It’s been a long time coming. I remember writing a piece on the original YotaPhone over two years ago, then earlier this year (in February, to be precise) the YotaPhone 2 was announced. Wind the clock forward through spring, summer, fall and now into winter and YotaPhone have announced that the YotaPhone 2 is to be previewed at an invitation-only event in London on the 3 December. We don’t know the release date, pricing, or indeed all that much new other than what we learnt back in February. However, it’s worth a recap because it has been a long time! The YotaPhone is based around a 2.3 GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage and a 5.0-inch, 1080p AMOLED display (that’s 1,920 by 1,080 pixels). However, on the back there’s a 4.7-inch, 960 by 540 pixel E ink screen. You’ll find an 8 MP rear facing camera and a 2 MP front facing camera. There’s a 2,550 mAh battery inside plus the usual radios encompassing 4G LTE and NFC.
Seven months ago, the YotaFone 2’s specification was upper mid-range, but the game has moved since then and these specifications put the handset definitely in the mid-range. But of course, I’m ignoring the handset’s secret weapon: E ink screens use very little battery power and have excellent visibility in sunlight without needing to be illuminated. It has a low refresh rate and relatively poor resolution, but for notifications this shouldn’t be an issue. The YotaPhone 2 has a special power saving mode that’ll shut down the AMOLED screen and put everything on the back; here, we may see the E ink display ghosting if we’re fairly quick texting or emailing and this might be a nuisance! However, seeing as E ink’s power consumption is tiny, this could give the YotaPhone 2 great – if compromised – battery life.
Much will depend on pricing, of course. If the YotaPhone 2 is priced alongside other mid-range devices, it could sell well. However, going forwards the proprietary nature of the device may well mean that it won’t be seeing many updates to Android and these could take some time. It’s a niche product, but one that at least deserves to be introduced to more markets than the original YotaPhone. That YotaPhone 2’s curved design makes it completely unassuming, inoffensive and unfortunately, forgettable.