Are two screens better than one? Russian mobile device company Yota Devices hopes so, as its first 4G smartphone includes displays on both the front and back of the phone. The new Android, called YotaPhone, is currently only available in a few European countries.
"YotaPhone combines a smartphone and e-reader into one device," said Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov in a statement. The front has a typical 4.3-inch LCD display, just like any iPhone or Samsung phone. But its second display looks more like Amazon's Kindle e-reader: black and white graphics and text atop a light gray background.
"You can save images and information on the second screen, and it stays there, even if you lose battery power," said Martynov. "You can save anything on the always-on display." Though the e-ink display isn't touch sensitive, there is a small patch of smartphone real estate beneath the display that customers can use to navigate the phone.
The addition of the second screen adds several small personal touches to the phone. Users can use the e-ink display as decoration and post their own wallpapers. In addition, the phone has its own location-based wallpaper that provides weather updates in real time.
Though YotaPhone isn't available in the United States, Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst for Moor Insights, said it stands a chance to compete with other smartphones here. "In a mobile market that is desperately seeking differentiation, YotaPhone is distinctive with its dual-display," he told ABC News. "That kind of differentiation cannot only play in Western European countries, but also in the United States."
The YotaPhone currently retails for €499, approximately $678.