Could the second E-Ink based screen finally be an answer
to the smartphone battery woes?
In what could turn out to be an effective approach to reducing battery worries of smartphone users, Russian device maker Yota has launched a smartphone with two screens – “one of which uses e-ink technology and is “always on,” says a BBC report. (read here)
The report cited Yota as saying the phone would go on sale online immediately in Russia, Austria, France, Spain and Germany, and that there were plans to launch it in 20 more companies by March 2014. While there was no immediate mention of the markets, it is much likely that the smartphone would come to India too, even though the more important smartphone markets would be US, UK and China.
Yota seems to have developed the YotaPhone (as the device is called) based on some key assumptions, which, as drawn from the quotes of Yota Devices chief executive Vlad Martynov, may be listed down as follows:
1. “The typical user picks up and activates their smartphone more than 150 times a day”
2. “Why? Because users worry that messages they need are hidden behind their phone’s black screen”
And hence the YotaPhone—which uses a secondary E-Ink screen that uses little power to capture and display a ‘snapshot’ of the main screen and is always “on.”
“The electronic paper display is always on, but in a less disturbing and more user-friendly way. You can easily see notices, emails, tweets, and other information in real time without picking up or even activating your phone,” says Yota of the phone on its website.
The second screen is similar to the ones used by other smartphones. YotaPhone is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and a 12-megapixel rear camera and runs on the Android OS.
Other specs of the phone as listed on the YotaPhone website are:
  • OS Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
  • CPU Dual Core 1.7 GHz Krait
  • FORM FACTOR Monoblock touch with front and back screens
  • DIMENSIONS 133.6 x 67 x 9.99mm
  • WEIGHT 146g
  • COLOURS Black and white
  • MAIN SCREEN 4.3” 720×1280 LCD, 16.7M colours; capacitive multi touch
  • BACK SCREEN 4.3” 360×640 EPD, 16 grayscale; capacitive touch zone below the EPD for gesture controls
  • NETWORK LTE 800/1800/2600 MHz, UMTS 900/1800/2100 MHz, GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz
  • CAMERA Main camera 13 MP AF, LED flash, front camera 1MP
  • CONNECTIVITY WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, BT v4.0, GPS w/A-GPS + Glonass
  • VIDEO 1080p 30fps; H.263, H.264 AVC, MPEG-4, WebM
  • BATTERY 1800mAh
  • OTHER Accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, FM radio, micro-SIM, special YotaPhone gestures and Put2Back applications for the back screen

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