Dual-screen YotaPhone features both LCD and E Ink displays


How’s this for an interesting take on smartphone form factor? Russia’s Yota Device has let slip a few detail about an upcoming Android-based smartphone featuring both LCD and E Ink displays. The handset, which is naturally dubbed the YotaPhone, pairs the two screen technologies by replacing what would traditionally be the back of the phone with the secondary screen, a logical solution to a problem others have attempted to solve with convertible clamshell devices.

As far as specs, the LCD portion of the device is rated at 720p resolution and measures in at 4.3 inches. The E Ink screen matches the size of the “front” display and is rated at 200dpi. Both are constructed with Gorilla Glass for extra toughness. Internally, the phone will rock a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, 2GB RAM, and 32GB of storage. The LTE-enabled YotaPhone also sports a 12MP camera with complimentary HD front-facing camera.

But haven’t we learned our lesson about dual-screen devices? They have done little to capture the hearts of users in the past. Sure, what we have seen so far have been mostly shoddy implementations from manufacturers like Kyocera, but who is to say the YotaPhone will do any better? And is there really a point in having a secondary E Ink screen if it only measures in at 4.3 inches? I guess if you are doing a lot of reading it makes sense, but if having the option is that important, you likely own an E Ink-based e-reader already.

Right now the YotaPhone is pegged for a tentative Q3 2013 release in Russia, with a potential for European and US release as well. By the time Q3 rolls around, however, we doubt two screens will be enough to keep the handset afloat given its decidedly mid-range spec sheet.

[via Engadget]

Kevin Krause
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  1. Seems like it’d be neat for people who absolutely have to have their book collection on their phone.

    1. literally…

  2. it would be a great idea for notifications and widgets while the main screen is off.

  3. If people complained about having a glass back on the Nexus 4, they will complain even more about having a glass screen on the back of their phones!

    1. In Russia, you don’t complain about smartphone, Smartphone complain about you! – yha yha yha

    2. I don’t have a screen protector on my Epic 4G Touch. It has Gorilla Glass. Scratches? What are those? Had my phone for about a year.

      Don’t underestimate the power of Gorilla Glass. LoL!!

  4. It looks like it would be good for cell phone amateur sex videos. Well, that is depending if that display on back turns on when you’re in the camera app…

  5. midrange spec sheet? since when is a dual core snapdragon 2gigs of ram and 32 gigs of storage midrange? Sure it may not be released for another 8 months but you get to a point of diminishing returns.

    1. I think Kevin is alluding to the fact that the dual core S4 is showing it’s age.

    2. I wanted to say the same thing. Those are some pretty good specs to last you for 2 years. My Epic 4G Touch is a year old and is still running up to par on how I want it. I mean, people still have the HTC HD2. LoL!!

      Yes it will get outdated quite fast, but those are some good specs that will last you 2 years. I’m actually thinking about getting one for off contract usage. If it’s cheap to pick up. LoL!!

    3. Ya i immediately thought that, there’s like a small handful of phones with better processors than the S4, and like 2 with 2gb of ram, if this is midrange then the S3 must be considered low end now……

  6. Idea is cool but i’d never use a b/w screen when I could get color and motion. i dont think this will sell well at all.

    1. The point is that e-ink screens are MUCH better for reading, and they use a fraction of the power that LCD screens do.

  7. As a clock, weather updates and notifications… I think it’s a great idea. Takes virtually no power, and you would essentially have an “always on” display with information you could define and customize. I like it. I would only buy a phone from one of the major phone vendors… but I like it. I think it’s a great use of the real estate.

    1. +1 this. I think it’s a brilliant idea. The problem with widgets, etc. is that you still have to bring your phone out of sleep. I think that e-ink display + Google Now would make a killer combo, because the e-ink display would be always on. No need to hit any buttons…just info at a glance. A truly “smart” smartphone.

  8. e ink is genius. Trying to read a book or anything for that matter on a LCD or LED screen in daylight, or in bright day light say on a beach, is not fun. Is the only reason the e ink tablets are doing so well. I figured this would be out long time ago. The issue of not being able to see the screen in sunlight will be fixed using 2 screens or a screen that can flip and do both.

  9. Plus the e-ink will keep its last image if it looses power. Like a boarding pass. Sounds like a good use of an unused part of a phone to me.

  10. This is pretty sick! Would love to see bigger manufacturers like HTC or Samsung try something different like this :D

  11. Other dual screen devices have not only been “shoddy,” but purposeless as well. Two LCD screens is fairly useless except to make for a very small tablet, and with little API support, the products prove to be failures. The E Ink screen could be very useful, not just for reading books and what not in sunlight and consuming less battery, but for having widgets that are always on and easily readable; time, events, weather, detailed notifications. The criticism that the E Ink display may be too small for extended reading may be true, but that comes down to the user. I’ve read books on my 4.7″ and on my 3.5″ iPod before that. The point of the back screen for reading is that though you may have an E Ink based reader, which is bigger and thus easier to read on, it probably doesn’t fit in your pocket. I’m pretty excited about the phone and I hope it comes to the US, though, if it’s in Q4 as projected, there will probably be better options out for similar prices.

    “There was internal server error while processing your request” Tried commenting about 20 times this morning. Good host.

  12. I would freakin LOVE this. Then I could finally ditch my murse.

    1. Murse? Google just told me that means “Man Purse”. Did my lack of knowledge just ruin your joke? =.3

  13. Apply the same idea to a tablet and you have the ultimate e-reader.

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