The Russian start-up Yota Devices will reveal on Monday the next generation of its unusual two-faced YotaPhone at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. The phone stands apart from many of its smartphone peers — which often appear similar to each other — by having a conventional color touchscreen on one side and a low-power electronic paper display filling its other side.
The first dual-screen YotaPhone made a splash when it was revealed at the CES trade event in early 2013, winning compliments and awards. It went on sale in several European countries in December for a price equivalent to $675, and for $600 in Russia.
The next generation YotaPhone builds on the ideas of the first edition, in a thinner unibody shape with curved edges. It also has some better internal specifications, like a quad core processor and a 2 megapixel front-facing webcam. But its biggest new feature is that the rear electronic paper display has capacitative touch sensing built in, which means it’s also a touchscreen.
While the color touchscreen on the front side is great for running typical Android phone applications and making calls, the new touch sensitive electronic paper display turns the YotaPhone into something that could rival devices like Amazon’s Kindle e-readers. Electronic paper screens are often said to be favored by consumers who read e-books because they look more like printed paper and ink text.