What is a dual screen smartphone?

Most of us use smartphones that sport dual features such as two cameras, two flashes and two SIM sockets. Some manufacturers also make phones with two glass layers for encasing the device. However, one manufacturer has literally followed the adage – two heads are better than one – and produced a smartphone with two screens.

The world’s first dual screen phone – YotaPhone 2 – Is a product of the Russian company, YotaPhone. While the primary display measures 5.0 inches and is an AMOLED display of 1080x1920p resolution and a pixel density of 441ppi, there is a second display on the rear panel. This has a dimension of 4.7 inches, a resolution of 960x540p, a pixel density of 235ppi and is an e-ink display.

The e-ink, rear panel display of YotaPhone 2 has a back matte finish that makes it easy to read from the black and white display. Both, the primary front AMOLED display and the secondary rear e-ink display are protected with a highly resilient layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

Since the secondary display is fully touch-sensitive, you can personalize it easily. For example, rig it up to display notifications and it will show all information of your choice. The main advantage of having a secondary display is power savings. Waking up the full-color display just to check on notifications about messages and mails requires a lot of power. Using the secondary display consumes only a fraction of the power required by the main display.

While on the high-resolution front display you can play games and watch movies, the monochrome rear display is more suitable for static functions such as reading e-books. It is easy to operate one screen at a time, since you can lock out the other one. Operating with the monochrome display saves considerable battery power. However, there is one disadvantage with the monochrome display. An imprint of the previous image can still linger on when you have changed to a new one.

The driver behind the YotaPhone 2 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC. This runs on a 2.3GHz quad core Krait 400 CPU and an Adreno 330 GPU. A healthy RAM storage of 2GB is supplemented with a phone memory of 32GB. YotaPhone 2 comes with an 8MP rear camera and a 2MP front-facing camera. Out of the box, the phone runs Android 4.4 and to accommodate the secondary screen functions, YotaPhone provides the necessary firmware tweaks.

A non-removable, 2500mAH battery powers the device. The phone is capable of being wirelessly charged. YotaPhone has, by design, not provided a very large battery as the secondary screen provides power saving benefits. Additionally, the lighter weight of the battery offsets the increase in the weight of the phone because of the presence of two screens. Additional weight would have made the phone inconvenient to carry. As such, the presence of two displays has significantly increased the thickness of the device.

YotaPhone 2 is fitted with a glass fiber body. This is solid enough considering the weight of the phone at 140gms and a thickness of 8.9mm. The soft curvy edges deserve applause.