In the wake of the amazingly awesome and tear-jerking release of the new Star Wars Trailer, basically everything in the title has a sort of reference, yes even the thing I will be posting about.

And that thing I will be talking about this dark and clear night is called the YotaPhone 2. Yup, go ahead and say “YotaPhone” a few times and roll it around your tongue. Fun word to say, huh? Right, a oddly-named device needs to have some odd traits, and at first glance, the YotaPhone…really doesn’t. It has a midrange processor with a midrange amount of RAM, powering a 5 inch screen and a rather mediocre combo of front and back cameras. (2.1 and 8 megapixels to be exact). It isn’t slow and decrepit by any definition, but it isn’t exactly top of the line.

So why would I take the time out of my evening to write about a pretty forgettable phone?

Because oh my good lord it has a second screen on the back made of E-ink and it’s easily one of the coolest looking things I’ve ever seen. For those who are unaware, E-ink screens are what’s used on Kindles and other E-readers. The main advantage of using an E-ink display is the insanely low power draw compared to other display panel types. Sure most E-ink screens don’t have color, and the refresh rate is not fit for normal cellphone use (just look up videos of the YotaPhone 2 to understand what I’m saying here), but for checking your notifications or the time, the E-ink screen is much more efficient than turning on the gorgeous 5 inch display that is attached to the YotaPhone 2. This helps when you’re running low on battery obviously, as using the E-ink screen instead of the AMOLED panel on the other side will increase your battery life in a cinch. Also, it just looks so bloody cool. Seriously, how do you not think a cellphone with 2 screens is not the coolest thing you’ve seen today? Like I always say, we live in the future now. 

The sad thing is, this phone more than likely will not show up here in the States. Yota (the company) is planning to release in Europe first, as they’re a Russian company, and then expand to Canada and South/Central America later. But no USA. If you’re slightly bummed like I am, please direct your thanks to your local telephone providers for being such pains about not having the same cellular radio bands as the rest of the world.

We as an Innovation Cohort are all about innovation (obvious statement of the week). The cellphone industry is one where innovation is measured in very small increments now, and when I see a smallish company do something like what Yota is doing, I get all warm and fuzzy inside. We need more of this, and faster. Make the world cool and funky, not full of grey slabs of metal that all do the same thing.


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