The first generation of the Russian dual-screen smartphone, YotaPhone, went on sale in the UK. Priced at a rather costly $696 (£419), the handset offers upper mid-range specs such as a 4.3-inch 720p display, dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon CPU, 2GB RAM, a 13MP rear camera and a 1MP front snapper, along with LTE and Android 4.2.2. The YotaPhone's main characteristic is, of course, the 4.3-inch e-ink display on the back. The always-on battery-frugal screen has multiple uses - for example, it allows for checking notifications and reading messages without unlocking the phone, reading books with no eye strain, and displaying a graphic that adds a bit of personalization to the device.
The first-gen YotaPhone was introduced in the end of 2012 and is predominantly selling in European markets. After hitting the UK, the phone will launch in Portugal, Italy, Switzerland and some Scandinavian countries. Meanwhile, the second-generation YotaPhone, which we got acquainted with at this year's MWC, is set to launch by the end of the year. It will offer substantial upgrades in the display and processor departments, upping the bar with a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display up front, a 4.7-inch 540x960 E-Ink display on the back, and a quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU.
Coming up with last-year's silicon when the competition is already rocking the latest chipsets is a problem that YotaDevices promises to remedy with a competitive price. In addition, buyers of the first-gen YotaPhone will be eligible for a trade-in discount towards the new one. The Russian start-up may be moving slowly, but it's difficult to put an innovative product out there without having big-brand piles of money at disposal.