Most smartphones released lately have featured few innovations a lot of incremental improvements to their specifications. Not so with the YotaPhone, which Russian manufacturer Yota Devices featured at CES 2013.
The YotaPhone is an Android smartphone with an E-Ink display on the back. Yota CEO Vladislov Martinov told Time Magazine, “We believe strongly that with our phone we will bring people back to real life.”
That’s an ambitious goal for a smartphone, but the YotaPhone’s E-Ink screen may actually help users to check their phones less often. Instead of annoying the people around you at dinner by checking your phone all of the time, you can have notifications sent to YotaPhone’s E-Ink display side.
Then, you can set your smartphone on the tabletop with the E-Ink display facing upward. Notifications will update automatically without draining your smartphone’s battery life and without requiring you to press a button to activate your smartphone screen.
Of course, we naturally associate E-Ink with digital books thanks to the Kindle. It only makes sense that Yota has joined forces with fellow Russian company Dream Industries to bring e-reading apps to the YotaPhone.
Dream Industries runs Bookmate, an e-reading catalog that has a unique pricing concept. Instead of purchasing individual digital books, you play a monthly subscription fee to read books both on and offline. Currently, Bookmate offers access to about 200,000 titles by 55,000 authors.
E-reading apps for smartphones are convenient, but using the backlit screen for display is hard on both the eyes and the battery juice. The YotaPhone E-Ink screen solves both problems by delivering a comfortable, extended reading experience.
The E-Ink screen has other applications. For example, if you’re traveling on an airline, you can pull up your boarding pass on your YotaPhone’s home screen and send the boarding pass to your E-Ink screen. That way, when you’re texting someone or reading content at the gate, you simply flip the phone over and let the crew scan your boarding pass.
YotaPhone will debut in Russia before traveling to other parts of the globe in the second half of 2013. For a sneak peek, check out YotaPhone and its Bookmate apps at Mobile World Congress.
Edited by Braden Becker