First Android handset with a second E-Ink display launching next year

It seems that a marriage between smartphones and E-Ink technology will be inevitable within the next couple of years. We’ve already had a look at the Chinese Android smartphone from Onyx that will be an outright E-Ink device. Then there’s the popSLATE – a case for the iPhone 5 that puts an E-Ink display on the back of the handset.

Now Android Central is reporting of an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean handset from Russian manufacturer Yota, which will have a colour display on the front and an E-Ink display on the back. It’s also got a top of the range feature set: the latest version of Android, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, LTE and a 2100mAh battery.


The handset is due to be announced at Mobile World Congress 2013 and Yota then hope to have it on sale in Europe and North America before the end of the year, following a summer release in Russia.

Whether or not the handset would be a success in the UK is yet to be seen, but I certainly think there will be a niche of users that are interested in the concept of having a second E-Ink display on the back of the handset. Taking the success of the Galaxy Note series as an example – despite initial criticism for its lack of style, the functionality that it provides has driven its success. The same goes for a device that can provide significantly more battery life and an improved reading/browsing experience. However, it may take a well-known manufacturer to drive sales for such a handset.

Update 14/12: Video via Android Authority


  1. Ian says

    Could be very useful if implemented well (eg. automatic activation of only the upward-facing screen, same content) for reading books or email outdoors, handy for the less deskbound, certainly save carrying around a Kindle.

  2. Bugblatter says

    It’s a great idea. Needs to be a very tough phone as you won’t be able to use a case (well maybe a bumper).

    Nothing earth shattering but it does open up new usage patterns. Apart from the obvious (reading ebooks) this would be great for when you stand your phone on your desk all day; it can let you know when an email or text comes in and so on.

    I used to do this with my Transformer Prime, as when docked the screen could stay on the whole work day; it’s quite handy. Makes a nice clock too.