If you remember from last year, here at the Mobile World Congress, the YotaPhone was a small but promising startup and this year, the company is proudly presenting their device as well as announcing the second generation of the YotaPhone, to give us a taste of things to come. It’s a different thing that we hardly got to see YotaPhone 1 in the markets across the world, but that isn’t stopping the company to innovate further.
If you don’t remember what Yota is, then let us refresh your memory. Yota is a promising company which produces a smartphone with an e-ink display on the back, capable of showing information or pictures which the user selects. The display itself is extremely power-efficient, the pictures it shows have good quality and overall, the product has received pretty positive coverage.
YotaPhone 2 showcased at MWC 2014
Only a few months after the device was released, the company is showcasing the next generation of the Yota smartphone. The device has seen considerable improvement, especially the 4.7 inch e-ink back display which has a resolution of 960 x 540, which is miles away from what the first device has only 640 x 360. Images are now crisp and even though they are monochrome, it would be a sin to say they don’t look stunning.
I don’t find the smartphone itself that interesting, especially in a place like MWC where there are more gadgets than actual people to look at them, but the e-ink technology is an interesting concept which is worth taking an interest in. The second generation YotaPhone has the always-on e-ink screen which is capable of showing notifications (SMS, email and so on) and users can now swipe and tap just like they would on the regular full colour display.
Adding touch sensitivity to the e-ink screen allows users to check the status of their phone without having to power on the colour display. To be honest, I’d love to see this feature on every phone out there. Most of times I only check the time and my emails, so having an always on, low powered screen would be awesome.
The company is also working a new backlit e-ink display, or so CEO Vlad Martynov has stated and the new technology is aimed at particular markets. The new YotaPhone will also have different profiles like work, guests or play and a series of new apps which will take better advantage of the e-ink screen. Fitness Tracker, Sportscaster are some of the apps which work on the EPD, but the company will release the development kit soon so app developers can create much more content for the YotaPhone.
Even though the focus is on the e-ink screen, some might be interested in the smartphone itself (I guess if you were to buy it, it might be relevant information), so here is a short list of the specs:
- 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor
- 2GB of RAM
- Full HD 5-inch Amoled LCD
- 4.7-inch E-Ink screen on the back
- 8 MP rear camera / 2 MP front-facing camera
- 4G LTE, NFC, wireless charging using the Qi standard
- Android 4.4
As you can see, the second generation YotaPhone is a device worth considering. It’s specs are way above average, positioning the device in the high-end market. The body of the device is also much slimmer and better looking than its predecessor.
In terms of availability, the second generation YotaPhone will be available in Q4 of this year, and the original generation of the device will be launched to the UK markets in the following weeks. No word on pricing at this moment, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated once we find out.