Yota has announced its second-generation dual screen phone at MWC, only months after the first generation YotaPhone went on sale. The YotaPhone 2 is said to launch later this year and the firm is making an impressive case for a dual-screened e-ink Android smartphone at the trade show in Barcelona today.
The main upgrade for the YotaPhone 2 is an e-ink display boost in size and resolution to 4.7-inches with 960 x 540 pixels. This is clearly a vast improvement to the previous 640 x 360-pixel resolution of the first generation mobile device.
The second-generation YotaPhone also has an updated look with much more rounded corners, curved glass and a thinner body; perhaps a flattering imitation of the design of the Galaxy S4. It measures at 144mm tall, 69.5mm wide and 8.9mm thick and weighs around 140g.
The e-ink display will also become fully touch-sensitive to swipes with a much greater accuracy, says Yota Devices. The additional full-touch function will allow users to play drawn-out time consuming games such as chess, crosswords and Sudoku without running the battery down, compared with intereacting with a regular smartphone screen.
Another new feature of the YotaPhone 2 users will benefit from is the ability to create privacy profiles for work, play and guests - on both screens. That's an interesting and flexible option for users and businesses.
A range of new applications have also been created to be compatible with the e-ink display. Notable such additions include; a fitness tracker, a dashboard for real-time updates to scores, play-by-play commentary and sports headlines named Sportscaster, and a new power-saving mode which turns off the AMOLED screen whilst keeping the e-ink display going. Software development kits are also being made available online for developers interested in making e-ink apps.
The OS on the new model is upgraded to Android KitKat 4.4 whilst the main screen becomes a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display. It will pack a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset and will be LTE-capable. Other specs include 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 2,500mAh battery. Rounding things off, the device will also sport wireless charging, NFC, an 8MP rear camera and a 2MP front-facing camera.
Pricing and launch dates of the new device are yet to be confirmed but it is said to be destined for Russia, Europe and the Middle East first, with versions for China and the US released by the end of 2014.
CNet had a hands-on with the new generation YotaPhone at MWC and concluded that while this new model is sleeker and faster it probably won't extend its reach much beyond the first version. Also it was thought the middling 8MP camera spec was a poor choice to face-off against the various flagships available.