CNET First Look
Up close with the e-ink second display of the YotaPhone 2The YotaPhone 2 is an Android phone with a twist -- it has a second display stuck to its back that uses e-ink technology to always display information without draining the battery. Check out our video review of this two-faced phone.
[MUSIC] Two smart phone screens are better than one, at least that's according to the YotaPhone 2. It's an Android phone with a 5" LDC display on one side and a touch screen e-ink display on the other. Now that might sound a little bizarre, and I'd agree with you to be honest, but the idea isn't as daft as it might seem at first. LCD screens use a lot of power, but [INAUDIBLE] only uses power when it refreshes what's on the screen, they're much more efficient. The rear screen works a lot like Android. It can show four panels that you can swipe between. Each displaying information like the weather, your RSS feeds, the time, incoming notifications, and can also give shortcuts to apps or your favorite contacts. More useful, though, is its ability to mirror the regular Android interface. YotaPhone doesn't have a great selection of its own apps that use a back screen, but by mirroring, you can use the Kindle app for your e-books, or keep a Google Maps route displayed in the back for as long as you need without draining the power. It's not suitable for watching videos or playing games, but if you do spend your commute reading e-books, you'll almost certainly find it very handy. If you're on your way to an unfamiliar location with only 2% battery remaining, you can quickly take a screenshot of your map and put it on the e-ink screen. Even when the phone dies completely, that screenshot will still be there, you'll still be able to find your way. It's actually the second generation YotaPhone, and this version makes a whole bunch of improvements over its predecessor. Its design is considerably improved, and specs have been given a much-needed boost to include a nifty dual-core processor, a full HD LCD display, and an 8-megapixel camera. It's price puts it among smart phone top dogs like the Galaxy S5, the iPhone 6 and the Sony Experience Edge 3. Now doing battle against these guys is difficult enough even for established names let alone for an unknown Russian brand. Its rear screen though is a unique feature and while it won't appeal to everyone it's likely to find some fans among [UNKNOWN] loving crowd. I'm Andrew Hoyle for CNET and this is the YotaPhone 2. [MUSIC]