Would You Buy A Russian-Made, Dual-Screen Smartphone?


Let’s be honest here, smartphone innovation has become a bit stale in recent months. Granted, we’ve seen lots of new devices with new ideas in recent months, including Windows 8 phones, larger displays, edge-to-edge screens, LTE, bla bla bla… but aside from these new features, they all look and feel pretty much the same.

So it’s good to know we can always look to Russia for something truly novel – in this case, a new handset from Yota Devices that offers a totally mad and unique new feature; not one, but two displays!

The new dual-screen smartphone device will feature a traditional LCD touchscreen on the front, with all the functionality typical of Android phones, plus an E-Ink display on the back – just like the kind you get on Kindle’s e-Reader.

Yota Devices says that the main benefit of its revolutionary dual-screen design will be to save power, giving users as much as 50% more battery life, they claim, by rerouting static information from the LCD screen to the second, less power-hungry E-ink display.

“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,” says Vlad Martynov, CEO of Yota Devices, in a statement.

“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.”

Surprisingly, despite its far-out design, the YotaPhone doesn’t look to shabby. The LCD display measures 4.3 inches across and boasts a resolution of 720×1280. The device is backed by the power of a Snapdragon 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM, while it contains a not-to-be sneered at 32GB of storage space. It also comes with an onboard LTE connection, and a decent looking 12MP camera to boot. And for those who worry themselves about the whole ‘chunkiness’ thing, even with two screens the device manages to keep itself in trim, measuring just 10mm thick. Compare that to the alternative – a Galaxy SIII glued to the back of a Kindle, and you’ll agree that’s a pretty decent achievement.

Naturally, there will be plenty of doubters. Yota Devices isn’t exactly the most trusted brand around, what with the whole Russian thing and everything, and of course, many will question why the hell you would need two screens anyway.

But even so, sometimes crazy ideas like this just catch on for no reason other than the fact that, well, they’re crazy.

As Alexander Malis, President of Euroset, put it to The Moscow News:

“The second black-and-while screen is a funky thing, but useless. But, sometimes funky stuff sells well.”

And he forgets to mention that we’ve all been guilty of buying plenty of ‘useless’ stuff in the past.