My Pocket PC (PPC) Adventures: Yotaphone 2

@author Kai Ruhl
@since 2016-11

Year 2016: Yotaphone 2

To my surprise, I did not break my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and still I got a Yotaphone 2 (YD206), shipping with Android 4.4 (I immediately upgraded to Android 5.0). Its central innovation is an e-ink display on the back, while the front is a normal AMOLED screen. Long-pressing the home button sends the content to the back, which has also touch but is (a) much nicer to read in daylight and (b) uses drastically less battery for static screens (i.e. not video or games).

Yotaphone 2 Evaluation
Yotaphone 2 Pro:
  • Dual screens: E-Ink and TFT
  • A-GPS+Glonass, Gyro
  • 8 MP Camera
  • Slightly too large
  • No hardware buttons
  • 8 MP Camera only
  • Non-removable battery
  • Comes with Android KitKat
  • Gets warm

So far, I am mostly convinced. Even at a shoddy 960x540 resolution, having an e-ink screen is awesome; I did not think I would read e-books a lot but find myself doing that instead of checking web sites. Email, messaging and text-heavy web sites also work surprisingly well with the e-ink screen, though I have to use a slightly bigger font size (front screen: 1920x1080, back: 960x540). With both displays at 5", the phone is slightly bigger than the Galaxy Nexus, so carrying it in the front pocket is no option while sitting or running. I also miss hardware buttons a lot, but they are probably not coming back into fashion anytime soon.

The 8MP camera is just ok, but will not win any awards, even compared to the 5MP camera of the Galaxy Nexus. Luckily, this is not a big priority for me. The touch on the e-ink screen is less responsive than on the front, even though both are capacitive. Surprisingly, the phone feels only a bit faster than the Galaxy Nexus even though it has both double processor frequency and cores (specs); then again, many of my apps are heavily I/O-bound. And lastly, two screens mean of course that there is no easy way to remove the battery. This is my first phone that takes a nano SIM, so I had to punch my full-size SIM card.

EOF (Nov:2016)