Apple’s industrial design with power and flexibility of Android? Sure, I’d like to see – even use – such a product. But this Android on iPhone Kickstarter project that’s been making the rounds is just not doing it for me.
Eye, the creation of Israeli company ESTI Inc., is basically an Android smartphone built into an iPhone case. It’s not the first time we’ve seen the idea, but this project has been rather successful (it already hit its $100,000 funding goal) and it’s been picked up by many high-profile publications. In other words, a lot of people will see coverage about it online and wonder, is it really a good deal?
So, what does the Eye give you and why am I skeptical about it?
Eye aims to offer a number of “cool features you never knew you needed.” You know, features that Apple stubbornly refused to put on the iPhone, including wireless charging, two SIM slots, a microSD card slot, full NFC, and an infrared port. It even includes a 3.5 mm audio jack. There’s also a 5-inch OLED display and full Android 7.0 Nougat, running on a MediaTek Helio P20 chip and 3GB of RAM.
In other words, the Eye is an almost complete Android phone shaped as a case for the iPhone 7, 6S, S or their Plus variants.
Which raises the question: Why?
Why would you turn your iPhone into a Frankenstein’s monster with two screens and two operating systems, when you could simply buy one of the many affordable Android smartphones instead and do what normal people do – carry two phones.
Why not skip all the inevitable bugs, the compatibility issues, the performance problems, the general hassle, and the mockery from people who will surely think you’re using your phone backwards?
No matter how good ETSI Inc. is, the fact is designing a decent Android smartphone is not exactly trivial. Designing one that works seamlessly as an add-on to an iOS phone, within the constraints of a suspiciously low price tag (starting from $95), and while offering a good user experience must be one hell of a problem. Did we mention they promise to ship by August?
Which brings us to the inherent risk of backing anything up on Kickstarter. Project after project, we’ve seen companies that take the backers’ money and fail to deliver anything in return, or at best, they ship disappointing, outdated products with massive delays.
The Eye is a cool idea, on paper. I mean, Android on an iPhone, right? And the project doesn’t look like an obvious scam like the completely made-up Comet Core phone from 2015. But even if ETSI is legit, the chances you’ll get a good product in a timely manner are so slim, that I can’t just recommend backing the Eye.
You’d be better buying a BLU, Honor, or any another cheap Android phone. You wouldn’t mess with your iPhone experience and you’d get about the same features with none of the risk.