The first YotaPhone certainly made some heads turn, but the long wait between reveal and release meant that it lost some its steam by the time consumers could actually get their hands on it. To make things more complicated, the YotaPhone was definitely an anomaly in the smartphone space – a dual-screen phone with a traditional LCD display on the front and a black and white e-ink display around the back. Weird, yes, but not without its own unique charm. Despite some shortcomings with the first one, Yota Devices is ready to try again, unveiling the second generation YotaPhone at MWC 2014 this week.
It’s still a dual-screen device with an e-ink display on the back, but this time, the e-ink screen has undergone some changes. It’s increased in size a bit – up to 4.7 inches from 4.3 inches – and this time around, the entire display has touch capability. This means that you no longer need to use the e-ink display as something of a supplement to the main screen. In fact, the way it’s described over at The Next Web, it sounds like you could get by with using the e-ink screen for most of the tasks you’ll carry out with your phone (like making calls and sending messages), should you feel so inclined.
Aside from the improved e-ink screen, the new YotaPhone comes equipped with a front-facing 5-inch OLED 1080p display, and the whole package is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm processor clocked at 2.3GHz. Bluetooth, 4G LTE, WiFi, and NFC functionality will all be ready to go out of the box, and the phone features an 8MP camera on the back with a 2MP front-facing shooter. Details about the hardware don’t get much more specific than that, but we do know that the battery has been improved with the jump between generations – up to 2550mAh these days – and Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov says that the company has become better at optimizing power conservation.
For instance, the new YotaPhone comes equipped with a power saving mode that can now be activated whenever you wish. With this power saving mode, you can cut the juice to the front display entirely, using only the e-ink screen on the back. This means you can make your phone’s battery last a significant amount longer without cutting yourself off from calls and messages completely. All in all, this looks like a decent successor to the original YotaPhone, and Martynov says it should be available by the end of the year. Here’s hoping it launches in more regions this time around, eh?