Review: YotaPhone 2
The front screen measures 5 inches and has full HD resolution. It's a pretty standard panel for today's smartphones. I think it looks really good. Colors are accurate and it's bright enough to be used effectively indoors and out. The resolution is nice and sharp, and the phone's graphics and icons all have well-defined borders and edges.
The e-ink panel is black and white and supports 16 shades of gray. It measures 4.7 inches across the diagonal and offers 960 x 540 resolution. You can definitely tell that the resolution doesn't match the main panel, but this screen doesn't need to be HD. It isn't as bright as the main panel, but it's visible no matter where you take it, even under direct sunlight, thanks to the electronic paper technology. YotaPhone calls it the "Always-On Display."
We tested an unlocked, international version of the Y2. As such, it is not optimized for U.S. networks. Tested on AT&T and T-Mobile's networks, the Y2 performed admirably. It was able to use HSPA+ data, but not LTE. The fastest data speeds I obtained reached 10 Mbps for downloads and 2 Mbps for uploads. More importantly, this unoptimized handset remained connected to AT&T and T-Mobile without issue. In other words, I was able to make calls when and where I needed to with no worries about dropped calls. The device did well even in areas with poor coverage, so we should expect the Y2 to perform a bit better when properly adjusted for U.S. networks.
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Phone calls made with the Y2 generally sounded good. I was pleased with the results on both AT&T and T-Mobile. There was no distortion or interference of any kind. Calls were clear and had a pleasant tone. I wish the earpiece speaker were a bit louder, though, as it tended to get drowned out in noisy environments. People I spoke to through the Y2 said I sounded really good. The speakerphone was plenty loud for most spaces in which you might use it, but it was more prone to distortion and breakup. The ringers are reasonably loud, but I wish they were louder. The vibrate alert is good enough.
For this phone, the answer to this question really, really depends on how you use it. If you skip the back screen entirely and use it like any regular phone, you're going to find the phone konks out at about the same time you're getting sleepy at the end of the day. If you mix in some use of the e-ink screen (for reading messages, checking the time/weather, music playback, and managing notifications) you can squeeze close to two days out of the Y2. If you ramp up usage of the e-ink screen to a mix of about 75%, you'll see battery life in excess of two days and perhaps even three. Keep in mind, of course, that this test unit doesn't support LTE 4G, so mileage may vary a bit.
The Y2's battery saver tool is called Yota Energy, which can be set to come on when the battery reaches 5, 10, or 15% capacity. The first thing it does is disable the main screen. The entire UI is shifted to the Always-On Display. You're able to make calls, send/read emails and messages, and perform a few other basics. Yota Energy also lets you shutdown a wide variety of functions, including WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, vibration/haptic feedback, account syncing, and so on. Yota doesn't make any specific claims about how long the battery will last once Yota Energy is on, but my tests showed the phone lasted a full day (while still making phone calls, sending messages, checking email, and the weather) with just 10% of the battery remaining.
Feb 24, 2014
Yota Devices today announced its next-generation YotaPhone. Like its first phone, the new model has one regular display plus a large e-paper display on the back.
Yota announced a second-generation Android smartphone that has an e-ink display on one side and a regular screen on the other. Here are a few thoughts about Yota's unique handset.
May 13, 2015
YotaPhone today made available a white version of the YotaPhone 2 handset. The white version of the phone, announced earlier this year, ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop and revised user interface elements for the e-ink display.
Dec 3, 2014
YotaPhone today announced the availability of the YotaPhone 2, a smartphone that has a traditional display on one side and an e-ink display on the other. The YotaPhone 2, which was first revealed in February of this year, is meant to help people access and read content while preserving battery life.
May 19, 2015
YotaPhone today initiated an Indiegogo campaign for the YotaPhone 2. The company said earlier this year it intended to bring the YotaPhone 2 to certain markets via the crowd-funding site, and today it made good on its word.