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Hands-on: YotaPhone and its dual-screen LCD/E Ink displays [VIDEO]

We’ve heard plenty about the YotaPhone since the handset was unveiled late last year. While it’s not the first Android smartphone to gamble on the functionality of dual displays, the YotaPhone is the first to run with that idea, changing up the game by opting for a battery friendly LCD/E Ink combo. We were given a quick demo of the YotaPhone here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and, while we didn’t go into our meeting expecting to be “wow’d,” what we left with was more of, “Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?”

The YotaPhone features a 4.3-inch 720p display, newly updated quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, 12MP camera, and all this running on stock Android Jelly Bean. There are a few YotaPhone specific apps of course, and the guys at YotaPhone mentioned they’ll be releasing an API soon for developers to begin integrating the YotaPhone’s second display functionality into their apps.

Launching towards the tail end of Q2 this year, the YotaPhone will first hit Russia and if talks with carriers go over well enough, we might expect it to hit the states at some point in the future. We’ll let you know when/if we hear more but in the meantime, let me know how you guys are taking to the idea of a dual-screen Android with an E Ink display.

Continue reading on the YotaPhone forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • Steven Cannan

    wait what?

  • dreadnatty08

    So the e-ink side isn’t a touch screen? I don’t get the point of this.

    • Sharky

      Why would it need to be? You control the device with the touch screen then use the e-ink display to read.

      I think this is a great idea, I can’t use an LCD to read as it makes my eyes sore, so it’d be great to have an additional e-ink display. You’d also save battery as you could turn off the LCD whilst reading the page.

      Would prefer it on a 7-inch tablet though, still not sure I’d want to read much on a 4.3″ device.

      • http://twitter.com/MattLaney_ Matt Laney

        I read fast enough to not want to be flipping my phone over and over to scroll to the next page. Call me lazy, but I think this is a fail.

        • TheOtherGuy

          Most of my fingers are often back of the phone when I’m holding it. What stops me from flipping the page without turning the phone around? I’m sure it could work…

          • http://twitter.com/MattLaney_ Matt Laney

            If it works like that, I can see it being useful.

          • Aaron Sua

            I agree. If the touchscreen can remain sensitive with the lcd/backlight turned off then this would interest me a great deal. I’ve read books on my phone and the eye strain wasn’t noticeable until I looked away from the phone. e-ink is so much easier and clearer to read

        • Max

          You may want to save something for later, perfect for mapping stuff och some article you want to show somebody while youre on some other stuff on the main screen.

        • RitishOemraw

          Seeing the swipe function he did under the e-ink display to open the messaging app. Maybe use that to turn pages?

    • nwd1911

      They can set up a bunch of widgets to display on the e-ink screen which can be always on. You can pull your phone out of your pocket, see if you have any missed calls/texts, weather forecast, social media, etc. without ever turning on the LCD screen. No buttons to push, just read your data. I think it is a brilliant idea and I hope it makes its way to the States.

  • eso

    I’m curious about the price…

    • werewolfc

      “4.3-inch 720p display, newly updated quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, 12MP camera, and all this running on stock Android Jelly Bean.”
      that means $$$. I guess around 400$-500$

  • http://twitter.com/MattLaney_ Matt Laney

    Strange.

  • Sterling Mace

    What did you use to film that, an iphone?

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Focusing goof on my part. Got too caught up looking at the phone and wasn’t paying attention to the camera. Everything comes into focus at the 0:25 mark.

  • slavix

    Love it. I want to buy a Yotaphone.

  • scoter man1

    That’s a really nifty idea, but I feel like a pretty large amount of users wouldn’t really “read” something, like a novel, that would benefit from an e-ink screen on a phone sized device. I know I probably wouldn’t.

  • Nicholas Kaioken Caljean

    other than it only being 4.3 inches i think this is awesome! i guess im just used to my note 2 tho haha. e ink is way cool and the internals seems pretty boss. and its vanilla! im sure it will sell well.

  • hemipw54

    Pretty nifty, what about being dropped, will the back screen crack?

  • werewolfc

    i’m lazy too. No flip the phone front / back for me. Why didn’t they
    used only the e-ink screen? color e-ink screens like eink’s triton 2
    started to appear in the wild.
    I’m sorry but imo if someone would
    like to buy an android smartphone with great specs, i think he would buy
    one from Sammy, HTC, ZTE or another big name.

    So yota, do you
    want to bring something new and usefull? Come with an 4.3”, color eink
    screen, decent CPU, good baterry life, decent price and slim smartphone
    and i’m sold! (and not only me, i guess)

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    hmm….

  • Elison Niven

    Great concept. It has great potential. Hope it will be available soon.

  • Max

    my guess would be itll have buttons for flipping pages similar to kindles or how google books lets you use volume rocker to flip pages, this is an awesome idea, battery life is my biggest complaint about my droid4, i cant deal with turning 4g off, but i dont need color to read phandroid and other news articles and books

  • Rob C

    The E Ink Display can be set to an image and retain that image without using any power.

    It would allow Hikers to keep a Map on the back or you could customize the Case with an image.

    If most of the image was static and only a small portion changed (a Clock) it could use a very small amount of power to make a custom Home Screen.

    This would be better if it used the Triton Display (color) but this is a start of an interesting idea.