YotaPhone 2, The Ebook Lovers' Smartphone That Amazon Could Have Built

Despite coming from a little known company from Russia, the YotaPhone 2 has gotten quite a bit of attention because of its two screens, one of which is made out of E-ink technology.

The advantage of this two-screen smartphone is that you can use the LCD for everyday tasks such as playing games, writing emails or checking your calendar, and the E-ink screen for reading ebooks. The paper-like E-ink display doesn't strain your eyes, and it's low power demands compared to the LCD screen can extend the device's battery life.

Earlier this year, Amazon tried its luck in the smartphone market with its Fire Phone and the "Dynamic Perspective" feature that's been largely considered a gimmick. It also made the phone expensive, and customers weren't particularly interested in buying it. (Even with the Fire Phone now down to $200 unlocked, it still doesn't seem too compelling to many users.)

Looking at the YotaPhone 2, it seems Amazon missed an opportunity. The company is known for its E-ink Kindles, and Amazon could have built a "Kindle Phone" instead of a "Fire Phone," for people who want to read on the go, without having to carry their Kindles with them. Granted, the 4.7" E-ink screen size of the YotaPhone 2 is probably too small for reading books, but Amazon could have made a device with a 5.5" 300 PPI E-ink screen that could have been much more appealing to Amazon's book-loving customers.

Until Amazon decides to build such a smartphone, the YotaPhone 2 is here as an alternative. The device comes with a 5" 1080p LCD screen in the front and a 4.7" qHD E-ink screen in the back, a Snapdragon 800 processor, 8MP rear and 2MP front cameras, 32 GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE and a 2,500 mAh battery.

Those who want one can already sign up on YotaPhone's home page, and the devices will be delivered on a first come, first serve basis. The phones cost about $620 in Russia and Europe right now and should be available in the U.S. market for $650 next year.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.