The delightfully kooky Russian-made superphone that features both a bog-standard LCD screen and an eInk display on its rump was revealed at Consumer Electronics Show.
The highly awaited device has been teased for a launch for several months now, but its producers has just spilled the beans at a press event in Moscow: the YotaPhoneis scheduled to launch in Russia and Europe today at €499/19,990 RUB price tag.
“The YotaPhone has a 4.3-inch 720×1280 HD LCD display on the front and a 360×640 e-ink display on the back. The colour LCD display can be used like a normal Android phone, while the rear e-paper display can receive notifications and display news or maps while conserving battery life,” The Telegraph reports.
The highly discussed smartphone is produced by Russian phone manufacturer Yota, which also provides 4G mobile broadband services in the country.
At an official launch event in Moscow, Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov revealed that the smartphone was designed to solve the problem of the ‘always dark’ screen that current smartphones suffer from when in sleep mode.
Electronic paper display (EPD) technology displays information without depleting the battery, meaning that the YotaPhone’s e-ink display can be always on.
“The typical user picks up and activates their smartphone more than 150 times a day,” Martynov said in a statement. “Why? Because users worry that messages or information they need or want are hidden behind their phone’s black screen. This is a huge distraction and can impede meaningful interaction with our friends, families, and colleagues.”
“Once we determined that an electronic paper display would work as a second screen, an array of new and improved user experiences became obvious,” said Martynov.
“For example, Yotaphone combines a smartphone and e-reader into one device for those who enjoy reading on the go. You can save images and information on the second screen, and it stays there, even if you lose battery power.”
He added: “You can save anything on the always-on display from a map to boarding pass information, like a missed call or meeting reminder, stays on the always-on screen until it is no longer needed.”
The list of other features of the just-released smartphone includes a 13-Megapixel camera, dual-core 1.7GHz Krait processor and 1800mAh battery. The company confirms that the device has 7-10 times the battery life of other smartphones while in ‘reading mode’.
It runs Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2, has 2GB of RAM and comes in black or white versions.
“We are a start-up company that had a big idea and we’ve executed on that idea,” said Martynov. “This is YotaPhone 1.0. Expect other big and new things to follow.”
Yota Devices has been working on the model for more than three years; the first prototype was shown back in 2010 to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
“YotaPhone isn’t just a new phone, it’s a new way for people to communicate and use information,” Martynov said. “We are a start-up company that had a big idea and we’ve executed on that idea. This is YotaPhone 1.0. Expect other big and new things to follow.”