YotaPhone: Get ready for two screens on your smartphone [CES]


Yota is a Russian mobile broadband services provider and manufacturer of mobile devices which operates on Yota’s 4G LTE network. Yet at CES 2013 they presented a working prototype of the YotaPhone, a smartphone with two large touchscreens on the back and front. Well with two screens it could be two fronts. Or two backs. Confused yet?

At first most were confused with this concept when it was announced in December 2012. On the official website the phone is described as such: “One side is a high resolution LCD Android phone. The other side is an electronic paper display (EPD).” This sounds like the merging of a regular smartphone and a cheap Kindle. But the phone wow’ed the crowds at CES, with CNET choosing it as one of its top tech devices at CES 2013. The list of specs are impressive as well:

  • 4.3″ LCD display at 1280×720 (about 340ppi)
  • 4.3″ e-ink display/Electronic Paper Display (EPD)
  • 1.5GHz dual-core Krait processor
  • LTE (bands 3, 7, 20 MIMO) connectivity
  • 32 or 64GB Internal storage
  • 12MP main camera with unspecified “HD” front camera
  • 2100mAh battery
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Combined power button/SIM slot

The EPD screen uses a lot less power than conventional colour touchscreens, as it only powers up once for loading content, so the primary idea seems to be that when a user is surfing the internet and finds something to read, the EPD is used to display the content. The EPD is also not fully touch sensitive, with just the bottom part of the screen responding to touch, possibly for minor functions like copying or closing the screen.

The YotaPhone will go on sale in the latter part of 2013, possibly after July. The only problem here could be that by that time its 1.5GHz dual-core Krait processor might be old hat and could limit its sales, but we will have to wait and see if Yota will update it accordingly.



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