RUSSIAN PHONE MAKER Yota Devices launched its Yotaphone handset in the UK today, the first smartphone to arrive in Blighty featuring an always-on e-ink display.
The Yotaphone is available now through the Yotaphone store, where it is priced at £419. However, at the time of writing, the phone was not yet showing as shipping to the UK.
The Yotaphone is the first device to appear in the UK that features an always-on e-ink display on its rear. This secondary screen remains on constantly, but Yota Devices claims that it uses power only when it refreshes, and therefore will outlast the average smartphone battery.
Speaking to The INQUIRER on Wednesday, Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov said that the Yotaphone is the "future of the smartphone", and while he doesn't expect the device to see mass market adoption at first, he thinks that consumers will quickly warm to the idea of having an always-on e-ink display.
"It's great for people who read and who like to keep on top of social media. Of course, we don't think it will appeal to everybody at first, but we're going to take user feedback and apply this to our future models," said Martynov.
"We're in really a good position, as nobody else in the market is doing this yet," he added.
The secondary screen can be used to deliver information such as real-time social media notifications, RSS feeds and custom displays. Martynov demonstration a personalised screen that showed calendar appointments, battery life and notifications from favourite contacts.
When asked whether the always-on display has privacy implications, Martynov pointed out that users can easily choose what is shown on the secondary screen, and can hide all personal details.
"It's up to the user whether to be concerned about privacy, but we have made sure that users can easily choose what is displayed on the secondary screen," he said.
Besides its quirky e-ink display, the Yotaphone also features a 4.3in LCD screen on the front, a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 32GB of internal storage and a 12MP camera, which is somewhat oddly positioned at the bottom of the device.
Yota Devices told us that following the launch of this first Yotaphone, it expects to bring the second generation model to the UK later this year. µ