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YotaPhone 2: Dual-Screen Phone Wows

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.

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Battery Life

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.

Specs

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.

Software

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.

Price

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.

Outlook

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.

Valentina Palladino is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Follow her at @valentinalucia. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.

  • nxtnttt
    the concept sounds great but it will not be practical in real use. here are a few reasons:
    1) the device will not be personalized or protected with a case
    2) touch sensitive screens on both sides will interfere with operations
    3) no case for the device means it will be prone to scratches on both surfaces
    4) privacy aware users will not like to have their personal messages displayed with unintentional purpose
    5) the screen will consume extra power regardless how it is used
    Reply