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Yota Devices YotaPhone 2 Smartphone Review

Daniel Schmidt, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 01/19/2015

Twice as good? Like the first YotaPhone, the successor also features two screens. An AMOLED screen adorns the front, and an additional eInk screen is on the back. The Russian company has completely reworked the design and has also done many things better than in the precursor. However, the temperature development is still a problem.

For the original German review, see here.

The Russian smartphone-maker Yota Devices introduces the second generation of its dual-screen smartphones with the YotaPhone 2. Only the storage configuration has not been modified. In addition to a speedier processor, the resolution of both screens has been increased considerably. The angular design of the precursor is now also a thing of the past; the new YotaPhone displays evident curves. The price has also been beefed up considerably. The former RRP of 499 Euros (~$578) for the debut model has been raised to a steep 699 Euros (~$810).

The price places the review sample in the premium range where strong contenders wait. Besides the Samsung Galaxy S5 (starts at 415 Euros, ~$481), HTC One M8 (starts at 412 Euros, ~$477), Sony Xperia Z3 (starts at 480 Euros, ~$556), LG G3 (starts at 340 Euros, ~$394), and Nokia Lumia 930 (starts at 340 Euros, ~$394), even the iPhone 6 (starts at 680 Euros, ~$788) is similarly expensive.

Case

Has developed nicely: the YotaPhone 2
Has developed nicely: the YotaPhone 2

Compared with the precursor, the YotaPhone 2 has clearly grown but does not look exceptionally big for a 5-inch handheld. It's not too thick with a height of just below nine millimeters and is also very light with 144 grams, which is even two grams lighter than the first model. It is still pleasant to hold owing to the rounded back and sides.

The smartphone also proves to be very stiff and pressure resistant. We could only produce a slight cracking noise. The gaps are very tight and even. That should largely prevent dirt from accumulating there. The nano-SIM slot implementation is particularly clever. It is hidden under the volume rocker. A pull-out model plate with the device's IMEI and other specs is also found here.

The battery of the YotaPhone is not removable, and the user cannot replace it. However, the screens on both sides of the device have a drawback: the handheld practically always lies on one of its screens, which increases the risk of scratching - although the relatively resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protects them.

146.36 mm / 5.76 inch 70.6 mm / 2.78 inch 9.35 mm / 0.3681 inch 160 g0.3527 lbs146.3 mm / 5.76 inch 74.6 mm / 2.94 inch 8.95 mm / 0.3524 inch 149 g0.3285 lbs144.9 mm / 5.7 inch 69.4 mm / 2.73 inch 8.95 mm / 0.3524 inch 144 g0.3175 lbs146.5 mm / 5.77 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 152 g0.3351 lbs142 mm / 5.59 inch 72.5 mm / 2.85 inch 8.1 mm / 0.3189 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs137 mm / 5.39 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 9.8 mm / 0.3858 inch 170 g0.3748 lbs138.1 mm / 5.44 inch 67 mm / 2.64 inch 6.9 mm / 0.2717 inch 129 g0.2844 lbs

Connectivity

The YotaPhone 2 has a micro-USB 2.0 port on its lower edge, which can be used for recharging and data sharing. It also supports OTG so that flash drives or external input devices can be connected via an adapter.

The handheld can also be recharged wirelessly (Qi-standard). However, there is no micro-SD slot for expanding the storage.

Software

The maker preloads Google's Android 4.4.3 KitKat operating system. Yota Devices has put an update to Android 5.0 Lollipop in prospect, but no exact date for its release has been stated yet. No visible modifications have been made. However, YotaMirror will be found under the surface, which allows transferring corresponding data on the ePaper screen.

Some proprietary apps that allow customizing the second screen are also found on the smartphone. For example, the widgets can be arranged according to personal preferences, and a cover picture hides content from curious glances.

Screenshots of both screens can be captured. The key combination "power" and "volume down" creates an image of the AMOLED screen. The smartphone makes a screenshot of the displayed EP display content when the volume rocker's upper area is pressed instead. It is saved in color.

EPD widgets
EPD widgets
YotaCover
YotaCover
YotaHub
YotaHub
YotaPanel
YotaPanel
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test outdoors

Communication & GPS 

The Wi-Fi module in the YotaPhone 2 supports the IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards and thus transmits in both the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz frequency ranges. The range is quite decent. An average signal quality was still displayed even over 20 meters away from the router (Fritz!Box 6360, 2.4 GHz). Our website was set up quickly after a short moment when browsing on the Internet. The handheld can access the Internet via HSPA+ (max. 42 Mbps) or LTE Cat.4 (max. 150 Mbps) on-the-move. A somewhat faster version would certainly have been more appropriate. NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 are also installed and function impeccably.

Finding satellites takes a bit longer indoors but is then quite accurate. It is considerably faster outdoors. The smartphone supports both the GPS and Glonass systems.

Telephony and Voice Quality

The voice quality of the YotaPhone 2 is quite decent. We understood our contact well when holding the phone to the ear as well as via the speaker. We were also intelligible for our contact despite a permanent scratching background noise.

Cameras

The front-facing camera in the YotaPhone 2 has a resolution of 2.1 MP (1920x1080 pixels; 16:9) and allows shooting decent pictures. The relatively high light sensitivity makes it quite suitable for videoconferencing. However, even selfies are possible in good light conditions.

The primary camera provides a bigger sensor with a resolution of up to 8 MP (3264x2448 pixels; 4:3). The camera app's design is quite basic and easy to use. In addition to HDR, the lens also supports panorama and Photo Sphere. The camera's picture quality is comparatively good. It only overexposes marginally and covers the picture with a faint grayish cast in daylight shots (scene 2). However, that is hardly noticed without a comparison picture. The colors look quite natural; only the saturation could be a bit higher. The low resolution is noticed in high-detail photos where some blur.

Videos are recorded in Full HD (1920x1080 pixels; 16:9) and are nice and sharp in good light conditions. However, overexposure is a bit more evident. The camera primarily has bigger problems with different light conditions.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

Accessories

The included accessories for the YotaPhone 2 make a high-quality first impression. Besides a small tool for opening the SIM slot, a modular power supply with a nominal power of 7.5 watts (5 volts, 1.5 ampere) is in the box. A nifty gimmick is the illuminated YotaPhone logo that only lights up when the original smartphone is connected. It is naturally possible to connect phones from other manufacturers, but the logo does not light up then. Various plugs are provided for the in-ear headset and should thus fit in most ears. Its flat cable is also tangle-free.

Warranty

The maker includes a 12-month warranty on the YotaPhone 2. European buyers can also take advantage of the retailer warranty.

Input Devices & Controls

The YotaPhone 2 features two capacitive touchscreens. That of the AMOLED screen proved to be extremely accurate and implemented inputs very fast. The input area on the back is also sleek, but gestures were implemented noticeably slower. This is an improvement particularly for the e-paper display because the precursor did not have a touch-sensitive surface.

The EPD also has to be unlocked via a swipe gesture before use. It enables accessing the most important functions such as phone, notifications, and emails. A self-defined widget screen can be directly opened from there, which the user can customize. Everyday tasks like reading or Internet browsing can also be done via the EPD. Since this screen is permanently on, the content opened last is always displayed - regardless whether it is an address book entry, a website, a note, or the page of a book. The content can be hidden with a picture using YotaCover as soon as the phone is locked.

Yota Devices preloads the stock keyboard layout from Google. It is very basic and functional. However, more extensive layouts can be installed via the Play Store.

Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in landscape mode
Keyboard in landscape mode

Display

The front-sided AMOLED screen in the YotaPhone 2 measures 5-inches and has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. That corresponds to an aspect ratio of 16:9 and pixel density of approximately 441 ppi. The content is razor-sharp, and single pixels are not visible to the naked eye. The e-paper screen on the back is a bit smaller with a diagonal of 4.7-inches. It has a resolution of 960x540 pixels and can display 16 grayscale levels. It is not illuminated and can thus not be read without an external light source. Consequently, it does not consume power when the displayed content is changed. The reproduction of the EPD looks a bit coarse. The prior content is always slightly visible and it takes a moment until it completely disappears.

The OLED screen achieves a brightness of up to 335 cd/m² and thus belongs to the brighter members of this screen model. The illumination of 95% is extremely homogeneous and does not give any reason for complaint.

332
cd/m²
321
cd/m²
319
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
321
cd/m²
320
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
320
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 335 cd/m² Average: 325 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 95 %
Center on Battery: 321 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.16 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 3.42 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 2.93
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
Screen
-6%
-58%
-7%
6%
Brightness middle
321
358
12%
275
-14%
702
119%
474
48%
Brightness
325
364
12%
278
-14%
671
106%
486
50%
Brightness Distribution
95
82
-14%
89
-6%
90
-5%
93
-2%
Black Level *
0.72
0.54
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.16
5.28
-2%
10.99
-113%
8.92
-73%
5.86
-14%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.42
4.65
-36%
8.29
-142%
9.59
-180%
5.2
-52%
Gamma
2.93 75%
2.48 89%
2.16 102%
2.75 80%
2.29 96%
CCT
6394 102%
7690 85%
6731 97%
9408 69%
7218 90%
Contrast
975
878

* ... smaller is better

Owing to the employed AMOLED technology, the black level of the YotaPhone 2 is a perfect 0.0 cd/m². Consequently, the contrast is no longer measurable and is virtually infinite.

The review sample's color reproduction is relatively good. The colors are slightly oversaturated but do not look overly bright. Unfortunately, there are no options for customizing the colors according to personal needs so that a natural color reproduction is not possible.

Color Management (target color space: sRGB)
Color Management (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)

The YotaPhone 2 excels in outdoor use. Although the OLED screen has a reflective surface, it is quite bright and convinces even in bright surroundings owing to its strong contrast ratio. Only direct sunlight is too much for it. The rear-sided EPD is asked for here. It can be used even in bright daylight almost without restrictions. Texts can always be read well even over longer periods. Besides that, the surface is not glossy but matte.

The OLED's surface is reflective.
The OLED's surface is reflective.
Nevertheless, it can be read in bright ambient light.
Nevertheless, it can be read in bright ambient light.
The EPD's surface is matte,
The EPD's surface is matte,
and it remains well-legible even in sunlight.
and it remains well-legible even in sunlight.

The viewing-angle stability of the AMOLED in the YotaPhone 2 is also very good. The image remains bright and colors do not distort even in flat viewing angles. Only a light-greenish luster covers the image from an angle of roughly 50 degrees. The viewing-angle stability of the EPD is also good, but the gap between the glass and screen becomes visible. Nevertheless, the displayed image always remains well-legible.

Viewing-angle stability: YotaPhone 2
Viewing-angle stability: YotaPhone 2

Performance

Yota Devices has beefed up its smartphone's performance. Now a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974PRO-AA SoC with four cores that clock with up to 2.3 GHz each is installed. The system is still supported by 2 GB of working memory. Android 4.4 KitKat runs absolutely smoothly in this configuration. Nevertheless, a somewhat stronger SoC would have been desirable considering the price level.

The review sample lags further behind its rivals than expected in the benchmarks. That is not surprising seeing that most other devices feature stronger hardware, but the YotaPhone 2 also scores worse than the nominally equally strong SoCs. For example, Acer's Liquid S2 (Snapdragon 800) is 20% faster in both Geekbench 3 and 3DMark. It is primarily the CPU's performance that pulls down the score in the 3DMark Unlimited Test. The S2 is over 80% faster in the Physics Test. The Adreno is on the expected level.

We tested the YotaPhone 2's browser performance using the preloaded Google Chrome 39. Internet browsing was subjectively swift, but we sometimes noticed that the review sample needed a moment in the direct vicinity of the router. Although the benchmark results are good, they also remain behind the expectations.

The storage of the YotaPhone 2 is generously sized with 32 GB. It cannot, however, be expanded. The user has approximately 24.7 GB available after initial start. The storage's speed is impressive and belongs to the swiftest in the comparison field.

3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
6632 Points ∼8%
Apple iPhone 6
9137 Points ∼11% +38%
Samsung Galaxy S5
15198 Points ∼18% +129%
HTC One M8
9521 Points ∼11% +44%
Sony Xperia Z3
13674 Points ∼16% +106%
LG G3
12939 Points ∼15% +95%
Acer Liquid S2
12181 Points ∼14% +84%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
16362 Points ∼3%
Apple iPhone 6
22509 Points ∼4% +38%
Samsung Galaxy S5
19530 Points ∼4% +19%
HTC One M8
15928 Points ∼3% -3%
Sony Xperia Z3
19606 Points ∼4% +20%
LG G3
17029 Points ∼3% +4%
Acer Liquid S2
17112 Points ∼3% +5%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
12339 Points ∼5%
Apple iPhone 6
16985 Points ∼7% +38%
Samsung Galaxy S5
18367 Points ∼8% +49%
HTC One M8
13856 Points ∼6% +12%
Sony Xperia Z3
17882 Points ∼8% +45%
LG G3
15911 Points ∼7% +29%
Acer Liquid S2
15700 Points ∼7% +27%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
8.8 fps ∼2%
Apple iPhone 6
17.8 fps ∼3% +102%
Samsung Galaxy S5
11.8 fps ∼2% +34%
HTC One M8
10.5 fps ∼2% +19%
Sony Xperia Z3
11.8 fps ∼2% +34%
LG G3
11.3 fps ∼2% +28%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
9.9 fps ∼3%
Apple iPhone 6
29.8 fps ∼8% +201%
Samsung Galaxy S5
11.7 fps ∼3% +18%
HTC One M8
11.2 fps ∼3% +13%
Sony Xperia Z3
12.6 fps ∼3% +27%
LG G3
7.3 fps ∼2% -26%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
21.1 fps ∼0%
Nokia Lumia 930
15 fps ∼0% -29%
Apple iPhone 6
42.6 fps ∼0% +102%
Samsung Galaxy S5
27.7 fps ∼0% +31%
HTC One M8
28.1 fps ∼0% +33%
Sony Xperia Z3
27.5 fps ∼0% +30%
LG G3
26.7 fps ∼0% +27%
Acer Liquid S2
23 fps ∼0% +9%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
20.9 fps ∼1%
Nokia Lumia 930
20 fps ∼1% -4%
Apple iPhone 6
51.9 fps ∼2% +148%
Samsung Galaxy S5
27.8 fps ∼1% +33%
HTC One M8
30.2 fps ∼1% +44%
Sony Xperia Z3
29.4 fps ∼1% +41%
LG G3
20.2 fps ∼1% -3%
Acer Liquid S2
23 fps ∼1% +10%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
2136 Points ∼7%
Yota Devices Yotaphone
963 Points ∼3% -55%
Apple iPhone 6
2889 Points ∼9% +35%
Samsung Galaxy S5
2885 Points ∼9% +35%
HTC One M8
2785 Points ∼9% +30%
Sony Xperia Z3
2708 Points ∼9% +27%
LG G3
2323 Points ∼7% +9%
Acer Liquid S2
2539 Points ∼8% +19%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
846 Points ∼18%
Yota Devices Yotaphone
531 Points ∼11% -37%
Apple iPhone 6
1619 Points ∼34% +91%
Samsung Galaxy S5
941 Points ∼20% +11%
HTC One M8
957 Points ∼20% +13%
Sony Xperia Z3
979 Points ∼20% +16%
LG G3
941 Points ∼20% +11%
Acer Liquid S2
872 Points ∼18% +3%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
922 ms * ∼10%
Yota Devices Yotaphone
1159.3 ms * ∼13% -26%
Nokia Lumia 930
534 ms * ∼6% +42%
Apple iPhone 6
340 ms * ∼4% +63%
Samsung Galaxy S5
408.7 ms * ∼4% +56%
HTC One M8
594.2 ms * ∼7% +36%
Sony Xperia Z3
827.5 ms * ∼9% +10%
LG G3
900 ms * ∼10% +2%
LG G3
629.3 ms * ∼7% +32%
Acer Liquid S2
739.4 ms * ∼8% +20%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
2776 Points ∼6%
Yota Devices Yotaphone
2570 Points ∼5% -7%
Nokia Lumia 930
2737 Points ∼5% -1%
Apple iPhone 6
7478 Points ∼15% +169%
Samsung Galaxy S5
3875 Points ∼8% +40%
HTC One M8
3131 Points ∼6% +13%
Sony Xperia Z3
5339 Points ∼11% +92%
LG G3
4345 Points ∼9% +57%
LG G3
3892 Points ∼8% +40%
Acer Liquid S2
3810 Points ∼8% +37%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
8164.9 ms * ∼14%
Yota Devices Yotaphone
10212.9 ms * ∼17% -25%
Nokia Lumia 930
11108 ms * ∼19% -36%
Apple iPhone 6
4597.1 ms * ∼8% +44%
Samsung Galaxy S5
6302 ms * ∼11% +23%
HTC One M8
8990.4 ms * ∼15% -10%
Sony Xperia Z3
6502 ms * ∼11% +20%
LG G3
7279.7 ms * ∼12% +11%
LG G3
7163 ms * ∼12% +12%
Acer Liquid S2
7220.4 ms * ∼12% +12%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
1.58 MB/s ∼1%
Yota Devices Yotaphone
1.05 MB/s ∼0% -34%
Samsung Galaxy S5
1 MB/s ∼0% -37%
HTC One M8
0.88 MB/s ∼0% -44%
Sony Xperia Z3
2 MB/s ∼1% +27%
LG G3
1.44 MB/s ∼1% -9%
Acer Liquid S2
1.4 MB/s ∼1% -11%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
11 MB/s ∼6%
Yota Devices Yotaphone
11.1 MB/s ∼6% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S5
8.5 MB/s ∼5% -23%
HTC One M8
10.53 MB/s ∼6% -4%
Sony Xperia Z3
15 MB/s ∼9% +36%
LG G3
20.98 MB/s ∼12% +91%
Acer Liquid S2
11.91 MB/s ∼7% +8%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
30.43 MB/s ∼8%
Yota Devices Yotaphone
14.78 MB/s ∼4% -51%
Samsung Galaxy S5
19.05 MB/s ∼5% -37%
HTC One M8
19.51 MB/s ∼5% -36%
Sony Xperia Z3
18 MB/s ∼5% -41%
LG G3
23.83 MB/s ∼6% -22%
Acer Liquid S2
17.94 MB/s ∼5% -41%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
139.14 MB/s ∼15%
Yota Devices Yotaphone
61.46 MB/s ∼7% -56%
Samsung Galaxy S5
83.53 MB/s ∼9% -40%
HTC One M8
88.41 MB/s ∼10% -36%
Sony Xperia Z3
149 MB/s ∼16% +7%
LG G3
167.46 MB/s ∼18% +20%
Acer Liquid S2
103.17 MB/s ∼11% -26%

Legend

 
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Yota Devices Yotaphone Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro MSM8960T, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia Lumia 930 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 6 Apple A8, PowerVR GX6450, 128 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC One M8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Sony Xperia Z3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Acer Liquid S2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

The speedy Adreno 330 graphics unit is installed in the YotaPhone 2. It has enough power to cope with all titles from the Play Store. Even the limited CPU performance was not noticed adversely in the test. Demanding games like Asphalt 8 run smoothly in high detail settings over a longer period. The decent touchscreen and impeccably functioning sensors round off the gaming fun.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Candy Crush Soda
Candy Crush Soda

Emissions

GFXBench 3.0: battery test
GFXBench 3.0: battery test

Temperature

The YotaPhone 2 reached a maximum surface temperature of 34.2 °C when idle. It climbed up to 42.6 °C under permanent load, which we simulated using the Stability Test app. Although that is comparatively high, it is still within an acceptable range.

Since the benchmarks already showed signs of performance losses during load, we examined this more closely using the battery test of GFXBench 3.0. It performs the T-Rex test thirty times in succession and records the frame rates in addition to the battery state. Throttling becomes evident here. The performance drops by approximately 15%.

Max. Load
 41.6 °C
107 F
35.9 °C
97 F
32.6 °C
91 F
 
 42.6 °C
109 F
36.4 °C
98 F
32.1 °C
90 F
 
 40.4 °C
105 F
35.6 °C
96 F
32.3 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 42.6 °C = 109 F
Average: 36.6 °C = 98 F
30.5 °C
87 F
33.2 °C
92 F
37.2 °C
99 F
28.7 °C
84 F
31.3 °C
88 F
37.7 °C
100 F
29.2 °C
85 F
31.8 °C
89 F
37 °C
99 F
Maximum: 37.7 °C = 100 F
Average: 33 °C = 91 F
Power Supply (max.)  34.8 °C = 95 F | Room Temperature 21 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-350
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.6 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 33 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 42.6 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 37.7 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.7 °C / 85 F, compared to the device average of 33 °C / 91 F.

Speakers

The speaker is located on the lower edge of the YotaPhone 2 and generally sounds a bit muffled. Although it can get very loud, music playback distorts when the volume exceeds 50%. Basses clash with a clanking sound. The audio impression is somewhat better when watching movies but is not completely convincing in high volumes. The included headset sounds more pleasant, though it is not exceptionally balanced. Mids and basses are only conveyed meekly.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The YotaPhone 2 has a relatively high power consumption when the screen's brightness is set to maximum and during load. However, the standby and off-state power consumptions are acceptable. The power supply has a sufficiently high capacity.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.5 / 1.9 / 2.3 Watt
Load midlight 5.8 / 7.1 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 870

Battery Runtime

The battery in the YotaPhone has a capacity of 2500 mAh and is sufficiently sized. Wi-Fi browsing with a screen brightness of 150 cd/m² provides the best comparison basis. All consumers except for the Wi-Fi connection are disabled and a script that opens a new website every 40 seconds is run in the browser. The result of ten hours is decent but not exceptional.

The battery life can be increased considerably with the YotaEnergy mode. The maker promises a reading time of five days and two days for all basic smartphone functions without having to recharge the device.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
9h 55min
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 128 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
WiFi
595
613
3%
1002
68%
530
-11%
672
13%

Verdict

In review: Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
In review: Yota Devices YotaPhone 2

The YotaPhone 2 is the only smartphone in the market that features a second e-paper display. That largely prevents any usage restrictions even on sunny summer days, and it always ensures good legibility. However, the EP display does not make an absolutely sophisticated impression. Although it has been improved considerably compared with the precursor, the displayed content could be sharper. Besides that, we would wish for a backlight that can be enabled optionally.

Otherwise, Yota Devices delivers a good total package with its handheld. The battery life is very good, the build is great, and decent cameras have found their way into the device. Furthermore, the smartphone can boast with low specific absorption rates.

Despite that, we miss the option of expanding the storage and, in view of the high price, a stronger processor as well as speedier LTE. It is too bad that the maker did not manage to properly control the CPU's waste heat, and the speaker remains to be an area needing improvement.

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In review: Yota Devices YotaPhone 2. Test model courtesy of Cyberport.de
In review: Yota Devices YotaPhone 2. Test model courtesy of Cyberport.de

Specifications

Yota Devices YotaPhone 2 (Yotaphone Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 330, Core: 450 MHz
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, capacitive touchscreens, AMOLED and e-paper/EPD, EPD: 4.7 inches, 16 grayscale levels, 960x540 pixels, both Corning Gorilla Glass 3, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 24.69 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combo headphone and microphone jack, Sensors: accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, G-sensor, digital compass, GPS, Glonass, NFC, wireless charging
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900 and 2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 4 (800, 1800 and 2600 MHz), VoLTE, head-SAR: 0.287 W/kg, body-SAR: 0.268 W/kg
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.95 x 144.9 x 69.4 ( = 0.35 x 5.7 x 2.73 in)
Battery
, 2500 mAh, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 41.8 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 26 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 396 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 408 h
Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera
Webcam: 2.1 MP, primary camera: 8 MP (auto focus, LED flash)
Additional features
Speakers: two stereo speakers, Keyboard: virtual, power supply, USB cord, SIM tool, headset, YotaApps, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
144 g ( = 5.08 oz / 0.32 pounds), Power Supply: 65 g ( = 2.29 oz / 0.14 pounds)
Price
699 Euro

 

The YotaPhone 2 has been fundamentally reworked.
The YotaPhone 2 has been fundamentally reworked.
A 5-inch AMOLED adorns the front.
A 5-inch AMOLED adorns the front.
A 4.7-inch EP display is on the back.
A 4.7-inch EP display is on the back.
A Snapdragon 800 ensures plenty of computing power.
A Snapdragon 800 ensures plenty of computing power.
Gorilla Glass 3 protects both sides of the handheld.
Gorilla Glass 3 protects both sides of the handheld.
Geekbench 3
Geekbench 3
PCMark for Android
PCMark for Android
GFXBench 3.0
GFXBench 3.0
AnTuTu v5.5
AnTuTu v5.5
Camera settings
Camera settings
24.7 GB is available.
24.7 GB is available.
Android 4.4.3 is preloaded.
Android 4.4.3 is preloaded.
Apps
Apps
Apps
Apps
Apps
Apps
3DMark Unlimited
3DMark Unlimited

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Links

  • Tips for buying a notebook - notebookCHECK Purchase Advisory

  • Find the right notebook - notebookCHECK Hardware Guide

  • Display resolution comparison - DPI (grain size) of displays

  • Our test criteria
  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pros

+Additional ePaper screen
+Decent build
+Good voice quality
+Decent cameras
+Low absorption rates
+Very good battery life
 

Cons

-Non-expandable storage
-No LTE Cat.6
-EPD could be more focused and responsive
-CPU throttling during load
-Weak speakers

Shortcut

What we like

The second e-paper display is definitely an additional benefit even for everyday use and is more than just a technical gimmick. It is a well-conceived and configurable feature.

What we'd like to see

A backlight for the EPD that can be enabled optionally is on our wish list for the YotaPhone 3.

What surprises us

The camera in the YotaPhone 2 has a lower resolution than its precursor (13 MP).

The competition

The YotaPhone 2 does not have any real rivals, but it has to compete against the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Sony Xperia Z3, LG G3, Nokia Lumia 930, Motorola Moto X, Google Nexus 6 and Apple iPhone 6 in view of its price level.

Rating

Yota Devices YotaPhone 2 - 01/14/2015 v4(old)
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
61 / 75 → 81%
Pointing Device
82%
Connectivity
41 / 60 → 68%
Weight
93%
Battery
92%
Display
87%
Games Performance
58 / 63 → 92%
Application Performance
32 / 70 → 46%
Temperature
87%
Noise
100%
Audio
52 / 91 → 57%
Camera
70%
Average
72%
83%
Smartphone - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Yota Devices YotaPhone 2 Smartphone Review
Daniel Schmidt, 2015-01-19 (Update: 2018-05-15)