- Ash Tailor , Android Authority
The YotaPhone 2 is an excellent idea, but high pricing and a few other quirks make it hard to recommend unless you are truly fascinated by the idea of dual-displays.
- Jamie Rigg , Engadget
The YotaPhone 2 is a stark upgrade over its predecessor, with bigger, better displays wrapped in a much sleeker package.
- Dual screen for smartphone and e-reader use
- Good performance with no lag
- Full Android experience on E-Ink display
- Ghosting issues on E-Ink display
- Battery life good but not as impressive as company claims
- UI navigation in native software sluggish on E-Ink display
The original YotaPhone stirred up quite a bit of interest due to its unique dual-screen design but ultimately it failed to gain traction due to the limited uses of the second screen. Despite this, Russian manufacturer is back with the sequel: the YotaPhone 2.
Although they share the same name, the YotaPhone 2 couldn't be more different from the original. The boxy build has been replaced with rounded corners and a distinctive oblong shape. While not a revolutionary design by any means, Engadget notes that, "its…shape is charming in its own right and much more pleasing to the eye than Yota Devices' first attempt…" Other reviewers add that it is also much more comfortable to hold and were amazed that it was able to maintain a thickness of only 0.4 inches despite sporting two screens.
The one thing that hasn't changed from the original is the phone's dual screen feature, though both have been improved significantly. On the front is a full HD 5-inch AMOLED display with a pixel density of 442ppi. Thanks to its high pixel count, reviewers had no problems reading small text and had no issues with pixilation on images. As well, they add that the AMOLED technology provided excellent brightness levels, vivid colors and excellent contrast. Flip the phone around and you have access to the 4.7 inch E-ink display. The updated resolution of 960x540 provides reviewers with sharp and easily legible text. Unfortunately, it still suffers from some of the same issues as the original. The biggest issue reviewers noticed was "ghosting." This term refers to the faint traces of the previous screen left behind when the display refreshes and while the company has stated it was a software malfunction that would be fixed, reviewers are not hopeful as this was also an issue on the original.
Both screens are touch-enabled and both sides can run Android on the E-ink display thanks to a new software package.The update to Yota's software has added a new level of functionality to the E-ink display. When running the full Android experience, reviewers were impressed with the overall refresh rate and general touch responsiveness. When using the native software though, they noticed it was incredibly sluggish, often taking a full second to navigate through the UI.
The specs on the Yotaphone 2, while not top-of-the-line, aren't anything to sneeze at either. It comes equipped with a 2.2GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. These specs kept the phone humming along for experts and they didn't experience any lag or stutters even when playing graphics intensive games. The main issue is the lack of storage. It only comes with 32GB of onboard storage but there is no microSD slot for further expansion. Besides the dual screens, the other main selling point of the YotaPhone 2 is its alleged longer battery life. According to the manufacturer, it should last 2 days of basic smartphone use or 5 days of only reading. When critics put it to the test, they were able to get a little over a day of heavy use on the AMOLED side and around 5 days on the E-ink. While the battery life is decent, TechRadar states, "…battery life isn't as groundbreaking as I'd hoped."
Overall, reviewers are split on the YotaPhone 2. Trusted Reviews notes, "The YotaPhone 2 has moved from technological curio to a phone we'd be happy to live with…" On the other hand, CNET states, "The YotaPhone 2 is certainly not a bad phone…but you can get much more phone for the money elsewhere."
Reviews (7.5/10 Avg. rating)
Extra e-paper screen is useful and awesome, but it’s price is high
The Android smartphone with two screens
An excellent innovation that irons out almost all of the problems from the firstgeneration device
The potential lack of upgrades is something you should consider if your cursor is hovering over the ‘Buy’ button on YotaPhone’s website: this phone is what it is now, and possibly will be nothing more. It takes huge expense for manufacturers to update phones and create an ecosystem, after all.
Then there’s the price. And this is something you’ll need to think about carefully for a few reasons. First off, at £550, the YotaPhone 2 is an expensive device; you’re paying for the second screen here, not the specs, the looks or the build, and Ap... Full review
An awesome smartphone with two faces
A tale of two halves
Concluding the YotaPhone 2 is very much like concluding a game of cricket with two very different innings. On the one hand, the cost is prohibitively expensive and the handset has a mediocre camera with average battery life and none of the gimmicks features on other flagship devices.
On the other, it’s completely unique, the rear EPD screen can be incredibly useful and the real-world performance is excellent. From the moment I switched the handset on, the single thing going through my mind has been how cool this handset is. Having used most of the smartphones released on th... Full review
A special smartphone with not one, but two screens
Not your average Android flagship
We approached the YotaPhone 2 as the niche device we thought it was. By the time we reached the end of this review, we were ready to rethink. It's an odd-ball of a device by all means, but its second screen opens the door to a whole new world of possibilities.
The YotaPhone 2 is closer to the current crop of flagships than to the midrange market segment. The overall performance is Nexus 5/Galaxy S5 grade or similar - fast, fluid and capable of handling pretty much everything.
The 5" AMOLED is another great asset, with excellent pixel density, great contrast, solid colo... Full review
An innovative handset with a massive party trick
This is a phone with a very decent specification and is built well with a beautiful design. The rear display, to the untrained eye, can look like a logo until you confuse the heck out of interested onlookers by interacting with it, or having it change regularly as you ride the train to work. It is, however, a hard one to sell to the mainstream smartphone audience. We all know that the high-quality screens on which we’re hooked daily are nailing our precious batteries. However, I’d be interested to find out just how many people will really give up the full-colour experience of a... Full review
A three-star phone enhanced by a five-star feature
The YotaPhone 2 is a vastly improved progression from the first proof-of-concept device. The second e-ink screen on the back is infinitely more useful, with full touch controls and a range of applications, widgets and use cases to take advantage of. While the internal components are a little dated, the YotaPhone 2 is about more than the specs race, introducing a new way of thinking about your smartphone and revolutionizing battery life in the process.
Specs hounds and camera fiends will likely look elsewhere and for good reason, but for those with an adventurous slant to your sma... Full review
A well-conceived and configurable feature
The YotaPhone 2 is the only smartphone in the market that features a second e-paper display. That largely prevents any usage restrictions even on sunny summer days, and always ensures good legibility. However, the EP display does not make an absolutely sophisticated impression. Although it has been improved considerably compared with the precursor, the displayed content could be sharper. Besides that, we would wish for a backlight that can be enabled optionally.
Otherwise, Yota Devices delivers a good total package with its handheld. The battery life is very good, the build is gr... Full review
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