Double vision: YotaPhone 2 with e-ink rear screen coming to US

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Credit: YotaPhone

Although the unique YotaPhone 2, with its front and back displays, can work with AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks, you can’t buy the phone in the U.S. just yet. That’s changing soon but don’t expect to see the handset with e-ink rear screen in a carrier store anytime soon. Instead, the company is taking to Indiegogo to sell the phone for around $600 off-contract, according to PhoneScoop.

YotaPhone 2 front and back

Availability news came out of the Mobile World Congress where company announced the Indiegogo campaign. You can’t purchase the phone at the moment but you can provide an email address for updates in anticipation of April sales. YotaPhone says it will provide early-bird pricing for the Android 4.4 phone — which will get [company]Google[/company] Android 5.0 in the near future — and plans to bring it to retailers such as Best Buy in the U.S. as well.

This is the second iteration of YotaPhone’s handset with a traditional front screen coupled with lower resolution e-ink screen on the back. And this second time around gave the company another chance to show how a secondary screen can add to the phone experience. This hands-on Yotaphone 2 video from Android Central shows how the e-ink screen is better integrated into standard phone features in a way that doesn’t hit the battery too hard.

Key to the approach are new configurable panels, or screens, where you can choose what’s displayed on the e-ink screen: Think of notifications, boarding passes, email, books and more. Compared to the newer flagship phones recently announced at Mobile World Congress, the YotaPhone 2 is a step behind, using last year’s [company]Qualcomm[/company] Snapdragon 801 chip, for example. The addition of that second, low-power screen could offset such a compromise for some users, and the phone does have otherwise solid specs, including a 5-inch 1080p display, 2GB of memory, wireless charging support and a large 2500 mAh battery.

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