has started shipping its dual-screened YotaPhone
, a smartphone that sports a pair of displays. On the front is a typical 4.3-inch 720x1280-resolution LCD screen, while on the back is a 360x640 e-paper display, one which can be used to read ebooks, display signs or messages, or even as a low-power alternative to the LCD screen when the battery needs to be recharged.
Inside the YotaPhone is a dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Running on Android 4.2.2, it has a 13-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash with a 1-megapixel front-facing version, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE connectivity, GPS, a and a 1,800mAh battery. The notable rear display has a small touch zone underneath for gesture controls, is designed to be on at all times to show notifications and other updates, and will retain whatever is shown last on the screen, even if it runs out of power.
Yota has started selling the YotaPhone in Russia, Austria, France, Germany, and Spain for 499 euros ($680), with the UK to receive it in January, and other European and Middle East countries shortly after. A US release is not currently planned.
Despite putting the dual-screen smartphone on sale today, the company is already planning a follow-up. CEO Vlad Martynov revealed to Pocket-Lint
that a second version is expected to come out in late 2014, letting slip the plans as part of a discussion about whether or not the Kindle app
would work with the rear display. Though the Amazon app will not directly work with the current device, Martynov revealed that app compatibility would be something the company would look at for a future version.