No matter what manufacturer you purchase your new smartphone from it’ll usually contain the same features as another, it’ll have a screen – usually HD, it’ll have a camera, a front facing camera, and the usual array of buttons. Well Yota Devices hope their YotaPhone will break out from the norm. How? With a second screen of course!

Yesterday at MWC in Barcelona Yota Devices revealed details of their second generation YotaPhone, at a glance it’s a pretty standard looking phone, it has a nice 5″ OLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, it’s powered by a a quad-core 2.3 GHz processor, and has the usual 8 megapixel main camera and a 2 megapixel front facing snapper.

What sets the YotaPhone appart from the rest is the rather large 4.7″ touch sensitive eInk display on the back. That’s right, the YotaPhone has a second display. This second display works similar to the various smartwatches coming out from MWC this week. The Electronic Paper Display (EPD) shows you all of your notifications, the time, allows you to make, receive, and deny calls all from the back of the phone.

“A full touch second display opens a tremendous number of unique user cases for YotaPhone users. You can look and not just get information from the second display, but can interect [with it]. You can respond to email or SMS messages, you can do a lot of things,” Vlad Martynov, CEO of Yota Devices, told TNW. “You don’t need to activate the phone and make a few clicks to get your data, but if you want to immediately respond you can do that with one touch [directly from the rear display].”


Of course, for those of us that have the time to sit through our phones and dismiss notifications or have the time to sift through inboxes to reply to emails and text messages the YotaPhone would act as a normal smartphone. If you’re often too occupied to check endless reams of Tweets, emails, and text messages and want to know at-a-glance if anything that has come through is important, then you’ll find the second display pretty useful.

That’s not all the second display offers though. Along side the YotaPhone specific apps such as the InternetHub and the Put2Back app that allow you to choose what notifications are displayed on the back, the YotaPhone is now packed with more dedicated apps for the EPD display, like Sportscaster, Fitness Tracker and Mutliple Personas, the latter of which allows you to use the back screen for work whilst using the main screen for home/casual use.

For those more power concious you’ll be pleased to know that the YotaPhone now allows you to turn the front display off entirely, at any time, and purely use the EPD on the back making the 2550 mAh battery last much, much longer.

So you’re now probably wondering how to get your hands on such a device? Well, that’s the thing. Vlad Martynov and the team at Yota Devices have only really been working with a prototype of this particular model, at the moment efforts are focused on the first generation YotaPhone (which also has an eInk display, but it isn’t touch sensitive) which is currently available in Russia, Germany, France, Austria , Spain and Switzerland, and Martynov is hoping to bring it to  the UK, UAE and most European countries.

The first generation YotaPhone was unveiled at MWC 2013, but didn’t make it to market until December 2013, so we’re most likely looking at the same release window if all goes to plan, unfortunately it’ll most likely be in Yota Devices home country of Russia.

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