Two is often better than one, something YotaPhone is banking on to sell its new YotaPhone 2. This smartphone has two displays, with an e-ink screen in the back that promises to stun your friends while saving battery life. But before you rush out to buy a YotaPhone 2, here are the top things you need to know about this eye-catching handset.
LCD Front, E-ink Back
The e-ink display on the first rendition of the YotaPhone showed promise, but there wasn't much you could do with it. Now, along with a complete design overhaul, the YotaPhone 2 has an always-on, 4.7-inch e-ink display you can use to check notifications and read books for long periods of time, without killing your eyes or your smartphone's battery. You'll be able to customize the e-ink screen as you would the front LCD, with widgets, wallpapers and photos.
The e-ink display isn't just there to make the YotaPhone look weirdly sexy. Since it uses less power than the 1080-pixel front screen, you can use the e-ink panel for as many tasks as possible to save battery life. YotaPhone claims its 2,500-mAh battery can get up to 2 days of standard smartphone use time, and up to 5 days of "reading time" on a single charge.
The YotaPhone 2 also has a feature called YotaEnergy, which dims the LCD in order to encourage you to use the e-ink display instead. YotaEnergy can be programmed to do things such as limit the processor clock speed, or turn off Bluetooth and data usage when enabled.
Powering the YotaPhone 2 is a quad-core 2.3-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. Unfortunately, there's no microSD card slot, so you can't add more. The YotaPhone 2 sports an 8-megapixel rear camera, which should yield decent photos. The front camera got a modest bump from 1-MP to 2.1-MP.
This handset runs Android 4.4 with some YotaPhone exclusives. The most intriguing feature is YotaMirror, which lets you transpose a full Android home screen onto the e-ink display. This gives you the option to use the e-ink panel almost exclusively, with the ability to check email, browse the web or use the YotaPhone 2 as a mini e-reader.
The luxury of e-ink doesn't come cheap. YotaPhone sells this smartphone unlocked for £555, or about $865. To put that staggering price in perspective, that's enough money to buy an unlocked 16GB iPhone 6 and still have money left over for an 8-inch Android tablet.
While the YotaPhone 2 has solid specs, you're really paying for the functionality and cool factor of the e-ink display, along with the very long battery life it should give you. We're anxious to get our hands on a YotaPhone 2 to see if its worth the premium.