Launched at CES 2013 and demonstrated a few months later at Mobile World Congress, the Yotaphone has been officially put on sale, and is expected to come to the UK early next year. The phone is very unusual, as it combines both a regular LCD smartphone display and an eReader-style electronic paper screen all in one device.
The front houses the 4.3-inch, 720p LCD panel, and like many other phones, it displays Android as usual. In this case it’s Android 4.2. Flip the phone over and you’re greeted by an always-on electronic paper screen of a similar size. The resolution is lower at 360×460, but it’s not designed for playing games, more as a convenience.
Yota, the Russian firm who makes the device, says it’s ideal for displaying information which you want to see without activating the main screen, such as maps or tickets, but you can also send images from the primary display over to it, or personalize what’s shown by using special apps. Yes, it’s easy to put pages of eBooks on there too, just like a Kindle. Because electronic paper screens consume only a small amount of power, the phone doesn’t suffer because of it.
Other features include a dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon processor, a 13-megapixel camera, 2GB of RAM and a choice of either black or white colour schemes. The Yotaphone will make its debut in Russia, Germany, Austria and Spain this week for 500 euros, or £415, and a UK release will come before March next year.