New YotaPhone With E-Ink screen


The new YotaPhone interestingly uses an E-Ink screen like the one on the Amazon Kindle. This screen uses significantly less power than a standard LCD screen, and many people say they are much easier and more comfortable to read on.

The YotaPhone comes out today in Russia, Germany, Australia and Spain for 499 euros. It is due to hit the UK in January 2014. So far there are no plans for a release in the US, but future versions may hit US shelves. We’ll have to see.

As far as looks go, there really isn’t much to look at. The phone is rather plain, and nothing like any of the current flashy Android phones on the current market. They definitely focused on the functionality of the phone more than anything. It is a little bit on the chunky side, but it has an extra screen on the back, so you have to forgive it a little bit. On the edges of the phone, there is a Micro-USB port, a volume rocker, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a combined power button and micro-SIM slot.

The phone was built to be very sturdy, so you wouldn’t have to be too scared to drop it. However, some reviewers have said that the back screen is very fragile and prone to scratching. The front screen is a 4.3-inch LCD display and has a 1,280×720-pixel resolution that makes small text and icons look crisp and clear. It’s bright, but because of the type of screen, pictures and videos may not look as bright and vivid as they would with a nice LCD display.

Phones with no navigation buttons on the front at all seem to be a new trend that has been popping up in new phones lately. The YotaPhone is one of those phones. Swiping back and forth, and up and down is how you navigate between the home page and different apps on the phone. It is a very cool idea, but the problem with this is that you don’t have the full screen to work with. There is a dedicated touch area at the bottom of the display. Having no buttons on the front looks good, but sounds like more of a problem in this case.

The second screen may seem like a dumb idea, but there is some coolness to it. The main screen uses almost zero power, and doesn’t even refresh at all unless there is new information being sent to it. The Kindle can last for about a month on one charge just because of it’s screen. So the back screen comes into play when you are wanting to view websites and news feeds and things like that. The only downfall is that the back screen has a very poor quality, and it is said that even reading app names is very difficult.

One neat thing is being able to look down at your phone and check the time and other things without needing to wake the phone up to turn the screen on every time. This is one obvious advantage of the E-Ink screen.

The phone runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 which is a little old. So on the front screen you will be navigating through that operating system. The phone is powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, which isn’t really impressive at all considering even the cheapest phones on the market (like the Moto X) are using quad core processors now. So if you’re looking to play games on this phone, be prepared for choppy game play and skipping frames.

The batter is an 1,800mAh which offers a pretty decent life span in casual phone use. If you use the normal screen, you probably wont see much difference from your current phone and will probably have to plug it in at some point during the day.

The phone’s 13 mega pixel camera seems pretty impressive on paper. It take’s very detailed pictures for a phone. But, I’m about to ruin your day by telling you that it is located at the bottom left corner of the phone. Maybe I’m missing something, but I literally can not think of one good reason that a phone’s camera would be located anywhere even remotely close to the bottom. So, if you decide to pick this phone up, be prepared to have one of your fingers ruin almost every picture you ever take. Just the thought is annoying.

Having an E-Ink display is a really good idea for people who want to read books or articles for long periods of time without draining their phone’s battery. I imagine this is pretty nice for long car rides or flights. But with the YotaPhone, it seems like they took a lot of shortcuts and didn’t really deliver a whole phone that was impressive in any way besides the idea behind the screen. The E-Ink screen isn’t even very good quality.

I’m sold on the idea behind the phone, and I’m excited to see the next generations of the YotaPhone. But right now, it’s just not there yet for me.

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