Published: February 27, 2013 3:10 PM
By Florence Legrand / Romain Thuret
Translated by: Catherine Barraclough
The prototype handset that Russian manufacturer Yota is showing off at this year's MWC has certainly been pulling in the crowds. This double-sided Yota Phone is a smartphone on one side and an e-reader on the other. A final model could be coming to Europe before then end of the year.

Scroll down for photos and a video demo.


YotaPhone

From the front, the Yota Phone is an Android Jelly Bean 4.2 smartphone with a 4.3" HD IPS screen (1280 × 720 pixels) and 4G support. From the back, it's an e-book reader with a 4.3" e-ink display.

YotaPhone

This handset runs on a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor and 1 GB of RAM. There's a 12-Megapixel camera on the back and a 2-Megapixel front-facing webcam.

The Yota is an original connected device that has certainly attracted attention, but this unusual idea has actually been put into practice pretty well in Yota's advanced prototype.

YotaPhone

By simply sliding two fingers from top to bottom of the screen, you can transfer content from one display to the other. And that content doesn't have to just be e-books or text—you can view photos, web pages, Google Maps, QR Codes (handy for e-tickets!) and more on the second screen.

YotaPhone

So just how useful could this second screen be in practice? First of all, the e-ink screen can help boost the handset's battery life, as it uses less power than the standard LCD. Plus, it means you can continue reading e-mails or browsing the web when the phone's battery is running too low to power the LCD for long. 

YotaPhone

The e-ink display also makes reading more comfortable. You could therefore "scan" web pages or other content quickly on the front screen before reading them in depth later on the more eye-freindly e-ink screen.

Other interesting design features include a touch-sensitive strip under the screen for flipping back to the menu with a swipe to the left, and an On/Off button that doubles up as a micro-SIM slot. 

YotaPhone

The Yota Phone is expected to launch in Russia towards the middle of 2013. A Yota rep on the firm's MWC stand told us that it could then be rolled out to the European market in late 2013 or early 2014. However, Yota will first of all need to negotiate with UK and European carriers, who might not instantly warm to this unusual phone from an emerging manufacturer. 

YotaPhone

Check out the Yota Phone in action in the video below, filmed while one of the firm's reps gave us a tour of the device at MWC 2013.
 

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