The smartphone has earned a prominent place in our lives and many of us won’t leave home without it. We do everything from texting and calling to sharing and reading. The smartphone is becoming almost a necessity. One of those aforementioned activities, reading, is very doable on the smartphone but at the expense of battery life. This is where the Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus comes in. This e-reader case for your iPhone allows you to take in your favorite book while preserving your iPhone’s battery. Read on for our full review of the Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus.
- 9H hardness anti-scratch E Ink screen
- Shock resistant
- 5-day battery life
- 5.2″ E Ink display Carta 1.2
- Included app and widget
What’s In The Box
- Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus
- Proprietary charging cable
- Manuals and Warranties
The Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus design is pretty simple and basic. It’s not a trendy looking piece of hardware but it’s not an eyesore either. The entire back is basically the E Ink display with the camera cutout and InkCase branding. The cutouts on the bottom are ample enough for your Lightning cables and they let the speaker breathe.The case is pretty rigid and feels very premium in the hand. The power and volume switches have excellent tactile feedback and are well designed.
I didn’t care much for the placement of the power button for the InkCase itself. It’s sort of placed along the lower ridge and it’s a bit difficult to access. I think it would have been better if it was just below the volume rocker and slightly bigger than it is now. Speaking of power, the charging method here is a proprietary magnetic cable. I wish the company could have integrated the iPhone Lightning cable into the charging method here instead. Overall, though, the case is well designed and it’s attractive enough not to make you look unattractive.
The Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus claims to be IP67 rated waterproof, though we did not test this other than a minor splash from a faucet. The company also claims the case is shock resistant and as I said in the design section, it does feel robust. I think the case itself will protect your iPhone well and it should survive any small spills and falls itself just fine. The grip of this case is really nice and it doesn’t easily slip out of the hand so I don’t suspect you’ll drop it much unless you’re just that person. Overall, the Oaxis InkCase i7 is pretty robust and should stand up against a lot as well as protect your iPhone.
Ease of Use
The included app is what sends data to the E Ink screen which allows you to have photos, text, time, weather, and news on display. The connection is established via Bluetooth and it works well, but beware if you’re on iOS 11 Beta as Bluetooth has been buggy, to say the least. As for the features of the InkCase, I’m going to bullet point them and briefly give you my thoughts.
- Read and send e-books on InkCase – This is probably the single best feature of this case, especially for those who tend to do a lot of reading. The case comes pre-loaded with some books but you can send books to the InkCase via email as long as they are e-pub or txt file formats. There’s some rigamarole in doing this, you have to email the file to yourself then open the file on your phone using the open with InkCase app option. Yes, there are a few steps to take but it’s not completely unreasonable.
- Carta 1.2 E Ink display – The display is really a very nice crispy display that does really well in sunlight and is scratch resistant. At first, I was nervous to set the case down or put it a pocket with keys. There is a slightly raised lip that helps on flat surfaces which is a good addition. Truly, after a day I just went about my normal day to day and the screen has held up well.
- Customize photos and use them as wallpapers – The Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus allows you to take existing photos and crop them, add text to them and change the tone so they can be displayed on your InkCase. The E Ink wallpaper looks fairly nice, it’s not perfect by any means since the display technology is limited but it is fun to have family pics or the like on the case. The InkCase can use any photo in your photo album, so long as you grant permissions.
- Selfie assistance – This one was a less than stellar feature but I see where Oaxis was going with it. You can use the camera feature in the app to use your InkCase as a monitor for your rear facing camera to take selfies. I like the idea. but the truth of it is. The image on the E Ink screen isn’t as sharp as it should be so you know that you’re taking a good in focus selfie. Yes, the rear camera is better quality but I didn’t find this feature very useful.
- Read-later/daily news – The daily news feature pulls articles from the web which you can send to InkCase to read. You can also use the read later feature to poll articles from your Pocket account to send to the InkCase for later reading. Be aware that the read later feature does indeed require a Pocket account for it to be useful.
- Widgets – There are a handful of widgets that give you information at a glance such as weather, time, calendar, and reminders. You’ll have to grant permissions for this of course but it’s useful to have that to look at quickly and not worry about turning your iPhone on to check an app
Overall the Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus is very simple to use and the features are very extensive. Using an E Ink screen for reading is certainly easier on your eyes than your iPhone screen, even with NightShift on. There have been studies done about effects of smartphone screens on the eyes but reading on a screen like the Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus should help with eye strain. The learning curve for this is minimal and most anyone should be able to pick this up and go.
Oaxis claims 5-day battery life and we’ve had ours for just about that and it is not yet dead. Battery life on E Ink displays shouldn’t be much of an issue though and you should always be fresh if you just plug the InkCase in every other day.
The Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus is [riced at $50USD and up on Kickstarter, I think there is a huge amount of value here especially for avid readers.
If you’re a Kindle user and an iPhone user, this case could easily replace your e-reader. The lightweight InkCase is easier to carry around and is already connected to your iPhone.
*We were sent a sample of the Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus for the purposes of this review.
Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus$50+ USD
- E Ink screen is great for reading
- Screen does excellent in sunlight
- Saves iPhone battery
- Robust design feels good in hand provides good protection
- 5-day battery life
- Proprietary charger
- Power button is tucked away hard to press
- Selfie camera mode really isn't practical