YotaPhone 2 e-ink handset launches at $500 for U.S. early birds

Want a phone that lasts for days? The YotaPhone 2 and its innovative e-ink rear display might fit the bill for consumers and office workers alike.
Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributor

If you want the Android phone I think Amazon should made, now's your chance: The YotaPhone 2 with its unique e-ink rear display is available in the U.S.


Yota doesn't have a carrier partner for the phone, so it's turning to Indiegogo. The company launched its sales campaign on Tuesday with the first batch of backers getting a nice discount. The first 100 early birds can have a YotaPhone 2 for $500, which is a $100 price cut from the full cost.

Even if you miss out on the first batch of phones, Yota is holding a 48-hour sale to save $75: You can get one for $525.

While the phone doesn't have the latest components found in the newest flagship phones, it still has capable parts inside. A 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 powers the phone, for example; that's a chip that still has legs even though it was available in phones a year ago. The LTE handset uses a 5-inch 1080p display, supports wireless charging and Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 technology as well.

The star of the show, however, is the 960 x 540 e-ink touchscreen display on the back of the YotaPhone 2.

With it, you can mirror the phone's front display and use Android in a low-power mode. Or you can customize informational panels to appear on the back of the phone, providing information such as notifications, calendar events and more. The idea here is that you can stretch battery life of the handset to several days on a charge if you rely on the e-ink display more than the traditional screen.

It's a clever concept that depends on Yota's software implementation, of course. And that will evolve over time as the company says the e-ink display will soon support Android for Work apps, making YotaPhone 2 a contender for both consumers and enterprises alike.

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