Dual Screen 'YotaPhone' Consumes Way Less Power

Dennis Faas's picture

A Russian company is selling a smartphone that features both front- and rear-facing screens. The manufacturer, Yota, says the layout is no gimmick and will help increase the device's battery life.

The company first unveiled the 'YotaPhone', which runs the Android operating system, last year. Although some analysts questioned whether it would ever see the light of day, Yota says the phone is already available to customers in Austria, France, Germany, Spain, and Russia.

It plans to expand sales to another 20 countries next year.

The front of the phone features a traditional LCD color screen, just like most smartphones. However, the rear features an electronic ink screen, similar to that used in e-reader devices, such as the Amazon Kindle.

E-Ink Used For Simple Text Display

The idea is that the e-ink screen can be used for displaying information, such as the time and date, along with notifications, such as a new text message.

This means you'll be able to see these details when the phone is in low-power mode, without the need to fully power-up the LCD screen.

Yota claims the average smartphone user checks their handset 150 times a day and that much of the information they are looking for could be shown on the low-power e-ink screen. (Source: bbc.co.uk)

Meanwhile, the LCD screen is reserved for cases where the user needs to view photos, videos, or websites.

The result: the YotaPhone could last up to 85 hours before requiring a recharge. (Source: telegraph.co.uk)

Valuable Info Protected From Dead Battery Disaster

There's also an option to use the e-ink display to store reference information such as an "electronic ticket" for travel or a map. The benefit of doing this is that e-ink screens can hold an image without using power, meaning you'd still be able to see the image even if the phone's battery died.

Yota says it is looking at adapting the handset to use the e-ink display in other ways. One idea would allow users to create and change their own image, similar to using a custom design case. Another idea is to use the e-ink display for advertising to subsidize the cost of the handset.

For the moment, the dual screen phone is only available to buy outright with no service agreement required. It costs 499 euros, which is about $680 USD. (Source: techradar.com)

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