The dual-display YotaPhone first debuted way back in December 2012, catching the attention of more than a few folks in the mobile world thanks to its pair of 4.3-inch screens. We haven’t heard much about the Russian-born handset since then, but that’s changing today. Yota Devices has announced that its YotaPhone is going on sale online today in select countries around the globe, including Russia, Austria, France, Spain and Germany. Pricing will be set at 19,990 RUB ($601 USD) or €499 ($678 USD).
So about those two displays. While both of them measure 4.3 inches in size, one is a 960×540 LCD panel and the other is a 640×360 e-ink affair. Yota Devices says that e-ink screen can be used to display things like reminders, RSS feeds and information related to the date and weather, all while helping to conserve the YotaPhone’s battery life. The device comes with several apps that can share information between its two screens, including an app called Vedomosti that can obtain a newspaper and then display it in a more readable format on the e-ink panel.
Of course, the two screens aren’t the only components that make up the YotaPhone. Also on its outer shell are 13-megapixel and 1-megapixel cameras, and buried inside the unit is a combination of a 1.7GHz dual-core Krait processor and 1800mAh battery. Yota Devices has also stuffed 32GB storage, 2GB RAM, UMTS 900/1800/2100MHz and 4G LTE 800/1800/2600MHz connectivity into its new smartphone and has opted to load it up with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
The YotaPhone certainly isn’t the first Android smartphone to come to market with a “unique” feature that’s meant to help it stand out from the crowd. We’ve seen before that some of these additions can add nothing to the experience of using the phones, and sometimes even make it worse. However, the YotaPhone’s e-ink screen could come in handy by helping to extend the life of its 1800mAh battery pack, especially for folks that do a lot of reading on their phone.
Following its launch today, the YotaPhone is slated to arrive in German and Russian retail stores in mid-December. The device is expected to be available in 20 different markets by the end of January 2014, including the U.K., Greece and Egypt. Looking ahead, Yota Devices plans to continue experimenting with unique features and products; CEO Vlad Martynov has teased that “This is YotaPhone 1.0. Expect other big and new things to follow.”