There were times over the past year when I truly did not expect this dual-screen smartphone to ever hit the market but YotaDevices has proven me wrong (maybe). They have just officially launched the Yotaphone in the Europe and Russia with a price tag of 499 and a ship date of “unknown”.
This smartphone is up for pre-order on the Yotaphone website, but there are no specific details on when it will actually ship (not that I can find).
The Yotaphone is effectively two devices rolled into one, making it an LTE Android smartphone with an ebook reader grafted on to the back. It’s going to be the higher end competition to E-ink smartphone cases like the InkCase from Gajah, only lighter, with a better build quality, and over 60 hours of reading time.
According to the website, the final specs of the Yotaphone place this smartphone solidly in the middle of the field. The consumer model (not to be confused with the shown off in ) is going to run Android 4.2.2 on a dual-core 1.7GHz “Krait” Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU. It will ship with 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, and a pair of cameras (13MP w\Flash and 1MP).units
In terms of connectivity, the Yotaphone will have Wifi, BT, GPS, FM Radio, and support for LTE and GSM cell networks. It will also have a bevy of sensors including an accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, proximity sensor, the kitchen sink, and an ambient light sensor.
And of course the screens, now that’s where things get interesting. The Yotaphone has 2 screens, the first of which is an LCD screen with a capacitive touchscreen and a screen resolution of 1280 × 720. This device also has an E-ink screen which also measures 4.3″ and sports a resolution of 640 × 360.
The Yotaphone has been under development for well over a year, and Yota Devices has taken that time to customize the firmware with special YotaPhone gestures and Put2Back apps which make it easy to transfer info to the E-ink screen.
Engadget got their hands on the Yotaphone today and they’re pleased with the build quality and general feel, noting that their loaner was a much better phone than the sample they saw last year.
But is it actually going to be available soon? I don’t know. It’s certainly not available at the moment, but you can sign up to be emailed when it is.
On a related note, did anyone else notice that the Yotaphone is only available from the official website? I find that rather curious given that Yota Devices had previously talked about distributing via telecom partners. Do you suppose no telecoms were interested, or do you think those early reports were incorrect?