Moscow based company Yota have been showing of the latest generation of the YotaPhone, a dual screen Smartphone featuring both E Ink and AMOLED displays. The general concept is pretty straight forward, pretty much whatever you are looking at on the AMOLED display, a webpage, e-book, Facebook etc can be viewed on the reverse side of the device using the E Ink display. We caught up with Yota at Mobile World Congress this week and were fortunate enough to get hands on, plus a demonstration of the device from a Yota representative.
The 2nd Gen YotaPhone has a 5.1″ AMOLED 1080p display on one side with a 960 x 540 E Ink display on the reverse. The remaining specs are pretty much in keeping with most mid to high-end devices, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC (Quad Krait 400 Cores, Adreno 330 Graphics, LTE ready) with 2GB of RAM. There’s a fairly generous 2,500mAh battery, which should perform pretty well if users opt to use the lower power E Ink screen for web browsing and e-book content etc. The prototype we saw at the booth was running Android 4.4 KiKat, and it’s also worth noting that we were really impressed with the devices lightweight build, coming in a mere 149 grams.
The advantage of having an E Ink display is that E Ink is designed to affect your eyes in a similar way to paper. Staring a backlit LED or LCD display for extended periods can result in eye strain. Research tends to suggest that most people prefer the e-reader or E Ink experience for e-book reading. Having dual displays is an interesting concept for sure, especially for users who consume a lot of text; I’m thinking students for example.
The finalized YotaPhone is expected to be available to consumers in Europe and Russia towards the end of 2014, with a US roll out possible in early 2015. No official word on price, but specs would suggest somewhere in the $600-700 range.