Meet the YotaPhone – LCD display on front, E Ink display on the back

Welcome to the future, a future where we can all have an additional display on our smartphone, a display that stays on 24 hours a day and shows us general day-to-day information such as calendar entries and also doubles up as an e-book reader. Yota Devices, a Russian manufacturer of modems and routers, is the first one to embrace this future on a modern-day device, with the newly announced YotaPhone.

The YotaPhone sports dual displays – a normal 720p LCD display on the front, and an E ink electronic paper display (EPD) on the back, which we earlier saw on a prototype Android smartphone by Onyx. The secondary display acts as ” your personal space for receiving notifications, linking you to your social media, reading news as it happens or, simply displaying your favorite pictures”, while consuming very little power despite staying on at all times, thanks to the inherent properties of EPDs, though it can only display black and white images for now.

Here’s the official specs list of the YotaPhone:

  • Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM 8960 Dual Core 1.5 Ghz Krait
  • OS: Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Dimensions: 67 x 131 (7.3 / 9.9) mm
  • Weight: 140 grams
  • EPD: E ink, 4.3″
  • LCD: JDI, 4.3″ 1280 x 720 (HD)
  • Connectivity: LTE (bands 3, 7, 20 MIMO), 2G, 3G, 4G,Wi-Fi (Direct), BT, NFC
  • Memory: 32 or 64 GB Flash, 2 GB RAM
  • Controls: Gestures on the extended capacitive areas, Touch strip for EPD control
  • Keys: Power and Volume Keys
  • Connectors: Magnetic Adaptor for charging and data, Audio 3.5mm
  • SIM slot: SIM slot combined with Power key button
  • Battery: 2100 mAh
  • Camera: 12 MP main camera, HD front camera

It is a pretty need idea, having that display on the back, which will be especially embraced who read a lot of e-books on their smartphone, without needing to worry about battery drain that is normally associated with keeping the display on in high-end smartphones these days.

However, with a release date set for Q4 2013, we’ll have to wait and see if the YotaPhone is a success. The specs of the device will also be quite out of date by then, so let us hope Yota has planned out how everything will turn out to be when the device launches in the market.

We’ll get to see more details about the “YotaPhone and its innovations” at the Mobile World Congress next year in February, and I for one am very interested to see what this company making a smartphone for the first time has in store for us.

Read the full press release below.

New Archetype in Smartphones Unveiled Today

The YotaPhone with two displays will change the way
people use their smartphones for notifications,
reading experience, personalization and communications

Moscow, Russia. 12 December 2012.  A new archetype in smartphones with two displays will help consumers enjoy life’s virtual side without missing the real one, explains the phone’s creator, Moscow-based Yota Devices.

YotaPhone is a powerful Android-based phone. It is the first time a smartphone integrates a full-color LCD on one side and an electronic paper display (EPD) on the other side. The two displays are linked together to open a new world of unlimited user experiences.

The EPD is the user’s personal space for receiving notifications, linking to social media, reading news as it happens or simply displaying favorite pictures. The LCD and EPD are both 4.3 inches.

“This will be the first time that people will be able to personalize the information they want to receive on their phones in an effortless way,” said Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov. “You tell YotaPhone what information you want and when you want it. It becomes your personal assistant reminding you of what’s important to you.”

“Today if you want to check your email, calendar or social media page, you have to pick up your phone, turn it on, open the application and only then can you receive the information. With YotaPhone, this information will appear on the electronic paper display effortlessly, continuously and updated in real-time,” Martynov explained.

The two displays have different functions and different purposes. YotaPhone lets users watch videos, play games and perform other functions best suited on the LCD, but adds an electronic paper display for content that requires longer reading time, like reading a book or magazine. It also keeps important information visible without draining the battery. Boarding passes, maps, tickets and other important information are displayed even if the battery dies.

“Technology is setting the tone of our lives rather than the other way around. We at Yota Devices aim to rebalance the relationship with our smartphone. YotaPhone takes all the best components of this great lifestyle product and amplifies them. At the same time, we address some of the ways smartphones interfere with us being truly social beings. YotaPhone is always connected, but in a smarter, less stressful way,” said Martynov.

Yota Devices has been working on YotaPhone for more than two years. The first model was shown to then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in September 2010 at a meeting on the country’s modernization program. Yota Devices has filed a number of patents, copyrights and design rights associated with YotaPhone.

YotaPhone uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM 8960 platform, one of the most advanced processors integrated into a single chip, and the latest release of the Google Android operating system. The API developed by Yota Devices will allow the developer community to create innovative ways to use and benefit from the phone’s two displays. Yota Devices has created a number of applications for YotaPhone to allow users to take full advantage of the EPD.

“YotaPhone is elegant, slim and sleek. It’s as gorgeous outside as it is inside, featuring two Corning Gorilla Glass screens, which are exceptionally resistant to damage,” Martynov said. This is the first time Corning’s 3D Gorilla Glass is being used on a smartphone.

YotaPhone will be available for sale worldwide in the second half of 2013. It is a multi-band, LTE phone that will work anywhere in the world. Exciting new details about YotaPhone and its innovations will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 25-28 February 2013.

Via: Android Police | Source: Yota (PDF)

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