Next-gen YotaPhone revealed with two screens and KitKat onboard

Next-gen YotaPhone revealed with two screens and KitKat onboard

Summary: The KitKat-powered handset will be available later this year and will come with both a full HD AMOLED screen and an e-ink display.

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The second-generation YotaPhone
The second-generation YotaPhone's e-ink display. Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

The second generation of the dual-screen YotaPhone will be landing later this year.

The Android handset, announced at the MWC trade show in Barcelona on Monday, has two screens: a full HD AMOLED front-facing display, and a rear-facing e-ink equivalent.

The e-ink screen shows notifications such as missed calls, emails, and social media updates. It's also a touchscreen, meaning YotaPhone users can respond to the notifications using only the second screen.

According to its manufacturer, Yota Devices, using the e-ink screen ups the device's battery life to 50 hours of reading time.

At 4.7 inches, the e-ink screen is slightly smaller than its five-inch liquid crystal counterpart. The e-ink screen's resolution is 960x540-pixel, compared to the AMOLED screen's 1920x1080.

There's also NFC, wireless charging, and a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon chip onboard.

White and black versions of the device, powered by KitKat, will go on sale in EMEA and Russia in the fourth quarter of this year.

A US and Asia launch will follow a quarter or so later, Yota Devices said. It's expected to retail in the region of €449 unlocked, according to CNET.

The first generation of the YotaPhone was announced at last year's MWC, and went on sale in December. Those who bought the first-gen device will get a discount on its successor, Yota Devices said.

Yota Devices also announced an SDK for the device yesterday, to encourage developers to build dual-screen apps.

More news from MWC

Topics: Mobility, Android, Hardware, MWC, Smartphones

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3 comments
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  • Great stopgap

    I would *love* a phone with a full size e-ink screen on the back, so long as the resolution is good. There are still too many times when I know I'm going to be without ready access to an electrical outlet for a full day or more. Carrying a spare battery works, but isn't the most convenient.

    That said, I view the second screen as a stop-gap until we finally get batteries that will last *all day*.
    bmgoodman
  • Smart phones should have a 'dumb phone' mode

    where you can boot into it and continue to run for days, but you'd only have reduced functionality. This e-ink display would make that possible.
    The next wave of smartphones need to focus on battery life improvements. I will never buy a phone with a resolution greater that 1080p. It even makes me mad that higher res phones are in the works, as it is a waste of power and clearly just becomes a number for marketing purposes.
    Phone makers: please "focus" on better cameras (particularly android-ones) and longer battery life.
    drwong
  • I need an e-ink only phone!

    I use my phone outdoors, in bright sun, all day. I can't see the screen at all unless I find a shady dark place. I would gladly give up color in order to see the screen in bright sun. Extra benefits would be battery life and phone cost.
    Ronim