Back in 2012 a Russian company name Yota made a device which had a very unique selling point. When it released it was the only device in the world to have the Dual Screen feature. Last year Yota brought out its second iteration for the dual screen device range called the YotaPhone 2. We at Techplugged managed to get a hand on the limited edition YotaPhone2 White Colour for a review and this is what we thought about it:
It’s a very simplistic design with minimal ports and buttons and has the same Dual Screen nature of the first YotaPhone. The SIM slot is still under the volume button itself which was also present in the previous YotaPhone. That does not hamper the volume button controls in anyway but it’s a sort of cost cutting the way I see it. Only two buttons on the whole device, one for power and one for volume. The battery comes built-in but that matters less since phones get changed anytime between 6 months to 2/3 years depending on smartphone user.
One small flaw with this design are that they didn’t compensate for easier hold when using the back screen.
The performance for this device is certainly a market fighter. It’s fitted with 2 GB RAM, a Snapdragon 801 processor and a 32GB storage capacity, which to me sounds as good as any other mid-range consumer class smartphone in the market at the moment.
Added to that hardware set is the Android 5.0 software which was in the unit I got for this review. For others it might be Android 4 series upgradable to the 5.0. The good thing about this Android for the phone is that it’s as close to the native as possible and Yota has not put too much bloatware to slow the device down. The touch response is good and smooth. Hardly any lag when swiping through pages of home screen or through the applications folder.
The main downside here is that the storage is fixed and there is no expansion slot available to the user.
Connectivity and ports:
Connectivity wise there is Bluetooth 4.0 and the 802.11 Wireless connection standards. Also this device has the fast 4G LTE data handling capability so count your internet to be quite fast on the data package but be ready to lose a good chunk of battery while you are at it.
There’s a micro USB slot which is for data transfer and charging the phone while a headphone jack on the top of the phone.
The battery stands at 2500 mAh which for a smartphone of its capability and range should suffice enough but considering the fact it has 4G LTE maybe some of you might think that it could have been bumped up a bit more.
Charging Rate: When first put into charge the one very handy feature that is present which most people want in their phones is the amount of time in Hours and Minutes it will take to attain 100% full charge. It took two hours for the charge from 0% to the full 100%. This is quite standard for most smartphones.
Battery Life: For battery life, I checked its life with WIFI, Bluetooth on and screen brightness will be set to full. The total time it lasted was 4 hours 36 minutes in which I browsed the Internet, Facebooked with friends and watched a few videos of TV shows.
Which technically means that for a very simple user it will end up lasting longer and for someone who will use 4G and all will experience a lower battery life. I did not test out their claim of the rear screen reading battery life of 100h but I can assume it will be somewhere close to that figure in reality.
Camera and Sound:
There are two speakers at the bottom of the screen but on either side of the micro usb port. The sound is not too bad. The output is quite loud and clear when at 100% volume.
Camera is 8MP in the back capable of taking 1080p videos and 2.1MP in the front also capable of taking 1080p videos. The colors in the picture output are a bit off from the natural and there is grain in the picture quality. Camera focus is not bad and can handle shake quite well. Minimal lag when the camera is moved around. So it’s sufficient enough for normal users but if you really want to do good photography and videography in different conditions then I have definitely seen better cameras in smartphones out there in the market.
To talk about the display means to talk about both the screens. The front screen is a 5.0in 1920×1080 display. The flip side screen is actually a 4.7in E Ink Screen which is clear to read provided there is good light but I got little feeling that it’s not as smooth as the front screen since this is E Ink.
While the main idea of the back screen was to make a device that can double up as a good reader to a capable smartphone but what Yota did not miss out was a chance to actually make the back screen more useful than that primary idea.The back screen also doubles up as a main screen on which you can call people, write texts and get notifications from all applications and the calls as well. They use an inbuilt feature called YotaMirror to make this possible whereby the front screens functions are mirrored onto the back screen and that can be used to perform the same actions as you would normally.
A quick test using a 1080p video was done for the front screen and it did quite well. Colors were vibrant and resolution was pretty good.
One of Yota Device’s USP was that the screen adapts to the brightness of sunlight that falls on the device and after testing it out I am quite happy how the screen was quite visible in sharp sunlight. With the auto brightness switch flicked on, I decreased the brightness using the slider to lowest. The auto brightness handled the sunlight brightness quite well. It automatically bumped up the screen brightness once sunlight fell on the screen.
In conclusion I will say that the only thing that will sway me to buy this device is because of its main design idea that is the dual screen nature. Taking more aspects into consideration, while sound is quite good, the camera could have been better and the lack of a storage expansion slot may push me away to look for another device. While the battery is in-built and that may or may not be a necessary con to people the fact that it has a 0-100 charge up in two hours which is quite standard and can last up to 4.5 hours under the conditions that I tested in. For a full scale power user it might not last that long and maybe that might be a downside since there are a few phones that can last a bit longer than that.
Considering the pricing of 2555 Dhs, it is not a bad deal if you believe that you will make best use of the dual screen nature of this phone. Also like any other competitor device this also has its flaws and if those are in the aspects where you need better performance then don’t let the price tag entice you.