An Indiegogo campaign for a prototype iPhone case called the Eye Smartcase, which allows users to effectively dual-boot Android 8.1 Oreo, has completed funding with 694-percent of its goal. However, dual-boot may not actually be the best term to use for the ESTI-built battery case. Instead, the Eye Smartcase for iPhone features an Android 8.1 Oreo device built right in. That includes its very own 5.7-inch standard HD display panel, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM radio, GPS, IR blaster and receiver, and even NFC. Moreover, it includes a dual-SIM slot allowing up to two separate phone numbers on the Android device in 2G, 3G, or LTE support variations. The battery inside is a 2,800mAh cell with Qi Wireless charging and OTG-enabled USB Type-C. Charging that charges both devices. There are even a dedicated 3.5mm headphone port and microSD slot for extra storage. That starts out at 16GB and goes up to 64 with expansion supported up to 256GB. All other sensors, speaker, and mic are included as well. The whole thing is powered by a budget-end MediaTek MTK6739V SoC.
All of that stacks up to mean a decent experience on the far end of the budget-friendly side of the Android spectrum on an iPhone while also gaining extra battery life. Of course, it goes without saying that this will likely not be capable of anything like what even a mid-range Android device can do. Bearing that in mind, it's an interesting concept and, with an expected retail price starting at under $200 for the Wi-Fi-only Eye Smartcase, doesn't seem like too bad a deal for anybody who may be interested in getting a small peek at the OS. It does, after all, fully support Google apps. In fact, that's one perk the startup says the Eye Smartcase brings with it. Multitasking can be accomplished between a greater number of apps simply by running apps on both devices and rotating the screen to swap between them.
Meanwhile, it's worth pointing out that the iPhone installed into the case remains its own device and even gets some new functionality thanks to the second screen. That includes the ability to transfer files between the two devices via ES Explorer and to use the Android device's screen to take selfies with the iPhone's primary camera. On the other hand, the display can be used in "Always On" mode, showing notifications for the iPhone on the second device's display without draining any battery from the latter device. The cases themselves are expected to be available for iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. ESTI plans to start shipping for Plus-designated models between August and September.