The ingenious YotaPhone has finally gone on sale in the UK, after debuting in the company’s native Russia last year. Unique to the YotaPhone is its two screen arrangement, where a traditional 4.2-inch LCD screen on the front is joined by an equally large e-ink screen on the back.
Similar to the screens used by ebook readers like the Amazon Kindle, the rear screen can only display text and images in grey, but it can do so while drawing no power at all from the phone’s battery.
Power is only used by the e-ink screen when it changes what is being displayed - such as when a new notification arrives. To simply show that you have three unread emails and an unread text message uses no power at all, providing an always-on notification system viewable all the time and without unlocking the device.
The YotaPhone is powered by a dual-core, 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 processor with 2GB of RAM, has a 1,800mAh battery, and runs the Android 4.2.2 operating system.
Yota claims the phone can achieve between seven and ten times more battery life by displaying notifications on the e-ink screen, saving you from constantly turning the main screen on and off to check the time and for new messages - something the average user does 150 times per day, according to Yota.
The rear screen can also be used as an e-book reader, or to instruct subjects to smile when the user is taking their photo.
Yota is pricing the phone at £419, but be warned - the more stylish YotaPhone 2 is set to go on sale in late-2014.