When Yota Devices released the YotaPhone last year, it was the first smartphone to feature both a standard LCD touch screen and an always-on electronic paper display (EPD) on the back. The Russian firm has now announced a new version of the device. The YotaPhone 2 features a larger EPD with full touch control, as well as an improved AMOLED color display and the Android OS.

The EPD on the new version will measure 4.7 inches, which is a slight increase in size from the previous 4.3-in model. The screen has a higher resolution and pixel density, as well a built-in light that allows users to read from the EPD in the dark. As the screen is now touch-enabled, users can interact with it in a more conventional manner than having to use the "touch zone" that was below the EPD on the previous version.

Notification handling has also been improved. Notifications appeared automatically on the EPD of the original YotaPhone, but could not be interacted with. The new version allows users to open and respond to notifications from the EPD without having to wake and use the AMOLED color display. The color display itself is 5 inches, which is a significant increase from the former 4.3-in LCD screen.

Users can turn off the color screen and use only the EPD for functions like making and answering phone calls, thereby helping to preserve the battery life. According to Yota Devices, doing so will provide over 50 hours of runtime.

Other features of the YotaPhone 2 include a Qualcomm quad-core 800 series processor, wireless charging, near-field communications connectivity, anti-theft functionality and hands-free audio functionality. The device's software development kit will be opened up to third-party developers.

Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov acknowledges that the YotaPhone is not a conventional device and says that user input is critical. "From the beginning, we realized that we had to do things differently, including building a direct dialogue with our fans and active users," he explains in a press release. "The improvements in the next generation YotaPhone are directly the result of crowdsourcing."

The new generation YotaPhone will be released in the fourth quarter of this year. Pricing has not been announced, but Yota Devices says that users who bought the first device will receive a significant discount.

Source: Yota Devices

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