YotaPhone, the first ‚”always-on‚” Android smartphone has been released. The smartphone uses electronic paper display technology that lets users view information on the screen without activating the phone – thereby improving battery life.
With a liquid crystal display on one side and an electronic paper display on the other – went on sale this week in Russia, Austria, France, Spain and Germany in YotaPhone’s online store (www.yotaphone.com). It will be available in December in retail stores in Russia and Germany. By the end of Q1 2014, YotaPhone will be available in 20 markets in the CIS, Europe and the Middle East. It is expected in South Africa later in 2014.
YotaPhone is a new concept in mobile communications, designed to solve users’ frustrations with current smartphones’ ‚”always-dark‚” screen. By including a second screen that uses electronic paper display technology, users have access to the information without having to wake up their phone. The technology also preserves smartphone battery power. In reading mode, YotaPhone has 7-10 times the battery life of other smartphones.
‚”The typical user picks up and activates their smartphone more than 150 times a day,‚” says Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov. ‚”Why? Because users worry that messages or information they need or want are hidden behind their phone’s black screen. This is a huge distraction and can impede meaningful interaction with our friends, families and colleagues.‚”
Yota Devices realised three years ago that electronic paper display (EPD) technology could make information available and visible without draining battery life and began working with E Ink to adapt their proprietary technology for a dual-screen smartphone.
‚”Once we determined that an electronic paper display would work as a second screen, an array of new and improved user experiences became obvious,‚” said Martynov. ‚”For example, YotaPhone combines a smartphone and e-reader into one device for those who enjoy reading on-the-go. You can save images and information on the second screen, and it stays there, even if you lose battery power. You can save anything on the always-on display from a map to a boarding pass. Information, like a missed call or meeting reminder, stays on the always-on screen until it is no longer needed.‚”
Yota Devices worked with some of the world’s leading suppliers and manufacturers to adapt their technology for YotaPhone. For example, YotaPhone is the first smartphone to use Corning’s Gorilla 3 shaped glass. E Ink had to adapt its technology for a 4.3‚” screen and OEM Hi-P of Singapore worked with YotaPhone’s hardware engineering team to develop a special chassis to house YotaPhone’s six antennas on the outer rim.
Yota Devices developed patented software to allow information to be shared and used between YotaPhone’s two screens. It has also developed a number of innovative applications that come preloaded onto YotaPhone. Yota Devices worked with Bookmate to improve the reading experience for books, ABBYY to adapt its multilingual dictionary Lingvo for learning purposes, Vedomosti for delivery of the newspaper in a more readable format and MapsWithMe for dynamic maps.
YotaPhone will be sold online in December in Russia and four European markets and eventually rolled out to 15 other CIS, European and Middle East markets by the end of Q1 2014. Yota Devices has signed contracts with leading distributors: Ingram for European markets, Jumbo for the Middle East and Brodos for Germany.
YotaPhone will also be available in Yota, Svyaznoy and Evroset retail outlets throughout Russia starting in December. YotaPhone will retail for 19,990 RUB in Russia and ‚Ç¨499 elsewhere.
Award-winning YotaPhone facilitates more ‚”emotional‚” communication
Since its unveiling one year ago, YotaPhone has received numerous awards and accolades, including Best of CES 2013 by CNET, PC Mag and Time magazine.
‚”YotaPhone isn’t just a new phone, it’s a new way for people to communicate and use information. Communication is more emotional and real with YotaPhone,‚” explained Martynov. It was this feature that caught the attention of the jury of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity when it gave YotaPhone an Innovation Lion award in July 2013.
YotaPhone sends emotional text messages from your friends and loved ones, such as a heart or flowers. A ‚”Smile for the Camera‚” message appears when taking a photo. Reminders with entertaining images appear on the always-on screen, like a cake for birthdays.
YotaPhone can be a personal coach, keeping track of exercise regimes or reminding you of personal goals. When YotaPhone’s morning alarm rings, your custom daily RSS news feed appears. YotaPhone also has dynamic location-based wallpapers to keep users updated on their location, the time and the weather.
‚”We are a start-up company that had a big idea and we’ve executed on that idea. We looked at the smartphone from another side, literally, and created YotaPhone. We have many people and partners to thank, not least of which are tech enthusiasts around the world who have embraced the YotaPhone philosophy,‚” said Martynov. ‚”This is YotaPhone 1.0. Expect other big and new things to follow.‚”