YotaPhone bringing dual-screen LCD/eInk smartphone in time for Christmas

YotaPhone bringing dual-screen LCD/eInk smartphone in time for Christmas
One thing that we've been hoping for in a smartphone for a long time now is a hybrid LCD/eInk display. We always expected it to come in the form of a Mirasol transflective display, but YotaPhone decided that it didn't want to wait for that technology to mature and would rather just put two screens on one device - LCD on the front and eInk on the back.

We first heard about the YotaPhone at CES back in January, then about a month after that we heard that it had secured a manufacturing deal, and now the device is finally ready for an international release in time for Christmas. The internals of the device won't wow anyone, but isn't terrible with a 1.7GHz dual-core processor (possibly a Snapdragon S4 Pro), 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, and an 1800mAh battery all running on Android 4.2.2. But, the real draw of the phone is that it will feature two displays: a 4.3-inch 720p LCD on the front, and a 4.3-inch 360x640 eInk display on the back. 

You'll notice that the battery is a bit small, but the theory is that you'll be able to save quite a bit of battery life by offloading some usage to the eInk display, which will use a fraction of the power used by the LCD. You can mirror anything on the LCD to the eInk by simply flipping over the phone, but the eInk display will also be used to show persistent notifications, which will be displayed until you interact with them. 

The extra display does add a bit of bulk to the device, it clocks in at just under 10mm, which is downright obese compared to modern phones like the the Nexus 5 (8.59mm), iPhone 5s (7.6mm), or Galaxy Note 3 (8.3mm); but, the YotaPhone is still relatively light at 146g, which is about the same as the HTC One. 

YotaPhone hasn't announced specific release dates or pricing for most regions, but it has said that it will launch in Russia this month for 20,000 rubles (~$611).

source: YotaPhone via TechRadar



1. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

It's a good idea but the specs aren't compelling enough to justify the high price. Also it'd be quite awkward to hold a phone with screens on both sides. Probably the idea would be more fitting on a flip phone like the Galaxy Golden, with the eInk screen on the front.

2. KillgoreTrout

Posts: 53; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

This sounds awesome. E-ink is great. There are a lot of cool things you could do with such a device. Being able to read books and other material on the e-ink screen is just one of many possibilities. When not in use, the e-ink screen could be something like an active windows display like on windows 8. Owning an amazon paperwhite has convinced me of the power of e-ink. This phone seems like the best of both worlds.

3. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Good to see new technology, under 10 mm is not that thick Michael.

4. mattkl

Posts: 255; Member since: Feb 01, 2010

I guess it's all bumper cases for this one. This is great in concept, wonder what it will lead to if anything.

5. Chris_Bakke

Posts: 246; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

I've been waiting for some news on this phone since January when it was first showed. I think it would be a heck of a secondary phone.

6. ngyixian96

Posts: 91; Member since: Feb 05, 2012

complex to use , i can even do more thing with single display

7. W.P._Android_in_that_Order

Posts: 208; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

This is a really good concept! I can see this taking off if they can perfect it. Think of the kind of battery life improvements that you could get from having an e-ink display and how much easier it would be to see your phone in direct sunlight. I know they are working on colored e-ink displays. Who knows what the phone market will be like in 2-3 years, but as things are right now, this could be a really good idea.

8. RussianLondoner

Posts: 9; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

5 inches on both sides would make it better and desirable + with dedicated case like on Samsung Galaxy S3-S4 with dual sides opening in a blick for a more practical and functional use, + price would need to go down 25%, than we can talk sales and we might see it chasing some big boys on the block in few years by improving on next few models. But for now overpriced original, but still too ambitious fail in the making!

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