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Brief Published: 10 Dec 2014

YotaPhone 2: Double-Screen Smartphone

Yotaphone 2

Russian tech company Yota Devices has launched the YotaPhone 2 – a double-screened smartphone featuring an e-ink screen on the reverse to increase functionality and extend battery life.

The e-ink screen is always on and refreshes frequently – keeping the user updated of selected notifications for social media feeds or market stocks, for instance. It can be used as a low-energy screen for gaming or as an e-reader, promising up to five days' worth of reading time on a single charge.

Apps must be specially configured for use on the e-ink screen, although these are set to increase in number, with CEO Vlad Martynov announcing Twitter integration at the phone's London launch last week. However, users can also switch to YotaMirror mode to use apps that are not currently configured. This replicates the standard Android screen onto the e-ink reverse – a particular bonus when battery life is low.

As seen at consumer electronics show IFA earlier this year, additional functionality through embedded extras and peripheral devices is a growing sector within the smartphone market. For more on product design that makes small changes to rethink archetypal objects, see Ingenious Simplicity.