By Taylor Martin | February 24, 2014 2:09 PM
Russian phone maker, Yota Devices, is at it again.
At MWC 2013, we here at Pocketnow finally got some hands-on time with the unusual creation from Yota Devices, a diversion from the typical one-screen smartphone: the YotaPhone. This phone, from the front looked pretty normal. But flipping it around to the backside revealed a large and very useful e-ink display. But by the time it released, just over two months ago, the phone’s internals were dated, making the phone seem rather expensive, even for its progressive design.
A full year after our first look at YotaPhone, and the Russian phone maker just pulled back the curtain on its latest development, the yet-to-be-named successor to the dual-screen smartphone. This second-generation model will come with a host of improvements, such as a Snapdragon 800 SoC, 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display, 4.7-inch qHD always-on e-ink display, 2GB RAM, 32GB fixed storage, and a 2,550mAh battery with wireless charging. The camera does drop – from 13-megapixels in the old model – to 8-megapixels in the upcoming version, but all the other changes are welcomed.
The new design is slimmer and more curved. And it will also come with a Smart Power mode, which allows users to turn off the power-draining color display and perform tasks like making and receiving calls using the e-ink display for extended battery life.
Apart from all that, however, the biggest improvement is the input on the e-ink display. The first-generation model came equipped with a touch-sensitive stripe below the display. The second-gen model’s e-ink display will be touch-sensitive, meaning the rear display’s functionality will be opened up for a wide array of uses.
Yota Devices also announced today that the YotaPhone SDK is now available to third-party developers. CEO Vlad Martynov said, “YotaPhone’s unique dual-screen, always-on experience provides vast opportunities for third-party developers to adapt and create fun, productive and totally new types of applications.” Those applications range from announced apps like Sportscaster and Fitness Tracker, which display persistent, important information, to slow-paced games like Sudoku or crossword puzzles.
Yota Devices plans to launch the next-generation YotaPhone in 20 markets in EMEA by the end of 2014, and it will launch amended versions in U.S. and Chinese markets in early 2015.