We’re accustomed to the war between iOS and Android and all other phones that are struggling to catch consumers’ attention with their specs or designs. If they’re too odd, they are criticized and few people dare to buy them. If they’re too simple, they go unnoticed and so on. It’s hard to please picky people, but mobile phone manufacturers aren’t discouraged and make all kinds of experimental phones, hoping to break the ice with their products. In this article, we’ll present a phone with two displays, the normal one is on the front, and a secondary always-on grayscale capacitive touchscreen is on its back. Its name is YotaPhone 2 and was created by a Russian company.
If you were searching for something unique, that stands out from the rest of your friends, then here’s a device that’s bound be to your liking. Forget about standard smartphones with flat displays, forget about Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge, which has a curved screen on both sides. Why settle for one display when you can get two of them on the same smartphone?
YotaPhone 2 is, in appearance, a phone with a normal look. On the front side it has an AMOLED display, but when you turn it to the other side, instead of seeing the normal plastic or faux leather cover with stitches on the edges, you will be shocked to find out that there’s another display that’s perfectly functional. However, it doesnt use the same technology as the main display, being an E Ink capacitive screen. This kind of display was added to Amazon’s Kindle e-reader and many phone manufacturers tried to adapt this technology and make it compatible with their devices, but only Yota managed to carry out the plan in 2013 and in December, it released the first phone that runs on Android and has two displays. The first generation YotaPhone can be purchased from Amazon at a price of $170, while the successor, which was launched in February 2014, costs over $620.
Why does it cost so much? Well, the first YotaPhone came with only an IPS LCD screen sized at 4.3inches, which was able to support 720x1280pixels at 342ppi, while the secondary screen, which had the same diagonal, offered a low resolution of 360x640pixels at 170ppi. It wasn’t very impressive, huh? The processor wasn’t very powerful either, having two cores running at 1.7GHz, on a Qualcomm MSM8960T Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset along with 2GB of RAM, and it had only one variant of internal memory, stuck at 32GB. It was interesting that the primary camera supported a surprisingly high resolution of 13MP and had normal features such as LED flash, autofocus, face detection and it supported video capture at1080p@30fps. As for the secondary camera, the low resolution of 1MP discouraged many owners to use it for taking selfies. The device had a rectangular shape, it was relatively thick at 10mm and its casing was made of plastic. It came loaded with Android v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) and didn’t receive any other updates.
Three months later, the Russian company released the YotaPhone 2, with significant changes to the design and internal components. It received a larger display measuring 5inches, which supports a resolution of 1080x1920pixels at 442 ppi, while the back screen was increased to 4.7inches and its maximum supported resolution is 540x960pixels at 235ppi.
The body is more rounded and thinner at 9mm, but you won’t fall in love with it at first glance. The E Ink display on the back has a Home button at the bottom, so you can click on it to get back to the starting screen and thanks to the new software that was added to YotaPhone 2, users are able to manage their Android notifications. Also, on the E Ink screen you’ll find widgets for the messaging applications Twitter, Facebook or Telegram, but there is also an app portfolio for Yota’s “creations”: YotaFit, YotaRSS, YotaSports and Yotagram. The back is controlled through the YETI 2.0 software, the main screen belongs to Android, and you should know that the device was upgraded to 5.0 Lollipop.
Inside, it hides a 32bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset powered by a Krait 400 processor with four cores, clocked at 2.3GHz. The graphics are Adreno 330, the RAM capacity wasn’t increased and the internal memory has the same capacity. The bad news is that the rear camera was downgraded to 8MP, but it delivers great images because of the new software update, although Yota said that Google’s Android Lollipop camera software has a bigger contribution. The secondary camera, on the other hand, was upgraded to 2.1MP, but it’s not enough to satisfy the selfie lovers.
As for the battery, while the first device had a 1800mAh non-removable unit, the new model was equipped with a 2500 mAh battery, also non-removable, which can last up to 26 hours when making calls over 3G.