The-- the smartphone with a second E-ink display stuck to the back -- is now available in a fresh white colour. It's been given a bunch of software tweaks to make the E-ink screen more useful and is available directly from YotaPhone's website for £440, a significant saving off the original £550 asking price.
The white colour is the only physical difference you'll notice on the phone, as it's mostly unchanged from the existing YotaPhone 2 we reviewed late last year. The new hue does give it a fresh look though, and I prefer it to the quite plain-looking black version. The E-ink screen on the rear has had its colours inverted, now displaying black text on a white background. This makes the panels of information -- such as the time, RSS feeds and the weather -- that bit more comfortable to read.
Functionally, the rear display is the same as before. It can show live information such as incoming emails and texts, mirror your regular LCD display or be used as an ebook reader -- all of which uses less power on the E-ink side than it does on the LCD side. However, it has undergone some software updates.
YotaPhone says it has made changes to the E-ink screen based on feedback from 5,000 users. Some of the major updates include the ability to display your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds fullscreen, as well as being able to have the screen automatically cycle through your favourite photos. There's also a fitness app which uses the pedometer to give an overview of steps taken throughout the day, an always-on football scores widget and the ability to use GMail from the rear display, instead of only the built-in YotaPhone client.
On paper at least, these updates go some way to addressing my two main issues I had with Yotaphone's model last year: that it was too expensive and the rear screen didn't really do enough. It's still quite pricey for a phone that doesn't have the sex-appeal of big names like Apple and Samsung, but the new updates and fresh colour may make it a more attractive option to squeeze into your pocket.
I'll be updating oursoon to include impressions of the new software.