Yota, the Russian mobile provider and smartphone manufacturer, unveiled the next generation of its dual-screen smartphone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday. The latest YotaPhone has an e-Paper display upgraded to full touch interactivity, in addition to a 5-inch, 1080p AMOLED main screen.
Yota also announced that it would open the second screen’s software development kit, or SDK, to programmers to allow for more integration with popular apps. The company says that it is already in talks to bring apps from Google, Amazon and Barnes & Noble to the YotaPhone.
The YotaPhone launched in December 2012 as the first Russian-manufactured smartphone with a Snapdragon 600 processor, which has been upgraded in the new model to a 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800. The new YotaPhone also has been brought down to 8.9 mm (0.39 in) from the original’s 9.9mm (0.35 in).
Yota did not announce a price for the updated model, but the original model was about $675 off-contract. The 4.7-inch “always-on” e-Paper display (EPD) has a higher resolution (960x540) and now incorporates a built-in light, like Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. The new YotaPhone also specs a larger battery (2550 mAh) and wireless charging, retaining the first iteration’s 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space. It has support for 4G, 3G and FM Radio.
Martynov told TIME that the first YotaPhone was “more of a proof of concept... “I would prefer that the product get in the right hands than have higher numbers.”
Martynov says that the company is aiming for an early 2015 U.S. release for the next YotaPhone as it works out deals with American mobile carriers. It will first be released in Russia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Follow Reporter Thomas Halleck on Twitter @tommylikey