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Yota, a dual-screen smartphone that uses e-ink technology has been launched. The phone’s e-ink ensures that it is “always on” and can be easily viewed outdoors under glaring sunlight.

The Russian manufacturer of the phone with the same name said the phone would be on sale immediately in Russia, Austria, France, Spain and Germany. It also announced that it would release the device in 20 other countries by March 2014. The smartphone, which is operates on an Android-based OS has a long-lasting battery life due to reduced energy demand from the e-ink screen. Some reviews anticipate that the phone would be a favourite to other brands that consume excessive battery power within short periods. The phone has, on one side, a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen, while its other screen is built on e-ink technology, which enables users to view information on it without having to wake the phone up. “The typical user picks up and activates their smartphone more than 150 times a day,” said Yota Devices chief executive Vlad Martynov. “Why? Because users worry that messages or information they need or want are hidden behind their phone’s black screen. This is a huge distraction and can impede meaningful interaction with our friends, families and colleagues,” he noted. The company is reputed for manufacturing modems and internet routers. It was in 2012 that it first announced plans to roll out dual-screen smartphones. “The YotaPhone is an ambitious concept and although it will be considered a gimmick by many we believe there is merit in the design,” Ben Wood, a mobile analyst at research firm CCS Insight, noted. “With many smartphone owners struggling to make the battery on their device last a whole day, the option to have a secondary screen that uses little or no power to capture and display a ‘snapshot’ of the main screen could be attractive,” he added. The smartphone features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and a 12-megapixel camera and will cost 499 euros (about N108,581).  

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This article was first published on 11th December 2013

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