The YotaPhone 2 is an amazing example of massive improvement through just one generation of iteration.The original device was a mess of compromises, generally unfit for use beyond an R&D lab. The YotaPhone 2, however, is not just a good execution of a dual-screen smartphone – it’s also a well-designed smartphone no matter how you look at it, which understated, but pleasing looks and a curved case with a nice weight that just always feels awesome to hold.
The design of the Yotaphone 2 is surprising. There are no markings adorning the front of the device.This device has a two screen among which one 5inch screen is placed on the front side.The matte finish of the back of the YotaPhone 2, which is designed to give you a glare-free, easy-to-read surface.The device has a magnesium chassis with a glass-fibre reinforced plastic outer surface. Both panels are covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which should prove useful for the rear display, as it will be the side most susceptible to scratches and scuffs.The Yotaphone 2 comes in at 8.95mm at it’s thickest point, 144.9mm tall and 69.4mm wide with a net weight of 145 grams.Looking around the device we have the headphone port at the top. The left hand side is void of any buttons or markings. On the right we have the Standby Button and above that we have the volume rocker which in this case doubles as the Nano sim card slot.
The screens on the YotaPhone 2 are both pretty excellent. The new 5-inch display has excellent pixel density, and the AMOLED’s show great blacks and excellent colors.The front panel is an adequately bright 5-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) AMOLED display, which results in 442 ppi.There is no color shift at extreme angles and the Yotaphone 2 only shows the slightest of contrast shifts at these extreme angles.
The E-ink display is a big improvement form the one on the original YotaPhone, but the 960×540 resolution certainly isn’t going to wow anyone in terms of crispness of text or image.. Modern smart phones and their screens use a lot of power so the 4.5 inch e-ink touchscreen display should make for a highly efficient one, as it only uses power when refreshing.The display is good but it is slow and can feel slow to register presses and for those presses to take effect. More often than not you also get that flicker.The e-ink display works best if you’re using it for glanceable info and notifications. You can answer calls, check to see if you have any emails, texts and it’’s surprising how good that feature is, especially when such a technology is based around the ecosystem of the phone.Like any electronic paper display, the display works great outdoors, which could certainly come in handy.
Frankly speaking ,YotaPhone 2 is not a camera phone.The Yotaphone 2’s rear camera is an 8MP shooter which, oddly enough, is lower than the 12 which was found on its predecessor.There’s a 2.1MP front facing camera.With the rear display, you can use the main camera as the front facing camera due to the ability to cast the main display to the rear e-ink panel. This allows you to shoot a better picture overall.When using the camera normally, the rear display will display a nice ‘Smile’ picture.
The YotaPhone 2 features a vanilla build of Android 4.4.3 KitKat, and it’s pretty speedy considering there is no OEM skin weighing it down. It’s also worth noting that Yota promises Android 5.0 Lollipop will eventually come to the device.The phone comes with only a minimal amount of app bloatware.
HARDWARE & PERFORMANCE
Powering the two displays we have the Snapdragon 800 running at 2.2GHz.The phone has 2GB of ram and comes standard with 32GB of storage.One curious hit to the performance was the keyboard, however. Trying to type often resulted in lag which queued up a number of characters.When running standard complement of apps, games and utilities, the phone encountered no performance surprises or issues . The device matched battery usage on an average device when used in the normal way, i.e. without really employing the E-ink screen for much.
SOUND & BATTERY
The sound on the Yotaphone 2 is relatively poor but that’s in comparison to today’s standards.Fortunately, it’s not as bad as the speaker on my Nexus 5.The audio is louder, doesn’t clip and has a touch more depth.
The Yotaphone 2 has a 2500mah battery supplying the power . Battery life was going to be a point of contention given the rear e-ink panel. Suffice to say, the phone gave 4 hours of screen on time playing a 1080p video loop, on full brightness. On average, it lasted about 8 hours.All in all, battery performance is pretty solid, and the more use of the e-ink display, the better performance.
The YotaPhone 2 is a huge improvement on the original YotaPhone, so much so that this device transcends the niche appeal of its predecessor. It’s still a smartphone that’s unique enough to really strike a chord with a smaller audience – those that enjoy reading a lot, and don’t want to carry a Kindle, for instance, or anyone who has to do a lot of document review on the go.The e-ink displayworks well and with the 16 levels of greyscale, static pictures and texts, look great. It’s just awesomehaving a screen that is always on and uses very little battery.The phone has some noticeable bugs, too. It’s not as intuitive as it should be.
At the end of the day, it’s all down to just what you’re looking for and if these features excite you, and you can live with some of the idiosyncrasies, then you’ll really enjoy the Yotaphone 2.
YOTAPHONE 2 SPECS:
- Android 4.4 KitKat Operating System
- 5 inch AMOLED multi-touch main display
- 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
- 4.7 inch EPD full touch rear screen Display
- 960 × 540 pixels Resolution
- 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 8 Megapixel rear camera with Auto focus, LED flash, Records Full HD 1080p videos
- 2 Megapixel front-facing camera
- 32GB Internal storage, No SD Card slot provided
- 4G LTE / 3G, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n /ac, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS w/A-GPS + GLONASS
- 2550 mAh battery with wireless charging