As a smartphone with touch screens arranged on the front and back of the case, YotaPhone 2 brings a welcome breath of freshness in the Android phone market. Currently the only device that uses this design, YotaPhone 2 provides easy access to notifications and basic functions, delegating certain tasks to a secondary screen that should not be turned off to conserve the battery power.
Viewed from the front, YotaPhone 2 appears quite a trivial smartphone, whose design is reminiscent of Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S3 series phones. Left without the manufacturer's logo and navigation keys below the screen, but its case is carefully rounded finished, sits well in your hand and can be smoothly slipped into narrow pockets. However, it might have been prompted by applying a texture or material adheres to the side frame, sliding your hand a little too easily when handled with one hand. Gorilla Glass 3 applied over the front display gives the impression of a solid construction, confirmed by plastic cover that does not flex when pressed.
Its atypical design becomes visible only after turning the phone to see the back cover, replaced by a transparent panel with matte finish that hides under E-ink screen with generous area, equipped with touch interface. To avoid uncomfortable handling of the phone, the screen is slightly curved towards the edges, taking the form of a narrow side case.
YotaPhone 2 - Technical Details
Optimized for low weight and flexible construction, YotaPhone 2 comes equipped with a 2500 mAh battery, Snapdragon 800 chipset platform (at CPU 2.26GHz quad-core) and 2GB RAM. Without a microSD card slot, the phone compensates with a generous amount of 32 GB internal memory.
The main AMOLED type screen can play back images with 1920x1080 resolution and its 5˝ diagonal is using a palette of 16 million colors.
Noted with negligible energy consumption, secondary display E-Ink type measures 4.7˝ diagonally and can compose monochrome image using 960x540 resolution. Optimized for the role of electronic maps, it uses ambient light and can display images without consuming battery reserve (applying an electrical charge is only necessary to update the image). For this reason, stopping the secondary screen to preserve autonomy is not required. In terms of disadvantages, E-Ink screen is not visible in total darkness, image fidelity is comparable to a printed newspaper and induces a lag effect which is not very pleasant.
YotaPhone 2 - usefulness of the second screen
Compared with the original YotaPhone, the screen of the new model has received a significant upgrade, 640x360 pixels resolution increasing to a comfortable 960x540, text output is now clearer and easier to read. In addition, the inclusion of a touch interface substantially improves its utility, allowing direct application of commands without having to start every time the main screen. Unfortunately not everything is perfect, E-Ink screen technology comes with few weaknesses which are hard to overlook.
Less powerful, the touch interface offered by secondary display does not support advanced controls using multiple fingers simultaneously. However, we can compose SMS messages without problems using the virtual keyboard.
Managed exclusively via the Yota Manager, secondary display has three main modes: lock screen with support for notifications and display of pictures in the gallery, containing rudimentary homescreen widgets for weather and shortcuts to access the phone function, SMS messaging and Android email alert notifications.
With 8MP resolution, autofocus and an LED flash system, well detailed camera provides pictures without excessive digital noise. The color palette is balanced and quite true to life, but the default mode, without HDR, is deficient in capturing the details in shadow or brightly lit potions. The photos may show burned portions with too much white and no detail, alternating with shady areas darker than in reality. Overall, YotaPhone 2 is a worthy replacement for pocket cameras, the image quality is generally sufficient for ordinary users.