- 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."