MWC 2014: Hands-on preview with the next-generation YotaPhone

MWC 2014: Hands-on preview with the next-generation YotaPhone

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, YotaPhone unveiled its second-generation, dual-screen smartphone, simply known as the next-generation YotaPhone. It was an early alpha build, but we had a chance to take the impressive new device for a spin. Read on for our first impressions.

The next-generation YotaPhone (which is on the right in the picture above, next to the old model) takes everything from the original and makes it bigger and better. The new smartphone now packs a 5in 1080p AMOLED display and 4.7in 960 x 540 E-Ink display around back. Instead of a small capacitive strip on the rear, the new YotaPhone’s second screen is fully capacitive touch-enabled. That means you can interact with the E-Ink display for tasks like web browsing or replying to text messages – it’s a major evolution in the dual-screen concept.

The YotaPhone is powered by a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and runs the latest Android 4.4 KitKat. Supported apps can throw images and information onto the E-Ink display, letting you access your important information without having to use the power-hungry backlit display.

In our brief demo, it was clear that this isn’t a finished product; but it was still undeniably cool and the updated specs put it in line with this generation of flagship smartphones.

YotaPhone said to expect the next-generation device to hit retail shelves in 20 locations worldwide sometime around March this year for a price in the neighbourhood of €499 (£410).

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Questions remain, though: Will the YotaPhone captivate mass market consumers like it did tech journalists here at the show? And with Samsung’s recently unveiled low-power mode that takes advantage of AMOLED displays’ ability to turn on individual pixels, will the E-Ink concept still be relevant? Stay tuned to find out.

For all the latest news, photos and analysis from MWC 2014, check out our live coverage of the event.

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