Russian company Yota Devices have finally made official its revolutionary new smartphone, the YotaPhone. First seen almost exactly a year ago, the YotaPhone is markedly different from any other smartphone in the market today, with the introduction of a second display at the back of the device.
The YotaPhone is powered by an older Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core 1.7GHz processor with 2GB of RAM, 32GB onboard storage, 13MP rear camera, LTE connectivity, 1800mAh battery, and of course, a 4.3-inch 720p LCD display, as well as a secondary 4.3-inch 640 x 360 e-ink display. In terms of specs, the Android 4.2.2-running YotaPhone definitely does not seem to justify the rather high price tag, but Yota Devices have taken steps to ensure that the YotaPhone’s e-ink display is more than just a marketing gimmick.
For starters, the YotaPhone will come pre-installed with “YotaPhone apps” that make use of the secondary display, and utilizes unique gestures to “throw” information from the main display to the rear always-on display. At this point, if you’re wondering about how the secondary display will affect battery life, well…you shouldn’t. E-ink displays are more often seen in e-book readers, and these monochromatic displays are known for their battery-sipping properties.
What’s more of a concern is in the device’s heat management. To alleviate the issue, Yota’s engineers have devised a patent-protected system that dissipates heat from the processor away from the heat-sensitive electronic paper display, while still maintaining a chassis that is acceptably thin and light (the YotaPhone maxes out at 9.99mm and weighs 146g). On top of that, an SDK has been released as promised for third-party developers to introduce more ways to use the e-ink display.
The YotaPhone is available now via the company’s official online store for €499 (around RM2200). Unfortunately, despite the online availability the YotaPhone will only be available in the its native Russia and selected European countries. By the middle of next year, Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov estimates that the YotaPhone will only be available in over 20 countries worldwide.