Back in December 2013, Moscow-based Yota Devices launched the world's first dual-screen smartphone, the YotaPhone. The device provides an LCD panel on the front and an electronic paper display (EPD) on the back, offering owners with an "always on" premium device.
"By including a second screen that uses electronic paper display technology, users have access to the information they want and need on a continual basis without having to wake up their phone," the company's press release said. "The technology also preserves smartphone battery power."
Now two months later, Yota has revealed the next-generation YotaPhone. The company points out a number of improvements in the overall design, including notifications. On the first generation device, these appear on the back screen but can't be opened. With the new generation, the user can actually respond to the notification (via SMS, social media posts, etc.) without having to wake up the LCD screen on the front.
Yota also made improvements to the back screen, increasing the size from 4.3 inches with a 360 x 640 resolution to a 4.7-inch back screen with a higher resolution, greater pixel density and a built-in light. The phone now delivers 50+ hours of battery life when reading on the always-on display.
The front display also took a bump in size, up from 4.7 inches to 5 inches. According to the company, owners could use the front display to watch videos, play games, view photos and browse the Internet. With the EPD, users can read ebooks and newspapers, post comments on social media, send emails and so on.
The next-generation YotaPhone also comes with a Smart Power Mode so that owners can turn off the front screen (battery hog) to perform tasks that don't require the LCD. This next-generation model also uses a Qualcomm 800 Series quad-core SoC (the original has a dual-core chip), supports wireless charging, NFC, anti-theft protection, and high-performance integrated hands-free audio.
"The improvements in the next-generation YotaPhone are directly the result of crowdsourcing," said Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov. "The Android community, along with our partners, suppliers and retailers, love our dual-screen, always-on concept and have many great suggestions for taking it to the next level."
For customers who just purchased a first-generation YotaPhone, don't fret; this second-generation device won't arrive until Q4 2014. The company also stated that an upgrade program for first generation consumers will be announced soon, allowing them to upgrade at a significant discount.
The next generation YotaPhone will be on sale in EMEA and Russia in Q4 2014, and a version for the US and Asian markets will follow three to four months later.
In addition to the phone, Yota Devices also released an SDK so that third-party app developers can create solutions that take advantage of the two screens. The company also unveiled several new apps such as Sportscaster for tracking your favorite team, and Fitness Tracker, which syncs to any health monitoring device.
For more information about the YotaPhone, head here.