After first showing its two faces to the world one year ago, the YotaPhone is finally going on sale today. Made by Russian company Yota Devices, the YotaPhone's claim to fame is its pair of 4.3-inch displays, one of which is a 720p LCD panel while the other is of the e-ink variety with a resolution of 360x640. The YotaPhone also features two cameras, one 13-megapixel and one 1-megapixel, and Yota Devices notes that the YotaPhone's e-ink screen will display a "Smile for the Camera" message when taking a photo.
Sandwiched in-between the YotaPhone's two displays is a 1.7GHz dual-core Krait processor, 32GB storage, 2GB RAM and an 1800mAh battery. And before you ask, the device only has one of each of those components. The YotaPhone also comes preloaded with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and supports UMTS 900/1800/2100MHz and 4G LTE 800/1800/2600MHz connectivity.
So when can you buy one? The YotaPhone is officially going on sale online today in in Russia, Austria, Germany, France and Spain at a price of 19,990 RUB ($601 USD) or €499 ($678 USD). The unique handset will also make its way into German and Russian retail stores in mid-December. The world tour will continue in January 2014 when the YotaPhone will hit several more European and Middle East countries, including the U.K., Greece, Pakistan, Iran and Egypt. Yota Devices expects the YotaPhone to be available in a total of 20 markets by the end of January.
With so many smartphones hitting the market from multiple manufacturers, we often see device makers equip their products with gimmick features in an attempt to make them stand out. However, the YotaPhone's two display setup actually looks like it could come in handy, giving owners the ability to save information or do reading on the e-ink screen to conserve the phone's battery life. Yota Devices says that other uses for the YotaPhone's e-ink display include displaying reminders, RSS feeds and dynamic wallpapers that can give information related to the date, time and weather.
Overall the YotaPhone looks like a pretty interesting device. We'll have to wait until we can actually use the phone before we know exactly how useful that secondary display really is, but it seems to be one of the better "unique" smartphone features that we've seen in recent memory. It sounds like Yota Devices plans to continue experimenting with different smartphone features in the future, as Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov has teased that the YotaPhone is just the beginning for his company and that it's got "other big and new things to follow."