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Review: YotaPhone

YotaPhone_Screens_HRThough slightly overpriced, the device is perfect for those users who enjoy technology novelties.

The Russian company, Yota launched YotaPhone, a dual screen smartphone, recently in the region. In terms of the concept, we must credit the company for novelty. However, from a user’s point of view, the second generation phones, expected early next year, will be a better contender in the market.

Priced more than it should be, the specs of the phone could have been a lot better. However, considering this is the first of its kind device, the company could be given some leeway.

The device comes with a Snapdragon S4 pro chip clocked at 1.7 GHZ. And coming to its most talked about feature, the secondary E-Ink display – it still has quite a bit of work to be done. The display is perfect for saving battery and thus make reading e-books and viewing notifications much more hassle-free. But it needs to be a lot more user-friendly. With Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system, Yota has also created a few custom apps to take advantage of the E-Ink display.
The Wallpaper app is the most useful one, allowing the user to add custom widgets that indicate battery life, weather and a clock. The widgets can be customised to be either dark or light depending on the wallpaper you select. MapsWithMe is another useful app though at the moment GPS location updates are pretty slow.
The E-ink display is popular thanks to Amazon’s Kindle devices, though Yota have not been able to ink a deal with them before the launch, they claim to be working on this. Instead, we have the BookMate application, presently with limited number of titles under its belt. At 171 ppi, company could do a lot better with the E-ink panel display. Navigating the E-ink display is via a navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

Despite having a 13MP sensor, the YotaPhone’s camera is not as impressive because colours are muted and there is a lag between shots at times. However, being a stock android app, there are plenty of editing options along with some fun filters. The front facing camera is a 1MP that does a decent job for video calling.
Yota has developed an innovative way to navigate the phone through two navigation bars. The main LCD panel has one at the bottom so does the E-Ink panel. Moving backwards is a simple swipe to the left and if you want to go back to the Home Screen, swipe right. A double tap in the centre gets you to the multi-tasking screen and holding the same for a couple seconds longer, gets you to Google Now. But the company has to still work on the sensitivity, however, one can activate the on-screen buttons from the settings menu.

The YotaPhone, positioned in the high-end market, is overpriced, however someone who delights in new technology, it is a good option. Considering that Yota is planning to launch a YotaPhone 2 by the year-end or early next year, shows that the company is committed to this concept and will improve vastly on the current model.

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