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Dual-Screen YotaPhone 2 U.S. Launch Aborted



Were you one of almost 450 backers who ordered a YotaPhone 2 on Indiegogo? If you're in North America, get ready to be disappointed. The makers of the dual-screen smartphone have announced that the $500 device will not be headed to the U.S. anymore.

According to an email sent to backers (and obtained by The Verge), the company cited manufacturing delays as the reason for scrapping its North American launch. The delays would have been so long that by the time Americans received their devices, newer and better Yotaphones would already be available elsewhere. 

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Those affected can choose to receive an international version of the YotaPhone 2, which will not support LTE in the U.S. It will get just HSPA+ (3G/3G+) on T-Mobile and AT&T. Or you can get a refund. However, the logistics of how you can get that refund are still being worked out, according to the email. 

The YotaPhone 2 made waves last year as it was the first phone to sport both a full color display and a black-and-white e-paper screen. The customizable rear display could be used as an e-reader, or activated as the sole screen to save power. In our 3-star review, we liked that the YotaPhone 2 showed quick alerts on the 4.7-inch e-paper rear when the device was placed face down. Unfortunately, the rest of the phone failed to inspire. Despite its battery saving promise, we recorded just 5 hours and 52 minutes of endurance on our test, which involves continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness.

Having raised $298,058 (572 percent of campaign target), the YotaPhone 2's successful Indiegogo crowdfunding project saw at least 400 orders of the device. People paid between $500 and $550 for their units, depending on how early they signed up. YotaPhone said the handset would cost at least $600 when it hit retail. 

In its email to backers, the company said it has since partnered with a new manufacturer who has the capability to produce phones at a scale that YotaPhone needs in order to bring devices to various parts of the world. The silver lining here is that this new, more efficient production process could also mean cheaper phones in future.

Will you be applying for a refund?

Cherlynn Low is a staff writer at Tom's Guide. When she's not writing about wearables, cameras and smartphones, she's devouring old episodes of Torchwood or The X-Files. Or taking selfies. Follow Cherlynn @cherlynnlow