I hope to see more phones like YotaPhone come out soon

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: December 12, 2012


I’ve never really been impressed at the thought of dual screens, especially when I came across the Kyocera Echo. The phone was flimsy, easily broken, it was slow, and although it was cool and futuristic in theory it just didn’t have a good build. However, not all dual screen technology has struck out in my eyes. I also didn’t think I would like the Nintendo DS and since getting one it’s become one of my favorite gaming systems. After reading Alex’s recent post about YotaPhone being released by Russian mobile broadband company Yota, I’m actually very intrigued by this technology that seems to be increasing in popularity for phones.

The YotaPhone touts a 4.3-inch 1280x720 LCD touchscreen on one side and a 4.3-inch E ink display on the backside. The E ink display is supposedly to show you notifications, e-mails, calendar information, books, and pictures. It can also show boarding passes and tickets, even if the battery is run down. Basically this phone is the bee’s knees.

E ink displays are actually my favorite display next to anything HD, and this phone has the best of both worlds. I find it incredible that any display can be electronic yet so closely resembles paper. I don’t own an E-Reader that uses E ink display, but when I pass the displays in the store I always check to see if they’re actually on or if they’re tricking me by using a non-functioning display (because I’m a skeptic). I think the design of this device is unique and could be beneficial, especially if the E ink display still works with low battery. Of course, the fact that this device has two screens (front and back) means that you’d have to be extra careful with the device as you now have two  

For one, your phone would now be more susceptible to drops as you’ll probably have both screens exposed at all times. The E ink display would be less likely to crack as its cover won’t be made of glass, but that doesn’t make it indestructible. The cases for these devices will probably have to be in the style of bumpers for the sides; either that or a flip case where, depending on which screen you would be using, the opposite side would be protected by a flip cover. I can see where companies that make “sturdy” screen protectors (i.e. Zagg) could benefit from a phone design like this.

Taylor wrote a post about two weeks ago regarding the popSLATE case for the iPhone 5 which had the same concept as the YotaPhone, except in case form. When I saw this case I did a quick search to see if this case would also be made for the iPhone 4S, which unfortunately didn’t come up with any results. I think this idea could very well catch on due to its useful design. There have been so many times that I’ve wanted to purchase an E-Reader, but have stopped myself out of fear that I wouldn’t use it often enough to justify the purchase. Instead I’ve purchased a couple of tablets, which I use for art or to entertain my toddler. I believe I could justify purchasing a case like this for my phone (which I use every day). 

How do you feel about a dual screen design with an LCD display and an E ink display? Do you think the idea could catch on, or is it not the right time for this type of design to be released? Would you want to use a device that is designed this way? Let me know what you think!


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