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YotaPhone: Dual-display smartphone rolls out in Russia

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One screen is not enough. Or, so thinks Russian startup Yota Devices, whih has created the YotaPhone - a. double-sided handset with an LCD colored display in front and an electronic paper display (EPD) on its back. It was officially launched Wednesday during a company event in Moscow.

While some may view it as excess, the smartphone is actually all about energy efficiency. Its e-ink screen is always on and will allow owners to check emails, tweets, and notifications, among others, without having to wake up the device. This means that battery consumption is lower. The LCD display in front is utilized for the usual functions such as calling, web browsing, watching videos, playing games, etc.

The YotaPhone will go on sale in mid-December in Russia, Germany, Spain, Austria and France. By January 2014, it will be rolled out in the United Kingdom, Greece, Czech Republic, Cyprus, and the Middle East. The handset will have a sticker price of $678 or around 500 euros.

"YotaPhone isn't just a new phone, it's a new way for people to communicate and use information. Communication is more emotional and real with YotaPhone. We are a start-up company that had a big idea and we've executed on that idea. We looked at the smartphone from another side, literally, and created YotaPhone," said Yota Devices chief executive Vladislav Martynov in a press statement.

"We have many people and partners to thank, not least of which are tech enthusiasts around the world who have embraced the YotaPhone philosophy. This is YotaPhone 1.0. Expect other big and new things to follow," he added.

The YotaPhone sports a 4.3-inch high-definition LCD screen with a 720x1280 resolution, while the EPD on its back has a resolution of 360x640 pixels. Under the hood lies 1.7 GHz dual-core Krait processor, 2GB RAM, and an 1800mAh battery. It comes out of the box with an Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2.

According to a report by Reuters, the company so far has received more than 10,000 pre-orders for the device. Research firm Gartner sees a small volume demand for the YotaPhone as it enters the market, but forecast that other manufacturers might be inclined to use the same technology.

"Yota certainly has a new approach to smartphones and they not only are trying to look different but to solve an issue many consumers have when it comes to managing battery life and constant notifications. The big question will be how much consumers are prepared to pay for that different approach and how much they will bet on a new name," Gartner Research Vice President Carolina Milanesi told Reuters.

The YotaPhone was first unwrapped during the Consumer Electronic Show 2013 and was officially launched, Wednesday, at a company event in Moscow.

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