Below are the review posts that I have written covering the YotaPhone 2.
And I have also created a Flickr album of all the photos taken on the Yotaphone 2- click here.
The Yotaphone is without a shadow of a doubt one of the coolest piece of tech I have reviewed in ages. It is novel, different and caused huge debate with my friends whilst out at a restaurant. My friends were fascinated with the rear e-ink screen.
The rear e-ink display is not just about battery life. It is also about having an always on display for vital information. Perfect daylight visibility. And if your battery is about to die, you can take a screen shot of some information you will need later in the day, and it will be left on the rear e-ink display. And finally, the e-ink display is better for your eyesight.
The camera and audio aspects of the phone were reasonable. The competition includes phones with better sound and cameras. But in reality if photos are shared on social media, does it matter what the camera quality is like?
If you want something different and are the sort of person that needs the unique selling points of the Yotaphone 2 then its a match made in heaven. But the competition is fierce and there are many other options to consider too. Personally, this phone is staying in my collection. It is too cool not to have!!
Welcome back to part 3 of my review on the Yotaphone 2.
Today I am going to cover off the camera and audio aspects and any other titbits.
First up lets talk audio or sound. The loudspeaker is on the bottom edge, goes reasonably loud but is a little tinny. The sound through the wired headphones is not so hot. For some people it would be fine, but not for me. However, as soon as I connected my bluetooth headphones it was a different story. The music was so much better and a joy to listen to. But what about USB Audio. Using my USB Sabre DAC and USB Audio Player Pro app I was able to get USB Audio to work just fine.
The camera. 8mp on the rear, 2.1mp on the front. And being dual displayed comes with a few extra features. Firstly, the camera app is the default Google Camera app, so don’t expect any surprises. But don’t let the low resolution of the front camera put you off. Why? Well you can use the rear camera to take a selfie as the e-ink display will show your face to help take the shot. Also, when using the rear camera normally, 2 eyes appear on the e-ink display or a fake camera as shown above. Clearly Yotaphone have a sense of humour. There are other software novelties that appear when using a range of other apps. But what about the quality of the shots. Well on Sunday, I went out walking my 3 dogs. The lighting was poor and overcast so I did not expect brilliant shots. When I got home and examined them I was pleasantly surprised as they were better than expected. There are plenty of better cameras available but the f/2.0 clearly helped with my running dogs. I have created a Flickr album for the YotaPhone 2. Click here – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157650816294865/
In the meantime, below are some camera shots taken with the phone. Most are completely unedited.
Welcome back to part 2 of my Yotaphone 2 review. Today I am going to take a closer look at the special software and other aspects of the phone.
I was asked if I could provide the AnTuTu and Geekbench 3 scores for the Yotaphone 2. Personally, I don’t like these scores as they can mean nothing in real life. But as a few of you asked for the information, here is the highlights. AnTuTu scored a respectable 39,878. Geekbench 3 produced the following scores 895 for the Single Core and 2661 for the Multi Score. To give you a comparison the Samsung Galaxy S5 is similar to the single core and multi core scores of the Yotaphone 2.
Considering the Yotaphone 2 uses a Snapdragon 801 processor the above scoring is totally in the range I expected.
Anyway back to the Yotaphone 2 and its secondary display. When you first power up the phone for the very first time, you are guided through a tutorial which explains how to use the display. Useful. One feature I really liked was the Yota Mirror function that allowed you to send the display from the front to the rear. This is not simply switching displays but also converting the display to the lower e ink resolution. It is worth noting that the e-ink rear display is slower to use, has much longer refresh rates and ghosting does appear. However, it is totally usable and in many situations really superb to use.
Yota provide 2 extra pieces of software on top of the Yota Mirror. These are YotaCover and YotaPanel which are managed by the YotaHub app. The YotaCover is the lockscreen for the e ink display. Yes a lockscreen to protect your private content if you so wish. It can also have notifications for email etc Here you can have a static or moving image. YotaPanels are up to 5 bespoke screens/panels of information that you can switch between. The recent firmware update increased the panels from 4 to 5 and also provided a white screen theme as shown in the photos. You can use the pre designed panel layouts or create your own. Some of the widgets which come in various sizes include a clock, battery, music player, calendar, appointments, app launcher and notifications. It is really customisable and clearly a lot of thought has gone into this section.
But what else is included. Well lets just step back a moment. The Yotaphone 2 has a near stock android experience which is a good thing as it makes for a snappy device. But Yotaphone did include some apps and games to improve matters. I mentioned yesterday YotaSnap but it also has a powerful battery saving mode called YotaEnergy. You can preselect at what battery percentage you would like this to be activated or turn on manually. This has a number of options to decide whether you want wifi, bluetooth or other options turned off. YotaReader allows you to import books, (you could of course mirror Amazon Kindle app), YotaRSS uses Feedly, games included are Chess, Checkers, Sudoku and 2048, all of which are ideal to be played on the e ink display.
Tomorrow, I will look at the camera and audio/loudspeaker. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Good morning or evening or afternoon everyone, depending on which part of the world you are reading this from. This is my first part of the Yotaphone 2 Smartphone review. If you look at the photos of the Yotaphone 2 it is a decent sized phone, solid and comfortable to hold.
But before I delve deep in to the phone review, lets take a look at the specifications.
The technical specifications of the Yotaphone 2 (model YD-201) are –
-OS: Android™ 4.4.3
-CPU: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 2.2 GHz quad-core
-Form Factor: Monoblock with full touch capacitive screens on the front and back
-Dimensions: 144.9 x 69.4 x 8.95mm
-Screen: 5”AMOLED Full HD 1920×1080,16M colours,full capacitive touch,442ppi,Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
-Always-on Display: 4.7” Electronic Paper Display 960×540,16-level gray scale,full capacitive touch, 235ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
-Network: GSM/EGPRS 850,900,1800,1900 MHz, WCDMA,DC HSDPA (rel. 8,cat.24), HSUPA(rel.7, cat7) bands 1 (diversity),2, 5 and 8, LTE (rel. 9,cat 4) bands 3, 7 and 20, VoLTE
-Memory/Storage: 2GB RAM,32GB eMMC
-CAMERA: Main: 8MP AF,LED Flash ,Front: 2.1MP
-Sensors: Accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, proximity sensor, amibient light sensor
-Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac ,Wi-Fi Direct®, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast®
-MicroUSB 2.0 (SlimPort®)
-Bluetooth® 4.0 ,Bluetooth profiles: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), Audio/Video Remote
Control Profile (AVRCP), Device ID Profile (DID), File Transfer Profile (FTP), HID over GATT Profile (HOGP), Human InterfaceDevice Profile (HID), Headset Profile (HSP), Message Access Profile(MAP),Object Push Profile (OPP), Personal Area Networking Profile (PAN),Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP),Scan Parameters Profile (SCPP), Serial Port Profile (SPP)
-GPS: A-GPS,A-GLONASS, BeiDou
-VIDEO: Full HD 1080p 30fps
-Video formats/codecs: H.263,H.264 AVC,MPEG-4 SP,VP8. Supported file types/container formats: 3GPP (.3gp), MPEG-4(.mp4),MPEG-TS(.ts),WebM(.webm),Matroska(.mkv).
-Audio: 3.5mm AV connector,FM radio
-Audio formats/codecs: AAC LC, HE-AACv1 (AAC+),HE-AACv2(enhanced AAC+),AAC ELD,AMR-NB, AMR-WB, FLAC, MP3,MIDI,Vorbis,PCM/WAVE.Supported files types/container formats:3GPP(.3gp),MPEG-4(.mp4,.m4a), ADTS raw AAC (.aac), MPEG-TS (.ts), 3GPP(.3gp),FLAC (.flac),MP3(.mp3),MIDI Type 0 and 1 (.mid,.xmf,.mxmf), RTTTL/RTX(.rktl,.rtx), OTA(.ota),iMelody(.imy),Ogg(.ogg),Matroska(.mka),WAVE(.wav)
-Battery: 2500mAh built-in battery
-Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2.0
Stand-by 2G, mobile data off up to 16.5 days(397 hours)
Stand-by 3G, mobile data off up to 17 days (406 hours)
Talk Time 2G, up to 41.8 hours 3G up to 26.0 hours
Talk Time audio call over Skype or LTE) up to 13.7 hours, video call over Skype or LTE up to 1.8 hours
Reading with Yota Reader on 3G up to 109.3 hours
Video streaming playback on LTE up to 5.5 hours , via WiFi up to 5.8 hours
Audio playback via headset: up to 92.0 hours and via loudspeaker up to 62.4 hours
Web browsing LTE up to 4.5 hours or 4.4 hours via WiFi
I do suggest you have a look at all the specifications as I was surprised by some of them. First up this is a 5 inch Amoled 1080p 442 ppi screen on the front and a 4.7 inch E Ink screen on the rear. Wireless charging is included along with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2. It also has a Snapdragon 801 processor and 32gb storage of which about 24gb is available. The Yotaphone runs a near stock Android experience with the addition of the following apps and games: 2048, ABBYY Lingvo, Checkers, Chess, LitRes (for adding ebooks), Movie Studio, OfficeSuite 8, Sudoku, Tutorial, Twitter, Yota Reader, YotaHub, YotaRss and YotaEnergy. The rear 8mp camera is simple to use but in early testing seems fairly reasonable. I will cover the audio and camera with camera samples in a dedicated review section. Other aspects on the specifications worth noting are that it has LTE, WiFi Direct, Miracast and the USB 2 port is also a SlimPort.
So what is the phone like to hold. Comfortable. It is gently curved on the edges but also narrow. The power and volume controls are on the right edge making it for easy reach. The headphone socket is on the top and micro usb port on the bottom along with the loudspeaker grills. In fact everything is in the correct place for easy operation.
Part of the unique selling point of the Yotaphone 2 is the E-Ink display on the rear. Yotaphone have done a good job implementing the usage of this panel with some bespoke software and panels. One of the benefits of using the E-ink display is the battery consumption is significantly less or is supposed to be. In my usage, I am achieving 2 days real life from one charge. But in my mind improved battery life is not just what it is all about. I love the always on display with a full 4.7 inch screen displaying the time, notifications and other information as I have customised via the YotaHub. The YotaHub provides up to 5 different panels (screens) for the rear that are customisable. By having an always on screen I have reduced the amount of times I have picked up the phone and checked what was happening in my world. Then there is the reduced eye strain of using an E-Ink display!
Other uses of the screen are as an ebook reader. In theory you could go away on a weeks holiday, put phone in flight mode, and read your book for the entire week on one battery charge. But another function or bonus is readability in bright sunlight. It is incredible. So following maps, reading the screen and more is a breeze. However, at night, you will either need a light or have to switch to the amoled 5 inch screen. When your battery is about to end, you can take a snapshot of the screen and leave that as the display. The E-ink screen will keep that vital information always on its display irrespective if the battery has died. Ideal if you needed a flight pass to scan at the airport, as a flat battery with the Yotaphone would not be an issue. Obviously when using the E-ink display is not as nippy as using the front side. But that clearly is the compromise.
Another neat trick with this phone is the volume controls actually hide the nano sim tray. So neat. You actually eject the tray with the buttons attached. At first, I was wondering where on earth is the sim tray!
Anyway, tomorrow I will try and cover off more of the software tricks and other findings. So far the Yotaphone 2 is seriously cool and one of the most fascinating phones I have ever reviewed so far.
Clove Technology have reviewed already the new Yotaphone 2, the phone with 2 sides. One is a normal 1080p panel and the other an electronic paper display like that used in some ereaders. Watch the video review below and decide is this something you would pay £550.
I’ve not used or seen the phone yet but I would have concern about scratching one of the screens whilst resting the other down, even though both are protected by gorilla glass 3. The internal hardware specs aren’t special. 2 days battery life is nothing unusual if you have a Sony device like a Z3 or a Samsung Note 4.
Until I actually spent time I won’t pass final judgement but it certainly is unusual. What do you think?