We’ve finally managed to get our hands on the YotaPhone 2. And, sadly, it wasn’t sent in retail packaging so we can’t unbox it for you. But we can give you our first impressions.
YotaPhone. The name alone is enough to inspire an endless number of Star Wars inspired jokes. But I won’t go there. Resist jokes I must. Seem two-faced I will. (Sorry)
Those jokes, however, are soon forgotten as soon as you turn the phone upside down. Because the real unique feature of this device is the rear display.
The 4.7-inch Electronic Paper display boasts a resolution of 960x540 and 16 shades of gray. It’s fully touch sensitive and has a pixel density of 253ppi. And, despite its slow refresh rate of 0.12 seconds, you can actually use it do anything you’d do on the main, 5-inch 1080p full HD AMOLED display.
The first thing I did - obviously - was play around with the E-Paper display. I wanted to see what I could do, and how I could customize it. Thankfully, YotaPhone has made it super-simple to change its look. You can have it display a wallpaper, or photograph from your most-used social network profiles. You can also set it up to display important information with widgets and shortcuts to some essential applications.
On the back, there’s also an 8MP camera with auto-focus, flash and 1080p video capture. Its front facing partner is a 2.1MP sensor.
Joining it on the front, as I’ve already mentioned, is that 5-inch AMOLED display, and it was - perhaps - the feature that’s caught me most by surprise. It’s actually a very good display panel. Viewing angles are superb, whites don’t change color when you tilt the phone and colors are vivid and full of life.
What’s more, upon first impressions at least, the phone seems pretty fluid and fast thanks to the Quad-core Snapdragon 2.2GHz chip with its 2GB RAM.
One thing I do really like is that - apart from having a secondary display - this phone doesn’t look like many others. The top and bottom edges are curved, added to the rounded corners and the device seems a lot rounder than the usual rectangles on the market. The curved back is also really comfortable in hand.
On the bottom edge we have the Micro USB 2.0 port flanked by two identical grilles and on the top we have a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right edge we have the power key and a volume rocker which - intriguingly - doubles as the nano SIM tray.
It’s a sealed unit with no access to the 2,500mAh battery inside which I haven’t used enough to test its durability. But, it promises up to around 400 hours standby. It’s also compatible with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology found in devices like the Note 4 and Nexus 6.
In short. I like the way it looks and feels. I’m enjoying the odd secondary screen, even if I haven’t found a daily use for it yet. In fact, I haven’t found anything I don’t like yet.
I’ll be back in a week or so with my full thoughts in a review, after I’ve had more time with the device.