The innovative, dual-display YotaPhone 2 smartphone from Russian phone maker Yota is scheduled to arrive in the United States and North America in July at a price between $650 to $700, after being launched in December 2014 in Russia and parts of Europe and the Middle East.
The YotaPhone 2 will be sold in the U.S. through the IndieGogo crowdfunding Website, according to a May 13 report by PhoneArena. The device will be updated to support Facebook, Instagram and Twitter news feeds on its rear screen through the use of the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system, the report continued.
The new model also gets a larger 5-inch, 1080p AMOLED front display and a larger 4.7-inch always-on E-Ink rear display, replacing the smaller 4.3-inch front and back screens that were found on the original YotaPhone that debuted in December 2013, according to an earlier eWEEK report on the original phone. The new handset measures 5.7 inches long, 2.73 inches wide and 0.35 inches thick.
The unlocked YotaPhone 2 will include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 2,500mAh battery and 32GB of internal storage. The smartphone's rear main camera is an 8MP auto-focus model with LED flash, while the front camera is a 2.1MP unit. Both the front and back displays are covered in strong Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for impact resistance. The devices also include a built-in accelerometer, a compass, a gyroscope, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor, as well as WiFi, Bluetooth, near-field communication (NFC) capabilities and wireless charging features. In addition, users can turn the YotaPhone 2's main display screen into a "living Instagram cover" using the included YotaCover feature, which automatically changes screen images for users.
A YotaPhone spokesperson did not reply to several inquiries from eWEEK on May 14 seeking additional comments about its plans for a U.S. launch for its phones.
Several features make the YotaPhone 2 unique compared with any other smartphone on the market today, including its double-sided capacitive touch screens and its claimed 100-hour battery life for e-reader users and two days of basic phone usage.
The devices, at least in Europe, the Middle East and Russia where they are sold today, also include 24/7 technical support and help through a call-in hotline, while owners who have a problem with their phones can get a courtesy loaner phone if their device needs to be returned for service, according to Yota.
Yota phones were first sold in the marketplace in 2009, according to the company.
The YotaPhone 2 handset will enter a very crowded U.S. smartphone market that features some heavy hitters including the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, as well as some upcoming new devices such as the LG G4, the flagship smartphone from LG. New competition is also coming to the U.S. from companies like Acer, which is launching its new $79 Liquid M220 Windows smartphone in June, to be followed later in the year by a business-aimed Liquid X2 phone that will feature three SIM slots for global travelers, according to a recent eWEEK report.