YotaPhone 2 review: Hands-on

The YotaPhone 2 Android smartphone sports two screens

What is a hands on review?
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YotaPhone 2 review
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YotaPhone 2 review
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YotaPhone 2 review
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YotaPhone 2 review
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YotaPhone 2 review

The YotaPhone 2 is Russian brand Yota Device's second Android smartphone to rock two screens - a conventional LCD on the front, and an E-Ink display on the back.

While the first YotaPhone was intended as more of a concept to test the water, the company is aiming the second-gen version at the masses as it believes that the Kindle-like 'always on' E-ink screen is the way forward. The new version is also just called YotaPhone - we're just calling it YotaPhone 2 to differentiate it from the first model. Article continues after the video.

YotaPhone 2: Size and build

It's clear that the company has put a lot more thought into the design of the phone this time round. The handset is slimmer and lighter than its predecessor and measures 8.9mm thick. The back sports a more rounded finished so that the back screen covers a wider area.

While the phone may not stand quite shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5s in terms of tech, the result of these design tweaks means that the new YotaPhone looks like a much more desirable handset than its predecessor.

The manufacturer told us that the original phone has not only been popular with early adoptors but also with designers and artists, thanks to its innovative design.

YotaPhone 2: Screen

The main screen is a full HD 5-inch AMOLED affair, which looks just fine, but on the YotaPhone, it's all about the second screen.

The 4.7-inch back screen is bigger than before with a higher resolution (960x540) and greater pixel density and it really shows in the quality of the 'print'. It also has a built-in light and sports new touch capability.

The fact that you can receive notifications on the screen and respond to them without having to fire up the colour screen means that you can save yourself a lot of battery.

YotaPhone 2: Features

Most of the specs have been improved since the last model. The camera sports a respectable 8MP rear-facing camera plus a 2MP camera on the front. Along with the usual Wi-Fi, the new YotaPhone also packs 4G and NFC.

YotaPhone 2: Performance

The new handset runs on the new quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, with 2G of RAM. From what we could see in our short time with the phone, the UI looked pretty zippy and chucking stuff from the main screen to the back screen was instantaneous.

YotaPhone 2: Verdict

While the first YotaPhone seemed like a bit of a gimmick, the manufacturer has learnt lessons and applied them to the second-gen handset. And what they've come up with looks like a very cool product. So far we've only seen a very early version of the new product (plus a non-working mock-up that's also featured in the gallery above), so we reckon they'll be a few tweaks before the phone huits the shops. Stay tuned for a full review later this year...

YotaPhone 2 release date: Q4 2014

YotaPhone 2 price: TBC

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.