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Yota

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YotaPhone 3 will arrive later this year and start at $350

Pictured: YotaPhone 2

Every once in a while, a smartphone comes to the market with a totally unique feature or form factor. There was the Galaxy S4 Zoomthe dual-screen Kyocera Echo, and Samsung's projector phone to name a few. The original YotaPhone, which included an e-ink display on the back side, certainly fits into this category.

The YotaPhone 2 was released in late 2014 for some regions, but the North American release was cancelled. Yota Devices has officially announced the next model, fittingly named the YotaPhone 3, at the China-Russia Expo in Harbin.

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Supply Issues Force Cancellation Of North American YotaPhone 2 Despite Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

The dual-screen e-paper/LCD YotaPhone 2 has a sufficiently interesting gimmick that it was able to rack up almost $300,000 on Indiegogo last month. However, the Russian smartphone maker has reached out to backers to share some sad news. It is unable to get the North American variant manufactured in a timely manner, so it's cancelling the device entirely.

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YotaPhone 2 North American Indiegogo Campaign Goes Live, Shatters $50K Flexible Funding Goal In Under Three Hours

In what sounds like a perversion of the crowd-funding concept, Yota has taken to Indiegogo to bring a phone that has existed since early 2014 into existence... in North America. To perform this undertaking, the company wants a paltry $50,000, and it has set a flexible funding goal to get the funds. Fortunately that's irrelevant, because it has already shattered that bar in under three hours with the help of nearly 100 funders.

Screenshot 2015-05-19 at 10.54.28 AM

While the video makes a mention of this campaign's purpose, it's easy to browse the Indiegogo page and get the impression that the YotaPhone 2 isn't yet a thing.

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The YotaPhone 2 Gets A White Version, A Price Drop, And A Lollipop Update With Improvements To The E-Ink Interface

The YotaPhone 2 and its predecessor have always intrigued me. They're probably the only significant departure in form factor available on the market right now that isn't different for the sake of being so, adds value, and has been relatively successful in its endeavor. After its European release last December, the YotaPhone 2 is coming back with a new color variant: white. And it looks striking if you ask me, especially with that new E Ink white theme where the old interface's colors are inverted.

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But let's back up. The white YotaPhone 2 keeps the same specs as the black one: a primary 5-inch Full HD AMOLED screen, a 4.7-inch 960x540 E Ink screen on the back, a Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and an 8MP rear camera.

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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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