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YotaPhone, With Its Clever E-Ink Dual-Screen, Launches

An unusual new smartphone with an e-ink screen has just launched in Europe and Russia, pointing at one direction for future smart devices.

YotaPhone, With Its Clever E-Ink Dual-Screen, Launches

You've probably never heard of Russian smartphone maker Yota, but the company is worth keeping an eye on. It just launched its flagship Android smartphone across Russia and Europe, and it's a device unlike any you've seen before. Why? The YotaPhone sports a 4.3-inch 360 by 640 e-ink second display screen, similar to those on e-readers.

This second screen serves several extremely useful purposes: E-ink displays stay "fixed" even without power, so they don't eat up precious battery life. It can also be used as a traditional e-reader, which makes it much more useful in broad daylight than typical LCD units. In reading mode, the company says the phone can last seven to 10 times longer than other smartphones. And the display acts as a neat "mirror" for taking selfies, if you must.

The phone is going on sale in 20 markets by early 2014 for about 500 euros ($680), but a U.S. launch date is unknown.