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"It saves a lot of battery and gives effortless notifications. We all know the feeling of being in a meeting and needing to check an SMS and doing it under the table. Or to check Twitter; the phone is just lying on the table," Geckler explained.
While it sounds like that might defeat part of the battery-saving justification that underpins the e-ink display being there at all, you can also control how long you want the radios switched on for; so if you only want live data for mapping or social network updates for 10 minutes, you can set it for just that.
Yota Devices hasn't skimped on the specs in order to fit in the rear display, the phone uses a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon Krait processor, currently running the Jelly Bean (4.2) version of Android and, of course, dual 4.3-inch displays. It also uses a combined SIM/power button, not found on any other phone (pictured).
It'll also play happily with 4G networks — which is no surprise given the company's heritage — arrive with 2GB of RAM and can be specified with either 32GB or 64GB of storage. There's also a 12-megpixel camera on the rear, and an HD quality front-facing snapper, too.
So it has some of the specs to get it in the game, and it's certainly different from every other handset out there, but will it go the way of so many other interesting conceptual prototypes and vanish into the ether? Not so, says Geckler.
"It'll be ready in Q4 for shipment. We're in negotiations with all the big operators in Europe, North America and Russia. We're in quite a comfortable situation because it's about whether we want to accept exclusivity in certain markets or not. Pricing will be up to the operator, but it'll be premium Android."