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Digital Trends

Extra e-paper screen is useful and awesome, but it’s price is high

YotaPhone 2

from Digital Trends

The YotaPhone 2 seems uniquely suited to a very specific customer: the tech-savvy reader who only wants to tote around one device every day. It can replace a Kindle. The e-paper screen acts as an ebook reader and something of a smartwatch, thanks to the notifications and clock displayed on the always-on screen.|

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The YotaPhone 2 seems uniquely suited to a very specific customer: the tech-savvy reader who only wants to tote around one device every day. It can replace a Kindle. The e-paper screen acts as an ebook reader and something of a smartwatch, thanks to the notifications and clock displayed on the always-on screen.|

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Tech Advisor

The Android smartphone with two screens

YotaPhone 2

from Tech Advisor

There are a lot of things to like about the YotaPhone 2 and we applaud the company for doing something different. The design is excellent and if you want a dual-screen smartphone this is the one for you (ie. don't buy the original). Although the concept works pretty well and there's potential for great battery life, there are a few downfalls. We're mainly disappointed by the slow nature of using the e-ink screen and the awful ghosting. The price is also a barrier (even at £440) and means it comes short of rivals in areas such as photography and storage.

Read full review

There are a lot of things to like about the YotaPhone 2 and we applaud the company for doing something different. The design is excellent and if you want a dual-screen smartphone this is the one for you (ie. don't buy the original). Although the concept works pretty well and there's potential for great battery life, there are a few downfalls. We're mainly disappointed by the slow nature of using the e-ink screen and the awful ghosting. The price is also a barrier (even at £440) and means it comes short of rivals in areas such as photography and storage.

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What Mobile

An excellent innovation that irons out almost all of the problems from the firstgeneration device

YotaPhone 2

from What Mobile

The potential lack of upgrades is something you should consider if your cursor is hovering over the ‘Buy’ button on YotaPhone’s website: this phone is what it is now, and possibly will be nothing more. It takes huge expense for manufacturers to update phones and create an ecosystem, after all.

Then there’s the price. And this is something you’ll need to think about carefully for a few reasons. First off, at £550, the YotaPhone 2 is an expensive device; you’re paying for the second screen here, not the specs, the looks or the build, and Apple ticks all those boxes for the same cost with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Secondly, you shouldn’t expect being able to subsidise this cost over a two-year contract like you might a big-brand smartphone. The YotaPhone 2 is being sold SIM-free only, with no network partners up front.

For that money, you could quite easily purchase a flagship smartphone and a Kindle, and still have change to spare. But what price would you put on convergence and convenience? If you are constantly reading and communicating on the go – and need some entertainment on a long commute – this might just be the best phone you’ve come across in years.

The YotaPhone 2 fixes almost all of the original’s flaws, and turns the rear E Ink display from an impractical cherry on top, to one of the phone’s main ingredients. There’s no denying this quirky conversation-starter is for a niche audience, and a rich one at that. We can’t wait to see what the YotaPhone 3 brings, not least a price drop for this model.

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The potential lack of upgrades is something you should consider if your cursor is hovering over the ‘Buy’ button on YotaPhone’s website: this phone is what it is now, and possibly will be nothing more. It takes huge expense for manufacturers to update phones and create an ecosystem, after all.

Then there’s the price. And this is something you’ll need to think about carefully for a few reasons. First off, at £550, the YotaPhone 2 is an expensive device; you’re paying for the second screen here, not the specs, the looks or the build, and Apple ticks all those boxes for the same cost with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Secondly, you shouldn’t expect being able to subsidise this cost over a two-year contract like you might a big-brand smartphone. The YotaPhone 2 is being sold SIM-free only, with no network partners up front.

For that money, you could quite easily purchase a flagship smartphone and a Kindle, and still have change to spare. But what price would you put on convergence and convenience? If you are constantly reading and communicating on the go – and need some entertainment on a long commute – this might just be the best phone you’ve come across in years.

The YotaPhone 2 fixes almost all of the original’s flaws, and turns the rear E Ink display from an impractical cherry on top, to one of the phone’s main ingredients. There’s no denying this quirky conversation-starter is for a niche audience, and a rich one at that. We can’t wait to see what the YotaPhone 3 brings, not least a price drop for this model.

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Phonedog

An awesome smartphone with two faces

YotaPhone 2

from Phonedog

As an overall package, excluding the secondary screen, the YotaPhone is a good smartphone. In fact, I’d have no issue using it as my daily driver. But, if you’re an avid e-book reader and don’t want to take your Kindle with you everywhere you go, the E-Paper display on the back might just be the best thing that ever happened to a smartphone.

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As an overall package, excluding the secondary screen, the YotaPhone is a good smartphone. In fact, I’d have no issue using it as my daily driver. But, if you’re an avid e-book reader and don’t want to take your Kindle with you everywhere you go, the E-Paper display on the back might just be the best thing that ever happened to a smartphone.

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Fone Arena

A tale of two halves

YotaPhone 2

from Fone Arena

Concluding the YotaPhone 2 is very much like concluding a game of cricket with two very different innings. On the one hand, the cost is prohibitively expensive and the handset has a mediocre camera with average battery life and none of the gimmicks features on other flagship devices.

On the other, it’s completely unique, the rear EPD screen can be incredibly useful and the real-world performance is excellent. From the moment I switched the handset on, the single thing going through my mind has been how cool this handset is. Having used most of the smartphones released on the market over the past five years, I can safely say that this is the single coolest smartphone I’ve ever used.

The unique rear display is certainly a head-turner and having shown it to a few strangers, the overall feedback has been a mix of adulation and envy. With most other smartphones offering the same features with little to differentiate them, it’s a real pleasure when a company does something different and the YotaPhone 2 is exactly that.

It’s not the perfect device as take away the rear display and you have an average smartphone with lots of work required to polish the interface but the rear e-ink display is inherently useful. Playing a YouTube video or a game on the screen makes no sense but the point is that if I wanted to, I could. That seems to be Yota’s message – explore the screen and use it however you like.

If you’re looking for a phone that’s unique and completely different, this is it. It’s single-handedly the coolest phone ever made. 

Read full review

Concluding the YotaPhone 2 is very much like concluding a game of cricket with two very different innings. On the one hand, the cost is prohibitively expensive and the handset has a mediocre camera with average battery life and none of the gimmicks features on other flagship devices.

On the other, it’s completely unique, the rear EPD screen can be incredibly useful and the real-world performance is excellent. From the moment I switched the handset on, the single thing going through my mind has been how cool this handset is. Having used most of the smartphones released on the market over the past five years, I can safely say that this is the single coolest smartphone I’ve ever used.

The unique rear display is certainly a head-turner and having shown it to a few strangers, the overall feedback has been a mix of adulation and envy. With most other smartphones offering the same features with little to differentiate them, it’s a real pleasure when a company does something different and the YotaPhone 2 is exactly that.

It’s not the perfect device as take away the rear display and you have an average smartphone with lots of work required to polish the interface but the rear e-ink display is inherently useful. Playing a YouTube video or a game on the screen makes no sense but the point is that if I wanted to, I could. That seems to be Yota’s message – explore the screen and use it however you like.

If you’re looking for a phone that’s unique and completely different, this is it. It’s single-handedly the coolest phone ever made. 

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Tech Advisor

A special smartphone with not one, but two screens

YotaPhone 2

from Tech Advisor

There are a lot of things to like about the YotaPhone 2 and we applaud the company for doing something different. The design is excellent and if you want a dual-screen smartphone this is the one for you (ie. don't buy the original). Although the concept works pretty well and there's potential for great battery life, there are a few downfalls. We're mainly disappointed by the slow nature of using the e-ink screen and the awful ghosting. The price is also a barrier and means it comes short of rivals in areas such as photography and storage.

Read full review

There are a lot of things to like about the YotaPhone 2 and we applaud the company for doing something different. The design is excellent and if you want a dual-screen smartphone this is the one for you (ie. don't buy the original). Although the concept works pretty well and there's potential for great battery life, there are a few downfalls. We're mainly disappointed by the slow nature of using the e-ink screen and the awful ghosting. The price is also a barrier and means it comes short of rivals in areas such as photography and storage.

Read full review

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GSMArena

Not your average Android flagship

YotaPhone 2

We approached the YotaPhone 2 as the niche device we thought it was. By the time we reached the end of this review, we were ready to rethink. It's an odd-ball of a device by all means, but its second screen opens the door to a whole new world of possibilities.

The YotaPhone 2 is closer to the current crop of flagships than to the midrange market segment. The overall performance is Nexus 5/Galaxy S5 grade or similar - fast, fluid and capable of handling pretty much everything.

The 5" AMOLED is another great asset, with excellent pixel density, great contrast, solid color reproduction and good sunlight legibility. The 8MP rear cam turned out really nice, while the vanilla Android KitKat runs smooth as silk. YotaPhone 2 is supposed to get Lollipop sooner rather than later. We are certainly starting to like how Yota goes about its business.

The rear e-Ink display turned out not as sharp as other conventional e-reader screens. But it does offer the hassle-free and eye-soothing reading experience right out of your pocket. Plus, it indeed makes the YotaPhone 2 look fresh and new every day, with those awesome wallpapers that look like printed on the curved Gorilla Glass 3 over at the back.

And there is more. The rear widgets and apps let you access the phone's basic features: calls, messages, and email with the main screen off, which means lower battery consumption. There are games and apps that look darn good on the e-paper screen. And you can even run the Android homescreen on it, if you want.

Honestly, there isn't a single YotaPhone 2 feature that didn't strike our fancy. The lack of a 4K video recording or microSD slot is certainly not something to fuss over. 

Read full review

We approached the YotaPhone 2 as the niche device we thought it was. By the time we reached the end of this review, we were ready to rethink. It's an odd-ball of a device by all means, but its second screen opens the door to a whole new world of possibilities.

The YotaPhone 2 is closer to the current crop of flagships than to the midrange market segment. The overall performance is Nexus 5/Galaxy S5 grade or similar - fast, fluid and capable of handling pretty much everything.

The 5" AMOLED is another great asset, with excellent pixel density, great contrast, solid color reproduction and good sunlight legibility. The 8MP rear cam turned out really nice, while the vanilla Android KitKat runs smooth as silk. YotaPhone 2 is supposed to get Lollipop sooner rather than later. We are certainly starting to like how Yota goes about its business.

The rear e-Ink display turned out not as sharp as other conventional e-reader screens. But it does offer the hassle-free and eye-soothing reading experience right out of your pocket. Plus, it indeed makes the YotaPhone 2 look fresh and new every day, with those awesome wallpapers that look like printed on the curved Gorilla Glass 3 over at the back.

And there is more. The rear widgets and apps let you access the phone's basic features: calls, messages, and email with the main screen off, which means lower battery consumption. There are games and apps that look darn good on the e-paper screen. And you can even run the Android homescreen on it, if you want.

Honestly, there isn't a single YotaPhone 2 feature that didn't strike our fancy. The lack of a 4K video recording or microSD slot is certainly not something to fuss over. 

Read full review

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Coolsmartphone

An innovative handset with a massive party trick

YotaPhone 2

from Coolsmartphone

This is a phone with a very decent specification and is built well with a beautiful design. The rear display, to the untrained eye, can look like a logo until you confuse the heck out of interested onlookers by interacting with it, or having it change regularly as you ride the train to work. It is, however, a hard one to sell to the mainstream smartphone audience. We all know that the high-quality screens on which we’re hooked daily are nailing our precious batteries. However, I’d be interested to find out just how many people will really give up the full-colour experience of a Twitter or Facebook feed for an e-ink representation just to save a few minutes or hours of battery.

The handset is expensive, and it sits in the same price bracket as your new Samsung Galaxy, HTC One or iPhone. For this you don’t get a microSD slot and the camera really could be better. However, I’ll honestly applaud what they’re done with the YotaPhone 2. This is a fantastically engineered handset with software which will let you use anything you want on the rear screen and the ability to read books without having to be hooked into your charger at the same time. I like the fact that the apps are simple, clear and come with on-board instructions. I like the fact that the OS is uncluttered and clean, plus I like the look on the faces of people when I play a YouTube video on that rear panel. 

Read full review

This is a phone with a very decent specification and is built well with a beautiful design. The rear display, to the untrained eye, can look like a logo until you confuse the heck out of interested onlookers by interacting with it, or having it change regularly as you ride the train to work. It is, however, a hard one to sell to the mainstream smartphone audience. We all know that the high-quality screens on which we’re hooked daily are nailing our precious batteries. However, I’d be interested to find out just how many people will really give up the full-colour experience of a Twitter or Facebook feed for an e-ink representation just to save a few minutes or hours of battery.

The handset is expensive, and it sits in the same price bracket as your new Samsung Galaxy, HTC One or iPhone. For this you don’t get a microSD slot and the camera really could be better. However, I’ll honestly applaud what they’re done with the YotaPhone 2. This is a fantastically engineered handset with software which will let you use anything you want on the rear screen and the ability to read books without having to be hooked into your charger at the same time. I like the fact that the apps are simple, clear and come with on-board instructions. I like the fact that the OS is uncluttered and clean, plus I like the look on the faces of people when I play a YouTube video on that rear panel. 

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AndroidPIT

A three-star phone enhanced by a five-star feature

YotaPhone 2

from AndroidPIT

The YotaPhone 2 is a vastly improved progression from the first proof-of-concept device. The second e-ink screen on the back is infinitely more useful, with full touch controls and a range of applications, widgets and use cases to take advantage of. While the internal components are a little dated, the YotaPhone 2 is about more than the specs race, introducing a new way of thinking about your smartphone and revolutionizing battery life in the process.

Specs hounds and camera fiends will likely look elsewhere and for good reason, but for those with an adventurous slant to your smartphone tastes, the YotaPhone 2 represents a groundbreaking approach to what we can expect from our smartphones and what our smartphones can actually do. With battery life calculated in days, an always-on touchscreen and the benefits of both a full color and e-ink display, the YotaPhone has many faces, and all of them are worth looking at. It's a three-star phone empowered with a five-star feature and we can't wait to see more.

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The YotaPhone 2 is a vastly improved progression from the first proof-of-concept device. The second e-ink screen on the back is infinitely more useful, with full touch controls and a range of applications, widgets and use cases to take advantage of. While the internal components are a little dated, the YotaPhone 2 is about more than the specs race, introducing a new way of thinking about your smartphone and revolutionizing battery life in the process.

Specs hounds and camera fiends will likely look elsewhere and for good reason, but for those with an adventurous slant to your smartphone tastes, the YotaPhone 2 represents a groundbreaking approach to what we can expect from our smartphones and what our smartphones can actually do. With battery life calculated in days, an always-on touchscreen and the benefits of both a full color and e-ink display, the YotaPhone has many faces, and all of them are worth looking at. It's a three-star phone empowered with a five-star feature and we can't wait to see more.

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Notebookcheck

A well-conceived and configurable feature

YotaPhone 2

from Notebookcheck

The YotaPhone 2 is the only smartphone in the market that features a second e-paper display. That largely prevents any usage restrictions even on sunny summer days, and always ensures good legibility. However, the EP display does not make an absolutely sophisticated impression. Although it has been improved considerably compared with the precursor, the displayed content could be sharper. Besides that, we would wish for a backlight that can be enabled optionally.

Otherwise, Yota Devices delivers a good total package with its handheld. The battery life is very good, the build is great, and decent cameras have found their way into the device. Furthermore, the smartphone can boast with low specific absorption rates.

Despite that, we miss the option of expanding the storage and, in view of the high price, a stronger processor as well as speedier LTE. It is too bad that the maker did not manage to properly control the CPU's waste heat, and the speaker remains to be an area needing improvement. 

Read full review

The YotaPhone 2 is the only smartphone in the market that features a second e-paper display. That largely prevents any usage restrictions even on sunny summer days, and always ensures good legibility. However, the EP display does not make an absolutely sophisticated impression. Although it has been improved considerably compared with the precursor, the displayed content could be sharper. Besides that, we would wish for a backlight that can be enabled optionally.

Otherwise, Yota Devices delivers a good total package with its handheld. The battery life is very good, the build is great, and decent cameras have found their way into the device. Furthermore, the smartphone can boast with low specific absorption rates.

Despite that, we miss the option of expanding the storage and, in view of the high price, a stronger processor as well as speedier LTE. It is too bad that the maker did not manage to properly control the CPU's waste heat, and the speaker remains to be an area needing improvement. 

Read full review

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