Russian smartphone startup Yota Devices hasn’t had a lot of success bringing its dual-screen smartphones with color and E Ink displays to the US. But the company now has more money to play with, which could help Yota bring its next-gen Yotaphone to more markets.
A Hong Kong-based investment company has agreed to acquire nearly 65% of Yota Devices, which will remain headquartered in Russia. As part of the deal, Yota Devices has $50 million to use for business development… which could mean that the company won’t need a crowdfunding campaign the next time it tries to launch a new phone in a new market.
For now, Yota Devices reportedly plans to continue pushing its phones in Russia, China, and the Middle East, while working on next-gen hardware. A YotaPhone 3 is set to launch in the first half of 2016.
While there aren’t many details about the phone yet, the plan it to sell a phone that costs less than the YotaPhone 2, but which has more powerful hardware.
The YotaPhone 2 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, and two displays: a 5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display on one side of the phone and a 4.7 inch, 960 x 540 pixel E Ink display on the other.
You can display images, widgets, or other content on the E Ink screen while using the color screen as the primary display. But you can also mirror the color display to the E Ink screen, allowing you to use the low-power, sunlight readable screen as if it were the phone’s only display. This could offer longer battery life, easier reading, and awful frame rates when playing games or watching videos.
Other features of the YotaPhone 2 include 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a micro USB port with SlimPort features, NFC, and a 2,500 mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology.