Yota, the Russian smartphone maker with the dual-screen phone, announced this week that it will bring its YotaPhone 2 to the U.S. through an Indiegogo campaign to raise $50,000 to pay for certifications and regulatory fees in North America.
And the crowd has delivered. As of this writing, Yota has raised $80,000 in just a few hours, well beyond what it needed. Now to clear the FCC hurdles.
The YotaPhone 2 can be pre-ordered for $500, and you get a three-month subscription to BookMate as well as a Yota Bumper case. There is also the Yota Wireless Power Bank for wireless charging, which will cost $50.
YotaPhone 2 is in many ways a standard Android phone. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat, has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU with 2GB of application RAM and 32GB of flash storage, 2G/3G/LTE and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a 5-inch screen with 1080p HD.
What makes it nifty is that on the other side of the phone is a second, 4.7-inch display, this one using the E Ink black and white display used in the Amazon Kindle. It can use the same widgets as the regular screen, so you can put things like time and weather for quick checks. It also means you won't be putting this phone in a protective case if you want to use both sides.
Two screens would seem like a power nightmare, as the display is the single biggest draw on the battery. But E Ink is extremely power-efficient. It only draws power when it refreshes the screen. That's why Kindles can last for weeks on a charge.
The company needs to find a carrier, which is the hardest task. Android Authority claimed back in January that T-Mobile would pick it up, and that would seem a likely choice given that T-Mobile's CEO likes phones that are as oddball as he is, but nothing is confirmed yet.