10 Ways YotaPhone 2 Is Breaking Away From the Smartphone Crowd

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-12-08
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Previous
    10 Ways YotaPhone 2 Is Breaking Away From the Smartphone Crowd
    Next

    10 Ways YotaPhone 2 Is Breaking Away From the Smartphone Crowd

    By Don Reisinger
  • Previous
    You Do See Two Screens
    Next

    You Do See Two Screens

    The key feature that stands out in the YotaPhone 2 is that it comes with not one, but two screens. On one side is a 5-inch touch-screen display with 1,920-by-1,080-pixel resolution. It's the standard touch screen one would expect in a smartphone. Once the device is flipped over, however, the YotaPhone 2 reveals a 4.7-inch e-ink screen, similar to those found in an Amazon Kindle. The e-ink display is designed for reading books and other fun stuff.
  • Previous
    Android All the Way
    Next

    Android All the Way

    The YotaPhone 2 is an Android device through and through. Customers will find that it comes with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box and includes full support for email and Web browsing. It also comes with Google services. That might not sound like much, but in Russia where there are increasing concerns over censorship, it's important to note that this is a full-featured Android installation.
  • Previous
    The Battery Life Is Insane
    Next

    The Battery Life Is Insane

    The marketed battery life on the YotaPhone 2 is nothing short of astounding. According to Yota Devices, customers can read on the device for up to 100 hours before needing to recharge the battery. In addition, the handset can handle standard smartphone functions, like listening to music and surfing the Web, for 48 hours before recharging. It even supports 24 straight hours of Web browsing time over 4G networks.
  • Previous
    This Isn't Your Standard Ultra Slim Smartphone
    Next

    This Isn't Your Standard Ultra Slim Smartphone

    Those looking for an ultra slim smartphone that will match the iPhone 6 line will be disappointed in the YotaPhone 2. Because of its two displays, the device is somewhat thick, coming in at 0.35 inches. To put that into perspective, the iPhone 6 is 0.27 inches thick. That might not sound like much of a difference, but according to those who have used both devices, it is noticeable.
  • Previous
    Expect Full Support for Android Apps
    Next

    Expect Full Support for Android Apps

    It's nice to hear that Yota hasn't forgotten about the value customers will find in standard Android applications. According to reports, Yota has said that it will provide full support for Android application marketplaces, including Google Play. So, the 1.3 million apps available on Google Play will all be functional on the YotaPhone 2.
  • Previous
    The Cameras Are Strong
    Next

    The Cameras Are Strong

    Yota Devices didn't forget about camera technology in the YotaPhone 2. The device has an 8-megapixel camera that's either rear- or front-facing depending on the screen the user is looking at. In addition, the other camera comes in at 2 megapixels, putting it in line with most other smartphones on the market. Overall, the cameras should do the trick for regular use.
  • Previous
    Pricing for Unlocked Versions Is Expensive
    Next

    Pricing for Unlocked Versions Is Expensive

    So, how much will the YotaPhone 2 cost when it goes on sale in the U.S.? For now, the Russia-based company is keeping details close to the vest. However, it's currently available for 555 British pounds unlocked, which would translate to about $865. That would make it awfully costly if Yota decides to sell it at around the same price in U.S.
  • Previous
    The Internal Components Are Impressive
    Next

    The Internal Components Are Impressive

    Although there are some real concerns with pricing, the YotaPhone 2 is nothing to scoff at in the power department. The device has 2GB of onboard memory, 32GB of storage and a 2.3GHz quad-core processor. It also allows for near field communication (NFC) payments, thanks to an embedded chip. So far, early hands-on impressions have suggested that the smartphone performs extremely well with higher-end apps.
  • Previous
    It Can Compete With Other Device Types
    Next

    It Can Compete With Other Device Types

    Ultimately, the YotaPhone 2 is a smartphone. But what users can't lose sight of is that it will also compete with e-readers, like the Kindle, as well as some of the higher-end smartphones on the market, like the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and HTC One M8. The YotaPhone 2 is designed to reduce the number of products users carry, rather than increase it. And that's a welcome feature.
  • Previous
    There Is That Russian Link You Should Know About
    Next

    There Is That Russian Link You Should Know About

    And now for the one element that may not matter much in the long run but is something that everyone should know: Yota is partially owned by the Russian government. While that may not be an issue for many potential buyers, some critics have said that it could actually hurt YotaPhone 2 sales in certain countries. Political pundits and privacy-seekers have already taken the device to task for the possibility of it negatively impacting security, and some have gone so far as to urge folks not to buy the device. However, Yota has made it abundantly clear that while it's backed by the state, it is an independent company operating in the best interests of customers. For now the buying public has no reason to believe otherwise. Still, the very fact that it's a mobile device and services company backed by the Russian government makes it unique in Russia and perhaps the world.
 

If you haven't heard of the YotaPhone 2 yet, you will soon enough. The device is arguably one of the most interesting smartphones on the market today. Its maker, Yota Devices, the manufacturing arm of the Yota mobile broadband services company, says it will start shipping it to the U.S. early next year. It's sure to be an attention grabber among the new smartphone models that will make their debut March 2-5 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The YotaPhone 2 is unlike any other mobile handset. IT doesn't try to be another knockoff of the iPhone or the Galaxy Note 4, but instead attempts to create its own niche in the marketplace by having not one, but two screens. One is a standard touch display, while the other comes with e-ink technology designed for readers. So far, reviews of the device have been impressive and, despite the fact that the company has some backing from the Russian government, mobile device aficionados see it as an appealing alternative to many other smartphones on the market. This slide show takes a quick look at the YotaPhone 2 and discusses why it could be a strong seller when it hits the U.S. mobile device market in 2015, despite the fact that it is coming from Russia, which isn't a major exporter of smartphones to the West.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
 
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters























 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rocket Fuel