YotaPhone. Designed in Russia. Assembled in China

The first russian smartphone with smashing dual-screen concept is coming out today! I’ve inspected the engineer centre in Singapore and factory in China and today my article is published on GQ.ru. Read the english translation of my investigation «What’s inside of YotaPhone» below.

Design and idea: Russia / Moscow

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 20.32.27Just the idea of bilateral smartphone could come to a head only in Russia. If you’ve ever walked down the subway or standing in some long queue, you would have noticed that more than half of people read books in electronic format, and most of them – with a smartphone. But it’s really bad for the eyes, both in terms of screen size and its features — AMOLED, LCD and other matrixes are detrimental to the eyes of reader. But e-ink panel, also known as electronic ink – on the contrary, don’t differ in their properties from the usual paper book. Someone had to change it somehow – but replacing the color HD screen on e-ink would be unreasonable. We must create a two-sided smartphone! Especially the idea was already «flying» in the air for a long time. So YotaPhone born in the minds of people driven by this idea.

Engineering: Singapore

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 20.27.46After creating the concept of the first YotaPhone it was decided to apply to the competent in this matter comrades in Singapore. The company Hi-P got the hand in the production of a variety of devices for the different companies, including Motorola. Everyone remember the smooth sexy body or first ROKR E8 or stainless steel metal panels of Aura. Here they develop a filling of the device and test all functions.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 20.18.23The photo shows the process of testing all keys (touch keys for physical), connectors, and even such qualities as strength of the hull, water resistance (technically it’s not, but a study on how much the gadget may lay in the rain or in the steam room held) or even if the antenna emits too strong, above-normal radiation.

Assembly: China / Tianjin

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 20.35.13And now I’ve transported to the factory Hi-P near Beijing. Very clean and orderly – almost all processes run not by Chinese, but by Singaporeans, some even work on the production lines of the plant.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 20.12.49

At the beginning the special machine just modelling a moulded shape in a seconds, body parts of the smartphone. Parallel in another hall are being created boards for filling gadget. Then the both constituents are in the third stage of production. On the conveyor machines for assembling, all is being tested directly as assembly, checking the antenna, both screens, SIM-card slot and so on. For each unit tested all parameters tuned circuit. And next is the last stage – the packaging. Workers are collecting the boxes, accessories, YotaPhones itself and packing it. And yes, finally we see the treasured inscription on the box «Designed in Russia. Assembled in China».

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 0.58.14Some more about the device:

The electronic paper display is always on, but in a less disturbing and more user-friendly way. You can easily see notices, emails, tweets, and other information in real time without picking up or even activating your phone.

The electronic paper display does not have to go dark to save battery life. Even if the battery is empty, the most recent information on the EPD remains visible.

You can use it to save important information. Save anything from a route on a map, to a boarding pass, to theatre tickets.


And some tech specifications:
Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 / Dual Core Processor 1.7 GHz Krait / Screen 4.3” 720×1280 LCD, 16.7M colours; capacitive multi touch and back screen 4.3” 360×640 EPD, 16 grayscale; capacitive touch zone below the EPD for gesture controls / LTE 800/1800/2600 MHz, UMTS 900/1800/2100 MHz, GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz / Main camera 13 MP AF, LED flash, front camera 1MP / 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC / WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, BT v4.0, GPS w/A-GPS + Glonass / 1800mAh / 133.6 x 67 x 9.99 mm / 146g / Accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, FM radio, micro-SIM, special YotaPhone gestures and Put2Back applications for the back screen
YotaPhone will be available since 4th december in online store on yotaphone.com and in store since 15th december of 2013. The russian price will be 19 990 RUB. Its about $630 or 450GBP.
Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 19.59.27
Photo: Pavel Boyman (26), press archives (3)

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