That's not the Eye of Sauron on your phone. It's the Yezz Sfera's 360-degree action cam (hands-on)

The first smartphone with action cameras on both front and back isn't ready yet, but we got a demo here at CES in Las Vegas.

Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt

Editorial Director / CNET Money, How-To & Performance Optimization

Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Money, How-To, and Performance teams. A California native who grew up in Silicon Valley, she's passionate about connecting people with the highest standard of advice to help them reach their goals.

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The round ball rising from both sides of the big, thick Yezz Sfera is the first sign that this isn't your typical Android phone. Yezz, a Miami-based phone maker, stuffed action cameras that take 360-degree photos and video on both sides of the handset, a first for the industry.

Unfortunately, there weren't any complete models to see here at CES in Las Vegas, but Yezz did show off prototypes for the Sfera, which it announced ahead of the show and which is already on presale for $300 -- but it'll typically cost $350, or about £240 and AU$500. It'll sell in the US only for now, and arrives April 30.

The phone is a hard plastic slab of a device that appears sturdy enough to take some spills, and its backing comes with a recess that mounts onto a standard action cam holder.

Yezz has done some work on the software side to help you work with the 360-degree videos you create (you can always take standard shots, too).

  • View in simple VR headset
  • Split-screen mode shows image capture from both front and rear cameras
  • Preview photos and video in a gallery
  • Share with friends or post to social media

The Sfera excites me because it's different and new, and because it could find a niche market with outdoor enthusiasts who could satisfy their action cam needs buy buying two devices for the price of one. I'm looking forward to seeing a full working model next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Check out the 360-camera on the Yezz Sfera (pictures)

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Hardware specs:

  • 5.5-inch 1080p HD display
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 5-megapixel front and back fish-eye cameras
  • 32GB internal storage, 3GB RAM
  • 64GB microSD card support
  • 2.0GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio processor
  • 3,000mAH battery
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