While there are plenty of conversations to be had about the best Android phones — conversations that ususally start and end with the major brands out there today — the folks at Yota Devices delivered something truly unique this year with the YotaPhone 2. The dual screen device offered a fun twist on using your smartphone to do more, and in the process turned out to be one of the better experiences out there for users who prefer the Nexus way of doing things. The only things missing from the YotaPhone 2 experience during our review were proper US band support for 4G LTE and an update to the latest version of Android. A quick glance over at the YotaPhone website this morning gives us a peek and when we can expect both.
While there were some initial rumors about Yota Devices partnering with T-Mobile for the US launch of the YotaPhone 2, it looks like the company has opted to remain untethered to a single US company and has instead announced an IndieGoGo campaign to fund its entrance into the US. Alongside this US announcement is the appearance of a white version of the device, though it appears to only be white on the ePaper side of the device. The campaign goes live on May 19th, with the promise of Early Bird deals for those who grab their spot in line early. While we don't yet know how long the campaign will be, if the company starts shipping immediately after a 60-day campaign users will probably have devices in hand by the end of July.
The Yota website also has an image of the device running Android 5.0, and as expected from our time with the Kit Kat version of the phone it looks quite close to the Nexus experience. We don't yet know what improvments have been made to the ePaper side of the device to go along with this software update, but with all of the APIs that are opened up with Lollipop there's a good chance the folks working on YotaPhone 2 have a couple of tricks up their sleeve. For those of you who currently own International versions of YotaPhone 2, no update timeframe has been announced just yet.
The delay from seeing YotaPhone 2 in action at CES this year to being able to actually purchase one for US use feels like eternity, during which a number of excellent devices have been released here in the states, but those of us who appreciate the thinner form factor and unique experiences offered by this dual screen device will soon be able to fully appreciate YotaPhone 2. How well that translates to devices sold in the US, especially with so much time having passed, is something we'll all have to wait and see.
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