We saw a couple of dual-screen smartphones from major electronics companies last year, but neither are as practical as the YotaPhone, a prototype smartphone from Russian company Yota Devices. Instead of having two colored touchscreens, the Android phone has an LCD touchscreen on front and an E-ink display at the back.
In an interview with The Verge, Yota Devices CEO Vladislav Martynov provided a couple of examples of how customers can take advantage of the E-ink display. First, because the E-ink display consumes very little power, it can be left on at all times and used to display at-a-glance information, like a calendar, call and text notifications or even a Twitter stream.
Second, because the E-ink display can hold a static image even without power, you can push an image from the main screen and then turn the phone off while the image stays on the E-ink display. This feature can be used to display a boarding pass or – as you’ll see in the video below uploaded by Mobile-Review – a map or any other static image that you might want to have at the ready, which would otherwise drain the phone’s battery if it’s displayed at the main screen. Then there’s the obvious killer app: reading e-books.
The final version of the YotaPhone should go on sale at the end of 2013 for around $500 (USD). Hopefully someday we can have phones and tablets with a display that can switch between a colored and an E-ink mode, similar to the one that Pixel Qi has.