames in poor lighting conditions.

    The resolution of the front is 16 MP. It is interesting that you can take a selfie on the main camera. After all, there is a second display. It is convenient to mirror the image through the camera application, at least any messenger. The refresh rate of the screen allows you to comfortably take pictures for Instagram or communicate via video.

    Hisense A6

    The HDR mode of the smartphone is quite thoughtful but allows you to get the best shots. Details in the shadows on the elements of the pergola worked well


    E-Ink technology implies reduced power consumption. It would seem logical to implement in such a smartphone special modes to save battery. As, for example, in Yotaphone 2, where at "extreme power saving" the picture is displayed only on the additional display and only calls are available. In this mode, the mobile phone is able to hold out for a couple of days on the last 5% of the battery. Unfortunately, in Hisense A6 such is not yet provided. But if you like to read texts from your phone, the E-Ink display will surely allow you to enjoy your favorite books much longer than with any other device.

    Even if not to take into account the scenario used only in the read mode, the autonomy from Hisense A6 good. This is probably the result of the minimal intervention of Chinese programmers in Android 9. The 3300 mAh battery allows you to scroll full HD video for 14 hours. 15 minutes of playing "tanks" took 6% of the battery. With a complete adapter standard QC 3.0 gadget is charged from zero to 50% for 31 minutes, and up to 100% — for 70 minutes.

    Hisense A6



    AMOLED, 6.01”, 2160x1080 

    E-Ink, 5.61”, 1440x720


    Snapdragon CPU 660 

    GPU Adreno 512


    6/64 GB


    the main - 12 megapixel (f/1.8) 

    front - 16 megapixel


    3300 mAh

    Test results


    140 266


    1604 Single-Core

    5846 Multi-Core


    up to 4.5 hours of 3D gaming

    up to 14 hours of video playback


    If you are already familiar with smartphones with E-Ink displays and imbued with the ability to comfortably read books without carrying a reader, then this device is for you. And everyone else who reads a lot, the gadget can be recommended. In Hisense A6 and performance compared to previous generations of devices has improved, and, most importantly, there was a backlight E-Ink. As usual, there were compromises. Therefore, you will have to choose what is more important for you: always have a convenient BookReader at hand or pay for purchases in the store with your phone. NFC-that this time didn't deliver.

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    • OPPO Reno 3 review: Quad camera and lots of memory

      Last year's OPPO Reno 2 smartphone was remembered for its almost flagship characteristics. In the new generation, the emphasis has shifted - the role of the top-end device has been assigned to the Reno 3 Pro, and the standard “three” has become a mid-budget phone. However, Reno 3 received a powerful quad camera, high-quality screen, and a large amount of memory. We find out how good the new product is.

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      The gadget is powered by a 4025 mAh battery and supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging technology. A 20 W adapter and a complete cable during the test provided recharging at high speed. For example, from 33 to 78%, the battery was charged in 13 minutes, and up to 100% in 27.
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      Great screen
      Reno 3 is equipped with an AMOLED panel with a diagonal of 6.4 inches, a resolution of FHD+ (2400x1080 pixels), and an aspect ratio of 20:9. The display occupies 90.8% of the front panel area, has a teardrop-shaped cutout for the front and thin frames. The image is clear, with rich but natural colors. The viewing angles are large, and the brightness reserve is sufficient for using the phone on the street in any weather. With minimal screen light, it is comfortable to read in a dark room. And at night, you can switch to "Dark mode" - in fact, this is an inverse version of the design: with a black display and a white font. Many people will find it even more convenient, and it also saves battery life.
      Branded shell of the seventh version
      Reno 3 is running a proprietary ColorOS 7 shell based on Android 10. When comparing with the previous version, you can see that the font has not changed, but many icons have been redrawn. However, their shape and size can be easily changed at your own discretion. The screen can be converted to a split format - just make a three-finger swipe up.
      Specifications of OPPO Reno 3
      DISPLAY: 6.4 ", FHD + (2400x1080), 20: 9
      CHIPSET: CPU MediaTek Helio P90 (MT6779V), 2.2 GHz, GPU PowerVR GM 9446
      RAM: 8 GB
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      BATTERY: 4025 mAh
      FEATURES: a sub-screen fingerprint sensor, an NFC module, an audio output, support for microSD cards up to 256 GB (without SIM replacement), a proprietary shell ColorOS 7, three body colors: black, white and blue.
      Test results
      ANTUTU: 223,438
      GEEKBENCH: 5 428 single-core, 1568 multi-core
      AUTONOMY: about 22 hours of video playback

      The OPPO Reno 3 is an interesting device with balanced characteristics. From the first minutes, the beautiful design, slim body, and high-quality 6.4-inch screen make you happy. Later on - high performance, fast recharging, and good battery life. The advantages include the photo-filling, including a 44-megapixel front camera. In addition, the built-in drive can be expanded with a memory card, but not to the detriment of the second SIM card - a trifle, but nice.

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