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[MWC 2014] Hands-On With The New YotaPhone: An Interesting Idea Gets Some Much-Needed Polish

When I saw the prototype YotaPhone last year at CES 2013, I was legitimately impressed with the concept - a smartphone with a standard, full-color display on the front, and a black and white e-ink panel on the back. The applications, functional and aesthetic alike, were not difficult to see.

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But the original YotaPhone was quite hefty, both displays were a bit small at 4.3", and the e-Ink panel wasn't actually touch-enabled, but rather was controlled by a capacitive touch panel along the bottom of the device. And, honestly, it wasn't exactly what I'd call pretty - it looked like an engineering prototype, not a piece of consumer hardware.

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[CES 2013] The Dual-Screen YotaPhone Is Probably The Coolest Idea At This Year's Otherwise Lame CES (Hands-On)

This year's CES sucks. But that doesn't mean there can't be a few genuinely cool things floating around out there in an otherwise dull ocean of 4K and touchscreens. Case in point: YotaPhone, which sadly isn't even on the CES show floor at all. We covered the announcement of the YotaPhone, but really, seeing and using it in person does the idea so much more justice.

On paper, it seems pretty straightforward: a phone with a screen on both sides. A traditional LCD panel on the front, and an e-ink display on the back. In fact, it sounds incredibly gimmicky on paper - a crazy idea bound to be clunky and poorly executed.

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