The Dual Screen Phone

No, there is not mistake. Yes, the title says Dual Screen phone. Not the dual SIM phone which you are very much used to reading.

Flipkart , a couple of days back, has exclusively launched the Yota Dual Screen Phone in India.But then there were few other phones in past which had two screens(big or small). So whats different about this one?

The world has moved on from wired lines(I still use one, but primarily for ADSL connection) to wireless big bricks which could just exchange calls and SMS to java then symbian and now to Android/iOS/Windows at this moment. The phones have first reduced in their form and after reaching the miniature possible, have started increasing in form, more so due to the nature of interaction. Technology has advanced.

What had been lagging all along the evolution is the ability of the battery to satisfy the hunger for power of these mobile phones. The iphone has been able to have an upper hand in this regards, but ultimately it too dies off.

The biggest culprit of this power consumption is the mobile screen. The need to keep the screen illuminated in case of TFT screens results in short battery life. The compromise is to reduce battery brightness, thus affecting the visual experience or, less use of phone, thus conflicting with its purpose.

Yota Devices has come up with an innovative idea to help solve some part of the problem. They have introduced a dual screen phone, called the YotaPhone. You would say that the problem has doubled!

Well, that’s not so. The Yotaphone is an android based smartphone in a bar form factor with screens on both sides. The primary screen is a normal 4.3″, 1280 X 720 pixel, IPS LCD display capable of displaying 16 million colors. Nothing out of the world there.

The second screen is the USP of this phone, along with the things it can do. The second screen is a 4.3″, electronic paper display with 640 x 360 resolution and 16-grayscale color reproduction ability.  It is the always on type of display which cannot be blacked out like your normal screen. The important feature of this e-paper display is that once anything is displayed on the screen, it does not require any power to sustain it on the screen. The power consumption takes place only when the screen is changed with new contents. This technology is being currently used successfully by e-book readers(Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook) which boast a battery life of somewhere around 3-4 weeks.

Now, who would want a grayscale screen on a high end mobile? Well, Answer few questions.

  • Do you need to read your SMSes on color screen?
  • Do you need to get alarm notifications on color screens?
  • Do you need to check your stock prices on color screen?
  • What about weather. Do you want to view weather updates/news on color screen(unless the news contain graphics which need to be seen in color)?
  • Do you read your ebooks color screens?

I guessed not. You spend lots of time on your mobile screen doing all the above activities. But do these activities really justify the use of power hogging color screen? If not, the YotaPhone is for you.

Make no mistake of undermining the abilities of this phone with its main screen on. The phone packs punch in the following manner:

Processor :Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, 1.7GHz dual core

RAM : 2 GB

Memory : 32 GB

Connectivity : 2G, 3G, 4G, USB, BT, Wifi(all latest standards)

Camera 13 MP with Autofocus and flash capable of 1080p video at 30 fps and a secondary 1 MP camera

GPS : A-GPS, GLONASS

Primary Screen : Full touch screen

Second Screen : Touch zone under the display for control gestures

OS : Android 4.2.2(Jelly Bean)

Battery : 1800 mAH (The manufacturers are confident that you will love the electronic paper display)

As you can see the phone is at par with many mid-range phones. The cost, at Rs. 23500, may seem prohibitive but the battery boast, if used in the fashion that this phone is meant to be used, may help you overlook the cost.It may feel odd at first but compare it with nokia N-gage and you will feel at home with YotaPhone.

So if you are in a process of buying your next phone, take a look at this one. It may be the one you want.

Pros:

Promise of good battery life

Good specifications

Makes a tech statement

Flipkart support

Cons:

No real world feedback as yet

No word on updated to the OS

Cost bit high for these specifications(But then, money is not everything)

Buy YotaPhone at Flipkart

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