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HolidayBuyer's Guide

The YotaPhone is an Android smartphone packing a regular 4.3-inch LCD display on the front with a second E Ink display on the back.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The E Ink display is the same sort you'll find on the Amazon Kindle. It's not backlit, so it's easier to read for longer periods and takes much less power to run than a normal display.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The rear display can remain permanently on, showing incoming notifications without draining your battery too much.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Or you can use it as a shopping list while you trawl the aisles.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The back screen can display a variety of pre-loaded wallpapers, or an image of your own.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You can pop down widgets for time, date and weather too.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

YotaPhone's News Feed app lets you put your Facebook feed on the rear screen.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Only apps from YotaPhone itself are able to make use of the rear screen. None of the apps from the Play Store will be able to make use of it, including the Kindle and Kobo ebook apps.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The low resolution of the E Ink screen means that reading small text can be awkward.

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Physically, the phone is fairly uninspiring. It's chunky, but it's comfortable to hold.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You'll find the standard micro-USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack around the sides.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The power button doubles up as the micro-SIM slot.

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There are no physical buttons sticking out of the front. You'll have to learn a series of gestures to make your way around the Android interface.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It's running on the now quite elderly Android 4.2.2.

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There's a 13-megapixel camera on the back. When it's in use, the E Ink screen shows this helpful message.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The rear camera is positioned on the bottom left of the phone, which is quite awkward to get used to -- expect your finger to creep into your first few shots.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It doesn't have the sort of sleek looks you'd find on some Android phones.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Various animal portraits are available to jazz up the back screen, as well as landscape scenes and abstract patterns.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

A volume rocker is found on the edge.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

A 3.5mm headphone jack sits on the top.

Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET
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