Right now “infinity” screens and small bezels might be all the craze, but what about two screens… on one phone? Never heard of? Well, most haven’t. That’s exactly what Russian smartphone manufacturer Yotaphone has done. The Yotaphone 2 is the latest release from the company, however surprisingly came way back in December of 2014. And so yes, it has been quite some time since we have seen something from the company. Many unique phones and startups can’t produce new phones every year, and so it leaves us waiting in limbo wondering if, and when the next release will make its way to the market.
The Yotaphone 2 comes with a standard 5 inch screen on the front and an additional 4.7 inch screen on back. Both screens are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The front main srcreen is AMOLED capacitive touch, 16m colors, flagship quality. Figure, this is a 2 ½ year old phone and here in 2017 even the iPhone uses LCD and not AMOLED (so far). So Sharkatech gives kudos to Yotaphone on the screen quality. It comes with Android Kit Kat out of the box, but is upgradeable to at least 6.0 marshmallow. The screen is FHD 1080p with 440 ppi, certainly nothing to laugh at, but obviously not comparable to some major flagship devices on the market today. Again, remembering that this phone is much more affordable than those other flagships, which is a crucial factor here. It starts around $229 on Amazon. A very fair price in our opinion.
The chipset is a Snapdragon 801 processor. Internal memory comes in at 32 or 64GB and 2GB of RAM. There is no internal card slot for additional memory. The main camera is 8MP with LED flash and a 2.1MP selfie cam.
Now let’s get to the back screen, as in, the other side of the phone. It is a 4.7 inch e-Ink display. All text and images will be in black and white, such as is other e-readers (think Kindle). The glass isn’t glossy or slippery, but rather matte finished, which is a nice fit and provides for a nice experience while handling and viewing. This is an “always on display” with three different options for use; Yota-Panel, Yota-Cover, and Yota-Mirror. We here at Sharkatech think this is very cool.
The Yota-Panel allows for you to use the screen as sort of a customizable back cover for your phone, like an always on skin. It comes with several options, or you can download your own from the Yota store. Another nice feature here is the 4 shortcuts located on the bottom of your wallpaper, to easily access your phone, text messages, e-mails and notifications. No longer the need to turn your phone on to view if you missed something, just flip your phone over and voila!
The second user interface available for the rear screen is the Yota-Panel. This is a cool feature that allows you to customize which widgets you would like to always show, such as weather, contacts, e-book, clock, etc. The size, position, and number of widgets is customizable as well. Upon pressing widget shortcuts, you can read e-mails, texts, books, and even access the phone dial. There are also some pre-loaded games that are e-ink useable, such as checker and chess.
The third user interface option would be the android mirror. This is just as it sounds. It mirrors the front screen (in black and white) and allows use to use the entire android OS on the e-ink reader. Something to remember is that e-ink technology is much slower loading and requires a bit of patience while loading materials or refreshing the screen.
The phone itself sports a rather outdated shape for android phones, but we also must remember that this model was designed back in 2014. If we see a Yotaphone 3 (read more about this in our blog), than it’s quite possible they would try and update the aesthetics a bit, although probably nothing outrageously fancy. The phone is made of plastic, but has a very nice matte finish to it, which makes it very comfortable to hold and handle. Brands that run smartphones through the gauntlet of testing, such as GSM Arena gave the phone a great score, especially considering some would consider this just a novelty. According to GSM Arena, screen quality is excellent, the Snapdragon processor and UI is smooth and quick, and it takes great pictures. Stay tuned to our blog reel to keep up to date on Yotaphone news and potential future releases.