YotaPhone 2 review: Choose a side

Choose a side

GSMArena team, 27 January 2015.


It may look like the YotaPhone 2 has lost the element of surprise but the sequel is actually trying to please the users the original wowed - and get a bigger crowd interested. The first generation was unexpected and fascinating but high price and low awareness didn't help it get its message across.

Number 2 isn't going to be a bestseller either, not in its wildest dreams, but it does well to fix a lot of things that didn't quite work the first time around. Yota Devices announced the YotaPhone 2 almost a full year ago for it to only recently become available. And, of course, we couldn't miss the opportunity to review one of the most intriguing gadgets in the market.

On a first glance, the YotaPhone 2 looks just like a regular Android flagship - even a bit old-fashioned, as in curvy and not too slim. The specs mean business though: a gorgeous FullHD AMOLED display, 32GB of storage, LTE, a solidly-built body and buttery-smooth experience courtesy of a Snapdragon 800 chip.

However, your perception of it will change completely once you turn it around. The unique feature is the always-on e-Ink display mounted on the back, safe under a layer of curved Gorilla Glass 3.

YotaPhone 2 YotaPhone 2 YotaPhone 2 YotaPhone 2
YotaPhone 2 official pictures

Think of all the possibilities that the battery-efficient screen opens - a power-frugal, pocket-sized e-reader for those sunny days on the beach or those long commutes; instant access to your smartphone's most important features - notifications, the time, calls, messages and email, the web and your favorite contacts, and even games. An ever changing battery cover style for your phone too, if you will.

There is a lot to discover about the new YotaPhone 2 but before we proceed to the key features, we must say we really like the YotaPhone 2 concept. It managed to get us excited as few devices have - let's hope it's not just in it for the points for trying.

Key features

  • 5.0" 16M-color 1080p AMOLED touchscreen, 442ppi
  • Always-on 4.7" 16-level grayscale e-Ink display (540 x 960 px, 235ppi)
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on both screens
  • Android OS v4.4.3 KitKat with Yota Apps
  • Quad-core Krait 400 CPU at 2.3GHz, 2GB of RAM, Adreno 330 GPU; Snapdragon 801 chipset
  • 8MP autofocus camera, LED flash; HDR, panorama; 1080p@30fps video capturing
  • 32GB of built-in storage (25GB user-accessible)
  • Cat. 4 LTE (150/50Mbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.0; NFC; GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou; FM radio; microUSB (SlimPort)
  • 2,500mAh battery
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic

Main disadvantages

  • No high-end video recording (either 4K @ 30fps or FullHD @ 60fps)
  • No microSD card slot or higher storage capacity option available
  • Always resting on a screen regardless how you put it down and double the chance of breaking a screen if you drop it

The YotaPhone 2 wasn't meant to compete with the current crop of flagships in terms of productivity and value-added features. On a second thought though, the extra screen has more added value than most.

Anyway, it was obviously built with smooth performance in mind. The lack of 4K video recording or a microSD card slot are not that much of a problem and surely won't be tough to swallow having in mind the YotaPhone 2's unique skill and character.

YotaPhone 2 YotaPhone 2 YotaPhone 2 YotaPhone 2
YotaPhone 2 live pictures

Without further ado we proceed with our traditional hardware checkup. The premium retail box gets opened right after the jump.

Reader comments

  • AnonD-617648

hi guys incase you want to get the yotaphone don't I got it and under two months it had issues...and it restrts often ..I went on xda and lots of people had ISSUESSS! from the 14th of December 2016 all service centers around the world would stop fixi...

  • Nani

When ill it come on latest specific feature 4g

  • Roysirji

cn we purchase