The Yotaphone has two screens: a plain screen at the front and an e-ink screen at the back. A great idea, but this device is very disappointing.
Well started, half won, so is the saying. That a spectacular start does not guarantee the second half of that victory, however, proves the Russian Yotaphone. Another proverb is: a good start is half the work. But then you have to finish those other half to make it work well...
Their Yotaphone 2, delivered without the succession number, initially looks above premium. This also applies to the packaging: you buy the phone which is undoubtedly the most premium box in which you can get a smartphone these days. The original packaging is completely wrapped with a softtouch exterior and clicks close with a magnetic system.
In the sturdy package, separate parts such as the charger set aside as their were precious jewels.
The Yotaphone itself sits nicely in the middle and looks simple but stylish. The smooth black appearance and curved edges are however not special. Inside are the same specifications as just about all other flagships that appeared on the market last year. The real selling point of this device we found on the back, A 4.7 inch e-ink screen. A black and white screen with the same technology that e-readers has. On paper this combination is more than interesting: E-ink is a lot more enjoyable for the eyes, hardly consumes energy and continues to display an image, even when the battery of the device is empty. Moreover, in contrast to its predecessor, this Yotaphone adds touchscreen functionality to the second screen.
CONTRAST AND COLORS
At the front we find a classic 5 inch screen that looks amazing. Only an amoled screen shows deeper black and the colors are bright but truthful. In spite of the two screens, the Yotaphone is also not thicker than the competition, and the weight was kept within limits. Push the unit for a few minutes in someone's hands, and he or she will be very impressed. However, the Yotaphone must be interesting with its price (at time of writing) of 699 euros for more than those few minutes, And that's the problem. The more I used the device, The more cracks I discovered in the, honestly admitted, beautiful façade. The guilty one: the second screen, which is no gimmick anymore after two weeks, but a source of irritation.
However, the Yotaphone does its best to make the second screen useful. It allows you to add widgets to the e-ink screen, and shortcuts to commonly used apps. Notifications also appear on the backside if desired. Unfortunately, the widgets are stuck regularly, so they can not be trusted. In addition to widgets, you also have some apps specifically designed for the back, such as a chess game and an e-reader. However, when used as an e-reader, you see how insufficient the resolution of 960 x 540 really is. Text is not sharp: e-books or websites look like you printed them on a printer in draft (fast / eco) mode.
Finally, you can also use the e-ink screen as the main screen. With a push of the button, the back shows a fully functional Android. The operating system on the e-reader screen looks nice, but it's not useful because of the resolution issues. In addition, the touch screen responds poorly. Even unlocking requires multiple attempts, so running Android is not really funny anymore. The limited refresh rate of the e-ink screen does not help, even though it is relatively high in comparison to regular e-readers.
Like a rotten cherry on the dried cake, even if I did not want to use the second screen, it even annoyed me. Although the rear unlocking, as stated, is not easy, is it possible to unintentionally activate the screen from the front. Suddenly, the main screen pops up and I have to turn the phone to find out that the device is randomly calling someone – after which the back crashes so I can not hang-up.
(LACK OF) AUTONOMY
YotaPhone sees the e-ink screen especially as a way to save battery life. E-ink uses only energy when it refreshes itself, something that happens with a clock on the back for example only once a minute. Also when reading websites you save energy this way. However, there is another way to make a smartphone work longer: a decent battery. That we are missing in the Yotaphone. Even using the e-ink screen mainly, the device fails after a day and a half, with moderate use. For comparison: with the same use, the Sony Xperia Z2 will last more than 48 hours without the economical e-ink screen.
Apparently as a last convulsion, the brand finally claims that you can put important information, such as an boarding ticket for your plane, on the rear. If the phone goes out, you'll have at least that barcode at your fingertips. Nice try: Unfortunately, the screen that I had opened on the back automatically disappeared when the phone dropped out. In addition, the Yotaphone crashed so often that you have a greater chance that the backside contains an error message instead of your boarding pass.
For 700 euros you get a smartphone, with a second screen on the back that initially looks nice, but after two days, it will mainly cause annoyance.
If the price would be up to 500 euros, we could be more mild for the shortcomings at the back. Even the 8 megapixel camera, I might have appreciated. I could say that the screen despite its flaws is for those who like it. Yotaphone praises the Yotaphone 2 at the level of Note 4, the Nexus 6 and the iPhone 6. This device is not worth that amount of money, not in a hundred years! The Yotaphone gets an honorable mention because really original phones are rare. Unfortunately, this is a far too expensive, failed experiment. Do not be tempted by the Yotaphone, because behind the attractive first impression lies a less than moderate smartphone.
699 euro (at time of writing) www.yotaphone.com
+ Premium packaging; Very nice main screen.
- The backside is definitely a pain point, no added value; The price is far too high.