Yota Devices has announced that the successor to its electronic paper display-equipped (EPD), dual-screen YotaPhone will go on sale in the UK and Europe from tomorrow priced at £555 (€699).
While the first device had a slightly odd, wedge-shaped chassis (and bizarre camera placement), this time around, the handset sports all curved edges. More importantly than that, the EPD display on the back is now completely touch-sensitive, rather than having to be controlled via a strip at the bottom of the screen.
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Hardware-wise, not too much has changed since we first got an advanced look at the device at Mobile World Congress in February, which means it’ll arrive with a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display on the front and 4.7-inch EPD (960 x 540 pixels) on the rear. Both displays also sport Gorilla Glass 3 credentials.
Keeping everything ticking over is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz, paired with 2GB RAM. The phone also supports 4G and NFC connectivity. Perhaps the only real disappointment in the spec list is the 32GB of non-expandable storage.
OS-wise, the YotaPhone 2 will arrive running Android 4.4, rather than the newer Android Lollipop build, although there are plans to bring that to the device, according to the company. It could potentially take some time though as having dual displays means that the OS requires considerably more tweaking than most devices.
While the hardware is more refined than the first YotaPhone (145 grams in weight and 9mm thick at its fattest point), the device keeps true to the same key ethos: making use of the rear EPD to save your battery.
As such, there’s now more control over exactly what appears on the rear display while you’re not actively using it – and crucially, you can now send anything at all from your front display to the rear, rather than having to use specific native Yota apps for things like eBooks.
Now, you can just use your normal Kindle (or other) app, although native Yota apps will provide a more refined experience, a spokesperson said.
There’s also an easily accessible Yota Energy mode to give you granular control over exactly what is switched on when your battery does start to run down – and switching to using the rear EPD as your main display would save a lot of additional battery drain.
Yota said the device would be available from its webstore, and via at least one major UK mobile operator. It costs £555 in the UK and “in the region of” €700 in elsewhere in Europe, where it is being offered first. The device will be made available in Hong Kong before the end of December, and will reach Taiwan, China and other Asian markets in Q1 2015. It’s not due to land in the US and Latin America until “soon after,” the rollout in the Far East, the company said.