It's taken the best part of a year to happen, but the dual-screen YotaPhone smartphone that first crossed our radars at the start of the year is finally available to the public.
That's not the UK public yet, unfortunately – our chance to get some dual-screen action only comes next month. For now you'll have to be in Russia, France, Spain, Germany or Austria to get your hands on one.
The YotaPhone – the work of Russian firm Yota Devices – is the first ever candybar-style smartphone to have screens on both sides of the handset. On the front is a standard 4.3in LCD, while on the back is an always-on e-paper display of the same size.
The idea is that the rear screen can display emails, texts and notifications so you can keep up to date with what's happening on your phone without activating the LCD, which should prove quicker and less power-hungry than the standard message.
It can also display maps and other basic graphical information, and of course can function as a conventional e-reader display for enjoying a spot of light reading while on the move.
Yota Devices says the YotaPhone can run for 68 hours straight using the e-paper display, and the company has created a series of gestures for sharing content between the screens, which sit on top of the standard Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean interface.
Elsewhere, the spec is decidedly middle-of-the-road: you get a dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 13MP/1MP cameras and an 1800mAh battery.
The front-facing LCD display has a 720p resolution, while the e-paper screen is a more low-rate 360 x 640 greyscale affair.
At a launch price of €499 (around £415) the YotaPhone is far from cheap – then again the extra expense is at least going to something meaningful. It arrives on the market in the same week as a pair of utterly forgettable new Android devices from BenQ, phones which offer absolutely nothing beyond a me-too set of low-end specs in a predictable package.
That's not meant as a criticism of BenQ – there are plenty other phones in the same bracket, after all. The point is the YotaPhone has something unique about it, and for that we can only hope it does well for itself.
Via PC Pro