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CES 2013: Wild YotaPhone marries e-ink with Android

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CES 2013: Wild YotaPhone marries e-ink with Android

4:00 /

Wowsers! This dual-screen smartphone has an LCD display on one side and power-saving e-ink on the other.

Hey, everybody. This is Jessica Dolcourt from CNET here at CES 2013. I'm giving you a first look of the Yota Phone. It's not Yoda, it's Yota with a T. Now, this is a really interesting device. It's crazy and I'm not really sure where to start. The concept is that you've got a high end Android phone on the front but when you flip it around, you've got an E Ink display. So, we've got sort of a secondary screen on the back that will show all sorts of information. It could be an interactive app, it could simply be the mirror contents from the front of the screen that shows up on the back. Why would you want this? The one main reason you would want it is for battery savings. So, one new case is that if the battery is running really low on your phone and you still want a basic map and you don't need it to be crystal clear on full living color and you can actually transfer it from the front to the back. You take your fingers, you pull down, it vibrates and then after a while it will load up and you'll see your map on the back. The second way you can use this is through this interactive apps. Now, there are few right here that have been pre-installed but what Yota Phone, the company wants to do is actually provide an STK for developers to create their own applications for the back. So, you've got interactive or you've got mirror. Those are the two different modes. Four point three inch LCD screen on the front, this is HD quality. Then on the back you also have a 4.3-inch screen. The camera placement is really interesting, it's on the bottom back over here. This is a 12 megapixel camera and there is a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera that does capture 720p HD video. And the camera on the back, of course, does capture and replay 1080p HD video. Now, this is a prototype device so this might not be what it looks like at the very end. It is quite thick, but one thing you might see is that it's also curved. So, what the company has done is they've actually contacted with Corning, the makers of Gorilla Glass and they got Gorilla Glass 3 on here. It's a curved glass, so that is the first. The SIM card and the power button are sort of combined into one. So that's supposed to reduce the number of holes and buttons on the screen. Navigation is also a little bit different here, sort of a web OS style. You've got a swiping gesture area at the bottom, you don't have to capacitive touch buttons. So, you can basically swipe halfway across the screen to go back. You can swipe all the way to go home and you can present a long press to pull up your resets. Same thing with navigation on the back, there's a gesture area at the very bottom. There are a couple of different controls you can do to navigate this E Ink display on the back. You could say the harder the phone is the processer, there's a 1.5 GHz dual core Snapdragon processor on this but that could change because this is just one of the first prototypes. There are gonna be a few more integrations. Very high capacity on here, flash storage 32 or 64 gigabyte versions will be available, also 2 gigabytes of RAM. But there won't be any external storage and so that's why it comes in 2 capacities. The phone also has NFC and Yota, the parent company comes from a background of LTE routers and modems so the phone will definitely come with LTE. When can you see this? That's a good question. They are going to aim for the back half of 2013. Will be released in Russia first and will come to other markets after that. This is definitely one of the most interesting devices I've seen at CES. It isn't the first time it launched. It was actually launched in December but this is the first time that we're getting our hands on it and one of the first times that it's really been publicly shown in U.S. as well. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET, catch all the CES News at cnet.com.

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