In a world where there are few differences between most flagship smartphones, the YotaPhone and its successor differed from the pack thanks to their second e-ink displays on the rear of the handsets. Now, a third generation of the device has been unveiled in China.
The Yota3 improves on its predecessors with a 5.5-inch 1080p Samsung AMOLED main screen and a 5.2-inch 720p E-Ink Carta II display on the back, which offers a sharper image than the previous 4.7-inch 960 x 540 rear screen.
Barring its famous feature, the Yota3 is a fairly mid-range affair that comes with a Snapdragon 625 SoC. But it does have some more modern hardware, including 4 GB of RAM, a 12 MP single primary camera with a 1.4um sensor, a 3,300 mAh battery, and Quick Charge functionality via its USB Type-C port. It also supports Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, and GPS, while running Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Sadly, as is the case with an increasing number of today’s devices, the 3.5mm headphone jack is absent.
The Yota3’s prices do seem a bit high for a phone containing a non-flagship chip from 2016. The 64 GB base model costs 3,699 yuan (around $560), while the 128 GB version is 4,299 yuan, which is about $655.
It’ll be interesting to see just how popular the Yota3 turns out. Any handset that tries to stand out in an increasingly homogenous smartphone market is a welcome addition, but most consumers are unlikely to pay so much money for a mid-range phone, even one with a unique feature like the rear e-ink display.