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Android, e-ink YotaPhone mashup arrives December

Remember that zany smartphone with Android on the front and an e-reader on the back? Well, good. Because it goes on sale this holiday season.

Now playing: Watch this: Wild YotaPhone marries e-ink with Android

Yota Devices, the company behind the Android and e-ink YotaPhone, will start selling its unusual smartphone creation "in time for Christmas 2013," the company said in an e-mail.

We've seen dual-screen handsets before, but this one is unique in pairing a high-resolution LCD screen in front with an e-ink display on the rear.

Why the e-ink? The idea is that when power runs low, switching to an electronic paper image for reading or referencing items can help keep a phone usable longer before needing a charge.

The Moscow-based Yota Devices first showed off the YotaPhone in January at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and has been updating it since then. At the time, the device featured high-end specs like 4G LTE, Android 4.1, a 4.3-inch 1280p HD display, a 12-megapixel camera, and a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus (MSM8960) chip.

Although we don't have details yet, I'd expect that at least some of these specs have been updated; we might see a quad-core chip instead of the dual-core CPU, for instance. We'll also need to be patient about pricing and availability details. Yota Devices will sell the phone globally. I'm guessing it'll turn up in Russia first, with other European and international markets to follow.

In the meantime, you can read all about the YotaPhone in our hands-on with an early model from CES.

The YotaPhone pairs Android with a power-saving e-ink screen on the back.
The YotaPhone pairs Android with a power-saving e-ink screen on the back. James Martin/CNET