Former Soviet defense agency to debut new dual screen smartphone

Former Soviet defense agency to debut new dual screen smartphone
Tipping into the highly competitive mobile phone market is a daunting task, even for established manufacturers. That is why for many folks in western markets, it seems especially strange to think of an Android smartphone emerging from Russia as holding any potential at all. Indeed, “Russian” and “electronics” are not two words often (if ever) seen together in the consumer space.

Yota Devices, based in Moscow, is determined to change that perception. Since May, and with a budget of about $25 million, a group of engineers have been setting the stage to do just that and it looks like we will finally see the fruits of that labor at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next February. This is the same Yota that boasted to do the same thing a couple years ago and the head of the Russian defense conglomerate, Rostekhnologii, presented then Russian President Dimitry Medvedev with a mock-up of the device.  Rostekhnologii is part owner of Yota’s parent company.

The device from Yota does not have a name yet, we will see it at the Mobile World Congress in February.

The device from Yota does not have a name yet, we will see it at the Mobile World Congress in February.

For whatever reason, that time came and went. This time around, things look more promising. This handset, which does not yet have a name, will go on sale in Russia next summer, following MWC, and then be released in additional markets in the fourth quarter 2013 with “global” carriers.

In a segment where branding is as important as specifications, what could Yota possibly do to differentiate itself from the masses in the Android ecosystem? Well, let us start with the basics, on board will be Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a Qualcomm 8960 processor of unspecified configuration, a 12MP camera, a 4.3-inch main LCD screen, and a 4.3-inch black and white e-paper back screen using a first-of-its-kind rounded glass panel from Corning.

What is also interesting is that the screens will only be “partially” touch sensitive. That will stem from a new idea over the user experience which we look forward to learning more about. On the e-paper display, you will be able to set certain notifications which can still display the last image even after the phone runs out of power.

Yota, in addition to selling WiMAX modems, is also a network operator in Russia and the carrier has been busy rolling out 4G LTE which also serves customers of Russia’s largest carriers, like MTS. However, with a new device like this, and a planned new user experience, Yota will need to heavily market this new design and its features.

Dual-screen phones are not new, but they have had limited success. Obviously, one of the primary concerns for a device like this will be battery performance feeding two large screens. However, e-paper displays are known to be very power efficient. In addition, E Ink Corporation worked with Yota to develop the e-reader and integrate the functionality with the rest of the phone.

We are looking forward to seeing this device on display at the Mobile World Congress in February.

source: The Wall Street Journal

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10 Comments

1. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

You know, that's actually bad ass.....

9. MeoCao unregistered

Russia now is quasi dictatorship of Putin and they need the 2nd screen to use as a phone, the 1st screen will show portrait of Putin and his "achievements" obviously. But seriously Russia is plagued with corruption and Rostekhnologii must show they're doing something to spend that $25 M I guess. You can go to China and buy a prototype for some dozens bucks.

2. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

"...you will be able to set certain notifications which can still display the last image even after the phone runs out of power." I like this idea. Looking forward to the Russian build phone-craft!

3. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

all those other smartphones out deeeereeee ,are gooooinggg to haaave a very baaaaad daaaaaay

4. bluescreen

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

wounder what kind of spyware their gonna have this phone loaded with....

10. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

usually ICBM launch codes and stuff

5. TheLibertine

Posts: 484; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

In Soviet Russia, smartphones slide to unlock you!

6. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

hmmmm smasung or was it sanyo did this concept on Sprint and the battery was HORRIBLE so I'm curious to see how this will be

7. palmguy

Posts: 952; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Similar to the Samsung Upstage on Sprint. Loved that lil dual screened phone. 1st phone in 05 I think to have a lithium polimer battery. And I liked the battery wallet concept. Allowed the phone to stay charged for days.

8. tango_charlie

Posts: 347; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Russia should team up with China to build their own mobile operating system to be independent from Google and especially from the US.

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