Forget your HTC One M8’s, your Sony Xperia Z3 Compact’s, your iPhone 6’s… the coolest smartphone of 2014 was from Yota in the name of the YotaPhone 2, a company and smartphone you’ve probably never head of.
The original Yota YotaPhone was launched in 2013 is a kind of beta product to assess the demand for a smartphone with two displays; one LCD, one e-ink. The new version, the Yota YotaPhone 2, is a much more refined – and much more capable – smartphone which is so cool that it puts other smartphones makers to shame.
“Innovative is a rare word in the smartphone market nowadays, but YotaPhone has brought it back”
Innovative is a rare word in the smartphone market nowadays, but YotaPhone has brought it back.
This smartphone has a a full HD 5-inch AMOLED display AND a 4.7-inch e-ink rear screen. These are powered by a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, and the whole thing runs on Android 4.4 (at launch).
Elsewhere, there’s 32GB of internal storage and an 8-megapixel camera at the rear.
At 144 x 69.5 x 8.9mm and weighing in at a respectable 145g, the YotaPhone 2 is comparable to pretty much every handset with a 5-inch display.
But let’s not dwell on storage, cameras, or processors…
…this smartphone HAS TWO SCREENS.
The first screen is not unlike one you will find on other smartphones. It’s a 1080p AMOLED affair (442 ppi) with excellent viewing angles and the same vibrancy as Samsung’s Galaxy S5. But the selling point of this phone is the second screen, which is a 4.7-inch 960 x 540 (up from 640 x 360 on the original YotaPhone) e-ink unit that’s able to produce 16 levels of grey. This screen is multi-touch enabled and is extremely responsive to use, and in practice it’s a delightful and useful feature which makes us wonder why nobody has thought of it before.
“YotaPhone’s arrival on the market last year marked one of the first game changers in smartphones in many years. Yota Devices proved that there is an antidote to the always-dark smartphone screen,” said Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov.
“The future of smartphones is always-on displays allowing users without turning off the real world and disrupting the people around you. The next generation YotaPhone takes this totally innovative concept in smartphones and makes it even better.”
“Now, with two full-touch displays, the next generation YotaPhone is twice as smart, twice as useful and twice as beautiful,” explained Martynov.
“YotaPhone has also opened up the door to app developers”
Another useful feature of the YotaPhone 2 is the Smart Power Mode, which lets users turn off the AMOLED screen and use the e-ink screen for anything.
YotaPhone has also opened up the door to app developers, who will be able to develop new and innovate games and other apps which make full use of the AMOLED and e-ink screen. “Thinking out of the box just got two times more fun for app developers around the world. YotaPhone’s unique dual-screen, always-on experience provides vast opportunities for third-party developers to adapt and create fun, productive and totally new types of applications,” said Martynov.
The YotaPhone 2 costs £555 sim-free and is on sale now.