The Back of This Phone Is a Touchscreen e-Reader
BARCELONA — On its front, the YotaPhone 2 looks like any other smartphone here at Mobile World Congress. But on the rear of the device, where most phones show little more than the logo and information from the FCC, this phone has managed to fit a whole second display.
As with its predecessor, the back of the YotaPhone 2 — a sequel to the innovative YotaPhone — is all E Ink. The idea on the first device was to let users receive notifications, read text and perform other tasks on the battery-saving E Ink display. E Ink, the technology on the display of the Amazon Kindle and several other e-readers, sucks up much less battery power than does an LCD or LED screen, like those found on most popular smartphones.
And as anyone who’s ever owned a Kindle will tell you, there are other advantages to E Ink: It’s easier on the eyes for long periods and works much better in direct sunlight.
The first YotaPhone had major issues. You couldn’t actually interact directly with the E Ink display — it was not a touchscreen — so you had to rely on the phone’s LCD display to pull up the information being shown on the rear. This got in the way of the battery-saving aspects in a number of scenarios.
For things like reading, there was a small touch panel beneath the screen. It was a bit of a clunky solution, but at least it meant you didn’t have to turn on the front screen every time you finished a page.