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Review: Bigme Galy: World's First E Ink Gallery 3 Tablet

Review unit provided by Bigme

Bigme is a company that sells e-ink e-reader tablets and they have just teamed up with Good E-Reader to launch the Bigme Galy, the world's first tablet to feature E Ink Gallery 3 technology.

This e-reader tablet will be released initially through Kickstarter which will end on 31 Dec 2022. As with any Kickstarter campaign, there's the risk of the creator not delivering. Bigme had released an earlier product called Bigme Inknote on Kickstarter as well and that was shipped.

Bigme Galy's Kickstarter link:

The early bird price is US $539. Normal price through Kickstarter is $599. And the retail price after the Kickstarter will be $699.

By the way, Good E-Reader is a company that publishes, reviews and sells e-reader tablets. It seems like Good E-Reader handles some of the marketing for Bigme Galy and hence there's the conflict of interest.

In this review, I'll present my findings so that you can decide whether this tablet is worth the money.

Do note that the review unit I've received is a working sample so there may still be changes or improvements. The firmware I've tested is v2.2.1_20221220.

Image displayed with HD (best colour) settings

The main selling point of Bigme Galy is the use of Gallery 3 display technology developed by E Ink.

Here are the features of Gallery 3 according to E ink:

In Gallery 3, the black and white update time has been improved to 350 milliseconds (ms), the fast color mode is 500 ms, standard color mode is 750-1000 ms and best color is achieved at 1500 ms. This is a substantial improvement over the first generation of E Ink Gallery, which had a black and white update time of two seconds and color updates of ten seconds. In addition, Gallery 3 will have an improved resolution of 300 pixels per inch (ppi) versus the earlier 150ppi and an operating temperature of 0-50 degrees Celsius, on par with black and white eReaders. E Ink Gallery 3 will also support pen input in black and white, with an addition of several other colors and an update time of 30 ms. E Ink Gallery 3 will be featuring E Ink’s new ComfortGaze™ front light, which offers a blue-light safe viewing experience.

Things included

The packaging looks nice. Everything's safely packed and well laid in the box.

Items included in the box are:

  • Tablet
  • Quick start guide
  • Warranty card
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • Tray ejection tool
  • Smart Pen A5
  • 2 replacement pen nibs
  • Nib remover

There's no charger included.

Additional add-ons such as the (included) Smart Pen A5 is $40 (usual $60) and the (not-included) case is $25 (usual price $50). Five replacement nibs and nib remover are $15 (usual $30).

Bigme Galy has a clean and simple design.

The specs are as follows:

  • Dimensions: 181.45 x 159.29 x 6.95mm
  • Weight: 320g
  • OS: Android 11
  • Display size: 8-inch
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1440
  • PPI: 300
  • Stylus: Pen with Wacom tech
  • Audio: 4 noise cancelling mics, dual stereo speakers
  • Front light: 36-level dual front light
  • CPU: 2.3 octa-core
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Wireless: Wifi (2.5 + 5G) + Bluetooth 5.0
  • Storage: 128GB with microSD card slot support for 512GB
  • Battery capacity: 3000 mAh

320g is lightweight enough for me to hold comfortably for long period of time for reading.

8-inch is decent size and I don't have issues with it. It's big enough for reading comics although I probably would have preferred 10-inch. But bigger tablets are heavier and will be more expensive.

Design on the back mirrors the front with black and off-white colours. Both front and back surfaces are smooth matte textured. I can't tell what material is used to make the back though.

At the top is the power button with built-in fingerprint sensor, and noise cancelling mics.

For the fingerprint sensor, you have press the power button, lift the finger, and press again for scanning. Fingerprint sensor works fine.

At the bottom are the USB-C port and microSD card slot.

There are two speakers on the side. Volume is loud and audio quality is alright.

To adjust volume, you have to do it through the settings or with customised shortcut buttons on the pen.

On the right side is a magnetic connector to charge the pen.

Image quality

The display has a resolution of 1920 x 1440 with pixel density of 300PPI so no pixelation is noticeable.

Text is sharp. Contrast looks good enough and quite similar to black and white e-readers such as Kindles.

There is adjustment to increase the contrast. And depending on the reading app used there may be other adjustments for text such as fonts, leading, kerning, margin, etc.

Backlighting looks quite even to my eyes with no obvious edge lighting or wavy pattern.

Warm light looks fine. This is at maximum intensity.

You can adjust backlighting and warm light by swiping the left and right edges of the display.

This is the wallpaper that appears when the tablet is completely off. The wallpaper when the tablet is asleep can be changed with the included XPhoto app (default image viewer).

These are the possible adjustments for image quality

  • Dark Enhancement: Increases the black levels
  • Vivid Enhancement: Increases the colour saturation
  • Color Brightness: Increases the brightness but reduces contrast
  • Refresh Mode: HD, Normal, Black & White
  • System full refresh frequency: Never, 1 to 50 times

Black & White mode has a refresh time of 350 ms and this is quite similar to other BW e-readers in the market.

Normal colour mode is advertised with an update time of 750-1000 ms. Colour pages take more time to update than BW pages.
The page update time for reading coloured comics pages is satisfactory to me and is not much longer than updating BW pages.

Canvas colour of Normal mode is off-white with slight yellow tint. The yellow tint is not a hardware defect because it's not yellow with HD colour mode.

HD colour mode is advertised with an update time of 1500 ms. The update time will be affected by the app used.

  • With XReader: The default reader app has update time under 2s and that's fast enough for me.
  • With Kindle app: Coloured pages update under 3s and the screen will refresh 2 times before settling down. I was told by the company this is a software issue can be fixed. It is possible because XReader's HD colour mode can refresh much faster. Coloured pages with Normal mode refresh much faster.
  • With Libby by Overdrive: Experience is not ideal because the app's page flip animation cannot be turned off and that animation does not look good with slow page update times. Reading coloured comics with Normal mode is more responsive. Reading BW text is even better since BW pages update faster.

Colours are noticeably more vibrant with HD than Normal mode. The lighter gray canvas also makes the colours look more vibrant by contrast. The canvas colour quality reminds me of coloured comics printed on newsprint paper. To get the most vibrant colours, just apply 100% Vivid Enhancement. Applying 100% Vivid Enhancement does not seem to affect the refresh time.

Since you're buying this e-reader for the colours, HD colour mode with 100% Vivid Enhancement is probably the setting to go for. But if you find the update or refresh time unsatisfactory, you can opt for Normal colour mode with 100% Vivid Enhancement but the colours will appear slightly washed out, relatively speaking.

HD mode without Vivid Enhancement will look better than Normal mode with 100% Vivid Enhancement.

Overall responsiveness when using the tablet with HD mode is actually alright provided you set the screen refresh frequency to a number higher than 1. If you have the page refresh each time (to remove image retention), HD mode will make the usage experience feel sluggish.

If Bigme and E Ink can reduce the page refresh time, that would be a huge improvement to user experience.

Image retention

Whenever a new page is drawn, there may be image retention of the previous page. This is normal behaviour with e-ink tablets.

Image retention with Normal mode

Image retention of previous page can appear with possible yellow smudges. Sometimes one screen refresh is not able to remove the yellow smudges completely. It may be better to just use HD mode since there are no yellow smudges with HD mode.

Image retention with HD mode

Image retention only appears as previous page imprint and there are no yellow smudges.

How does screen refresh frequency work
Screen refresh frequency can be set to never, 1 time to 50 times. Using the main settings to set the refresh frequency only affects the UI and not the books you read. Screen refresh frequency for each book has to be set separately with the default reader app XReader. Other reading apps will follow the system screen refresh frequency.

Image quality

Shown below are three images arranged with the following settings:

  • Normal mode with no enhancement
  • Normal mode with 100% VIvid Enhancement
  • HD mode with no enhancement
  • HD mode with 100% Vivid Enhancement

You can click the images for a larger view.

Normal mode with no enhancement

Normal mode with 100% Vivid Enhancement

HD mode with no enhancement

HD colours look more saturated or vibrant. Also note the HD light gray canvas vs the off-white yellow canvas of the Normal mode. Scroll up and down to compare.

HD mode with 100% Vivid Enhancement

The HD colours remind me of printed comics on newsprint paper, but the colours here are slightly washed out that's all. Image quality looks acceptable but there's obviously room for improvement.

This is the original image for comparison.

Below are close ups.

Normal mode with no enhancement

Normal mode with 100% VIvid Enhancement

HD mode with no enhancement

HD mode with 100% Vivid Enhancement

The image looks sharp.

Normal mode with no enhancement

Normal mode with 100% VIvid Enhancement

HD mode with no enhancement

HD mode with 100% Vivid Enhancement

Original image

Normal mode with no enhancement

Normal mode with 100% VIvid Enhancement

HD mode with no enhancement

HD mode with 100% Vivid Enhancement

Secondary colours such as orange and green are not easy to reproduce.

Original image


Bigme has their own UI running on top of Android 11. Overall performance depends on the page refresh rate. There's 6GB of RAM which is sufficient for since this tablet is mostly used for reading.

Frequently used apps can be placed as shortcuts on the left sidebar.

Usual Android navigation gestures can be used for navigation. Swipe up from the bottom middle to go to the home screen. Swipe up from the bottom left to see all active apps. Swipe up from bottom right can be customised to a shortcut (I have it to screen refresh). Swipe down from top shows the quick settings menu.

File transfer can be done wirelessly or with a cable connection to your computer.

There is Google Play Store so there's access to a huge variety of apps. Below are some apps I've tested.

Note taking apps: Third party note taking apps will refresh the page with each stroke which is not ideal. To get those apps to work better, e.g. refresh the stroke instead of the page, you can turn on the "Global Handwriting" mode under the Pen settings icon. I could get Microsoft OneNote to write as fast as the default note taking app.

Playing videos: Since page refresh is slow, playing videos will feel extremely sluggish. Expected.

Web browsing: Since page refresh is slow, scrolling webpages will cause numerous page refresh and feel sluggish. Expected. For some reason, when pressing the Enter button, it will show you options when you have to click for the "real" Enter.

Playing games: Don't even try.

Camera: The preview is very sluggish since page refresh is slow.

This tablet is best used for reading because to use it for other tasks except for reading usually involve having to deal with page refresh constantly. For reading, you only refresh the page after you're done reading.

Due to the colour limitation of the tablet, the UI for many apps do not look good.


The pen included is said to use Wacom technology.

This pen is powered by battery and charging is by attaching it to the side of the tablet. Pairing is with Bluetooth.

IMPORTANT: Batteries in digital pens are small, and hence has smaller battery capacity, and hence can lose charge faster. Based on my experience of reviewing countless digital pens, such batteries can get damaged if the pen is not used for long periods of time. In short, charge the pen regularly, e.g. once a month or every two months. Keep the pen attached to the tablet often.

The pen has good build quality and looks good. The surface is glossy and it's comfortable to hold.

There is pressure sensitivity (4096 levels) and palm rejection.

The pen nib is firm and does not move.

There are three shortcut buttons which are customisable. The shortcuts will vary depending on the app you're using. E.g. When playing audio, the buttons can be used to adjust volume, and when reading, the buttons can flip pages.

I've set the power button to refresh the page, and a long press will go to the home page.

Taking notes

The default note taking app has limited features.

For writing tools (aka brushes), there are pen, pencil, brush and ballpen. Eraser allows for area erase and selection erase. Shapes you can add are line, rectangle, circle, triangle. There are some page templates for ruled pages and other designs.

And these are the five limited colours to choose from: black, red, blue, magenta, yellow.

There is latency when writing so you will see the line trying to catch up with the pen nib. The tablet was able to capture my handwriting accurately despite the latency. The writing experience feels tactile thanks to the textured pen nib and display. Overall note taking experience is satisfactory considering this is an e-ink display.

When writing, the display only updates the area where the lines appear. There's no full screen refresh while writing.

There's no difference with latency between HD and Normal mode. As such, it's better to use HD mode for better colours.

Battery life

According to Bigme, battery life is around 10 hours with normal use, and 20 days with sleep mode.

I used AccuBattery Pro to track battery life and screen-on time is around 6+ hours.

Note that battery life will be affected by screen refresh frequency, the app you use, and colour mode.

I also noticed there's a tendency for the battery to drain quickly overnight even with Wifi off.

Maybe a firmware update can increase the battery life.


This tablet is best used with HD colour mode with the default XReader app. HD colour mode produces more vivid colours, has better contrast and less image retention. XReader has faster page update time than other reading apps.

As the world's first tablet that uses E Ink Gallery 3 display, the performance is decent. There aren't many other products to compare to anyway. The only other colour e-ink tablet I reviewed, Onyx Boox Nova3, could not produce sharp text.

My overall experience with the Bigme Galy is positive but there's certainly a lot of room for improvement.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Clean and simple design
+ Solid build quality
+ 320g lightweight
+ Visuals are sharp with 300 DPI
+ HD colour mode produces rather vivid colours by e-ink tablet standards
+ HD colour mode has cleaner, brighter canvas
+ HD colour mode has more effective screen refresh that removes image retention
+ 128GB internal storage
+ MicroSD card slot
+ Power button with fingerprint unlock
+ Pen included
+ Good writing experience
+ Pen buttons can be customisable for shortcuts
+ Google Play Store included
+ No bloatware included
- 6 hour battery life with normal use
- Battery can drain overnight
- Tablet ideal for reading and writing, but not for other tasks
- No physical shortcut buttons, no volume buttons
- 3rd party reading apps have slower page refresh than default XReader
- Screen refresh frequency has to be set separately for each book with XReader
- Normal colour mode can have yellow smudges as image retention
- Normal colour mode canvas has yellow tint


You can get the Bigme Galy by backing the Kickstarter campaign which will end on 31 Dec 2022.

Otherwise, you'll have to wait till the tablet is released officially to the public.