The long-rumored Yotaphone 3 is now officially more than a rumor – but still less than a real smartphone.
The Yotaphone 3 is being developed by BaoliYota Technology, a joint venture between Yota Devices shareholder China Baoli and the smartphone maker Coolpad.
Few technical details are known at this time, but company reps have confirmed that the new phone will feature dual screens, just like its predecessors. They also said that there will be two models, one with 64 GB and another with 128 GB of internal storage, which will cost $350 and $450, respectively.
Edit: Engadget reportedly saw the spec sheet and was not impressed:
Not much else is said about the device nor its design, but a source revealed to Engadget that there’s nothing new nor innovative here: it’s merely a new model with bigger screens, yet it’s powered by a mid-range Snapdragon 625 chipset — the same silicon inside the ASUS ZenFone 3, Moto Z Play and BlackBerry KEYone.
According to a spec sheet provided to Engadget, the Yota3 packs a much bigger 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display on the front and a 5.2-inch 720p E Ink touchscreen on the back, both of which are the least you’d expect after such a long wait. Likewise, you’ll find a fingerprint sensor on the front side. It’ll also come with Android Nougat, 4GB of RAM, dual SIM slots (one of which also serves as a microSD slot), a 12-megapixel main camera with dual flash, a 13-megapixel front camera, a 3,200mAh battery and a USB-C port which also does audio output (ugh).
There’s little detail available on software, but it seems the localized Chinese version of the phone will ship with pre-installed apps popular in the country, including the search engine Baidu and WeChat, which will be active on both screens.
There’s no solid info on the launch date, but one source claims the phone will ship in China in September and go up for pre-order in Russia at that time.
As for an international launch, your guess is as good as mine.
If you want one of these phones your best option will be to buy it from a Chinese retailer and have it shipped. Aside from trying to get a warranty repair, buying from China is a relatively low-risk activity in 2017.