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The original dual-screen YotaPhone was announced way back at the end of 2012 and took a year to get to market. Although the highly innovative feature of having a low-power electronic paper display (EPD) in addition to a traditional colour one seemed like a good idea, the YotaPhone itself looked a little dated by the time it came on sale.
Yota have announced their new Next Generation YotaPhone (we will call it the YotaPhone 2 for the sake of simplicity) which improves on the original device in all respects, although you'll have to wait until near to the end of the year to get your hands on one.
Physically the YotaPhone 2 looks very different from the slabby original, with a more curved design that includes a slightly convex EPD on the back. The main display is a 5" 1080 x 1920 pixel AMOLED panel, the EPD is a 4.7" 540 x 960 pixel full-touch screen.
The advantage of an EPD is that it takes very little power while in use.. in fact it uses no power at all unless you want to change the contents of the screen. Since the display is usually the biggest power drain in an Android device, then this will make for very much longer battery life.. and the screen can be left on all the time. It is worth pointing out that the YotaPhone's EPD panel is not the only low-powered display on the market. Qualcomm recently demonstrated their colour Mirasol display on the Qualcomm Toq which is perhaps more usable than an e-reader style EPD.
Inside is a quad-core Qualcomm CPU clocked at 2.3GHz with 2GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage with an 8 megapixel primary camera and 2 megapixel secondary one. This is an NFC-equipped LTE-capable device with an FM radio plus all the usual Android features that you'd expect to see in a high-end Android 4.4 smartphone.
It's isn't particularly big or heavy, weighing just 140 grams and measuring 144 x 70 x 8.9mm. The internal battery is 2550 mAh which is a little smaller than some rivals, but then the use of the EPD helps a lot with battery life. Unconfirmed reports say that the YotaPhone 2 is capable of wireless charging.
Yota say that the YotaPhone 2 will hit Russia and Europe during Q4 2014, with the US and Asia following three to four months later. That's quite a long wait, and despite the YotaPhone 2's impressive specifications, by the time it hits the market more conventional rivals will have moved on.
The existing YotaPhone retails for around €500, we would expect the next generation to be about the same when it comes to market. Yota say that owners of the original YotaPhone will receive a substantial discount on the new device, so if you really want a dual-screen phone like this right now then you can buy the existing one and upgrade it at a later date.
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