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Yotaphone 2 Review, The Sequel

February 9, 2015


Last month, in December, the Russian company Yota Devices has launched another handset into the world of smartphones, the YotaPhone 2. This fellow, just like its predecessor, is a peculiar and interesting device, which not only holds some impressive specs under its hood, but also a unique back cover. Well, this isn’t your regular rear-case, as it consists in an e-Ink screen which is always active and displays your notifications and other relevant information. Also, it features a 5 inches AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 801 chipset, 32 GB of internal storage, Corning Gorilla Glass on both sides, an 8 MP camera and much more. Feeling intrigued by this interesting fella? Keep reading and find out more.

The YotaPhone 2 comes in a rich retail box. Inside, you’ll find the phone itself, a charger, a microUSB cable for making data transfers and re-charging your handset, a pair of headphones, several sets of differently sized earbuds and a little tool for ejecting the SIM card. I must mention that the USB cable and the headphones have tangle free wires, which is great.

The YotaPhone 2 measures 145 x 64.9 x 9 mm and has a reasonable weight of 145 grams. Its design is pretty simple and doesn’t stand out of the crowd if you look at it from the front, having rounded edges and a plastic frame that surrounds the body. The appearance is entirely different when checking out its back, as instead of the traditional metallic or plastic finish, you’re going to be looking at another display, which has a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 layer of protection that features a different finish from the frontal one, having a matte surface that doesn’t actually seem to be glass. Also, it doesn’t attract fingerprints and stands comfortable in the hand, without feeling slippery.  All in all, the phone looks and feels premium and unique and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when actually holding one.

The frontal part of the YotaPhone 2 is dominated by a 5 inches AMOLED capacitive touchscreen which offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, a pixel density of 442 ppi and features Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. In terms of image quality, the phone performs splendidly, offering vibrant and punchy colors, an excellent contrast and some very wide viewing angles. Using it on the outside is also a pleasure, as the sunlight legibility is great.
The secondary display measures 4.7 inches, has a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and an amount of 235 ppi. It’s an e-Paper display which isn’t backlit, thus being unusable in complete darkness, but a pleasure to use for reading books and articles when there’s a fair amount of light that falls upon it. Also, you can customize it with wallpapers.

At the software department, the YotaPhone 2 features support for Android 4.4.3 KitKat which has been customized as to resemble with the latest Lollipop update. The company said that the actual update is going to be available sometime this year, but the date is currently unknown. Anyways, when browsing through the interface, you’ll be coming across Google Now launcher, a Lollipop-like app drawer, the notification center which holds your important notifications and a shortcut for quick toggles and more. A personal assistant is also available through Google Now.


In terms of hardware, the Yotaphone 2 is powered by a Snapdragon 801 chipset, having a quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, which isn’t expandable, due to the lack of a microSD slot, but should be enough. The handset will deliver a flawless user experience, being an excellent performer that has nothing to do with lagging, freezing and inconvenient stuff like that.

Inside the connectivity package, there’s support for quad-band GSM, GPRS, EDGE and 3G, LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct and Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, NFC and microUSB 2.0 with USB On-the-go support.

For taking pictures, the YotaPhone 2 is equipped with an 8 megapixels camera with autofocus which captures stills with a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels and is helped by a LED flash in low light conditions. The photos delivered offer a spectacular image quality, with gorgeous and accurate colors, wonderful contrast and a huge amount of resolved detail. The YotaPhone 2 holds one of the best 8 MP snappers around.
The video camera is also good and produces some fine 1080p videos @30 fps, but these stand a bit behind the pictures in terms of image quality.

Some other useful thingies offered by the YotaPhone 2 are two very capable players for audio and video playback, Google Chrome for offering a great browsing experience, a GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support, Google Maps and Navigation for finding your way around, the Office Suite 8 for managing document files and creating new ones, an FM Radio with RDS support and much more.

The YotaPhone 2 holds inside a 2,500 mAh battery and will last for about two days if you use it moderately.

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