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YotaPhone: The genesis of a dual-screen smartphone

Is the world ready for the Android-and-electronic paper YotaPhone — and do we even need it?

With a full-fledged Android display on one side and power saving e-ink on the other, the dual-mode YotaPhone is emerging from the concept cocoon and spread its wings in the real world.

The YotaPhone goes on sale this week in Russia, starting at 500 euros, before it expands to other European and Middle Eastern markets, and beyond. It’s a fairly hefty price tag for a phone containing last year’s Android specs, unchanged since we first saw the device nearly a year ago at CES 2013.

What do users see when they look at their current smartphone? A black screen. To get access to information, they need to pick up their phone, activate it and even sometimes go to an application. Even within an application, you have to wait until it is opens and finds the information. This is a major distraction and actually serves to impede our interaction and relationships with our friends, family and colleagues. In fact, the average smartphone user picks up their phone 150 times in the course of the day because they fear that they are missing something important hidden behind the black screen. Why is it black? Because the LCD uses tremendous amounts of power.