YotaPhone 2 lands in the US, and it’s compatible with all three T-Mobile LTE bands

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The list of promising SIM-free unlocked phones in the U.S. is growing. Its most recent addition is a phone I’ve managed to spend some time with a while back: YotaPhone 2. It’s an intriguing Android device with two displays. The front one is your usual HD AMOLED panel, while the back uses E-Ink technology and is perfect for reading e-books or just having a permanent status screen.

Until yesterday, the device was only available to buy outside of the States. But now, thanks to a recently launched crowd-funding effort on Indiegogo, the phone will be launched inside America’s borders and it’ll come complete with all three LTE bands used by T-Mobile. You read that right, bands 2,4 and 12 are all catered for by the YotaPhone 2 which now also comes in white.

With 60 days left to go on the campaign, Yota Devices has already surpassed its $50,000 target. At time of writing, the company had raised over $110k in funding. And you still have plenty of time to add to that. What’s more, there are special promotions for anyone pledging within the first 48 hours of the campaign going live. If you order before tomorrow morning, you’ll be able to snag one for $525 (plus shipping). Once the early-bird offer has expired you’ll need to cough up $550 for one YotaPhone 2 or grab two of them for $1,050.

There are only a couple of downsides to ordering this device. The page notes that shipping isn’t expected until August. Secondly, since it’s not a device officially offered by T-Mobile (yet), there’s no Wi-Fi calling. Apart from that, the specifications are decent:

  • 5-inch, 1080×1920 AMOLED display
  • 4.7-inch, 540×960 “always on” E-Ink display on the back
  • 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • 2,500mAh battery with Quick Charge
  • Wireless charging
  • Cat 4 LTE – including bands 2,4 and 12
  • 8MP rear camera with 1080p video
  • 2.1MP front camera

If you’re curious, I’ll leave my PhoneDog review for the YotaPhone 2 which we published a couple of months back:

Let us know if you’re planning on picking one up through the indiegogo campaign, or if it’s a little too little too late for Yota.

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  • beyondthetech

    No link to Indiegogo campaign?

  • Care, we do not…

    Oh! You said YOTA not YODA – woops…

    • Adrayven

      Yeah, I see a lawsuit coming.. Doesn’t matter if they change a letter.. If it’s logical it will get associated with Yoda then they could easily get hit hard in court. Especially with a billion dollar money maker like a Star Wars trade mark like Yoda..

      • DStudio

        Sounds more like ‘yada yada yada’ to me! That makes more sense, but no one’s gonna sue over that.

    • eanfoso

      Lol nice attempt at trolling

  • I just don’t see the excitement behind this!

  • Ryan

    It’s great to see a product that’s actually innovating instead of adding bloatware features like Samsung.

    • churchofyoda

      This should have been Amazon’s phone. If this idea is patented, Amazon should make a deal with them.

  • dtam

    tempting, but still kinda pricey (though I understand with the e ink screen)

  • Alex P.

    What a useless product… Secondary display is a “scratch magnet” which REQUIRES transparent screen protector of some kind and makes it impossible to use any cases with “hard” back cover or any type of wireless charging. It also forces you to be “stuck” with a non-replaceable, low-capacity battery (I’d rather have a higher capacity battery for general use instead of redundant secondary display). Camera is also bad by current standards (worse than any current flagship from any other brand). Really not sure why would ANYONE buy it for anything other than impressing a few simple-minded “friends” with its gimmicky display.

    • that_guy

      Old folks will buy it.

    • pseudoswede

      Why would it affect wireless charging?

      • rod

        2 screens. Where would you put the coil?

        • steveb944

          You do know it does have wireless charging built in right? They even sell a wireless charger to go with it.

          It’s likely on the e-ink side.

    • steveb944

      1. “Scratch magnet” Subjective. Some people don’t even use cases, I for one use one because I’m overprotective but I’m extremely careful with my tech. I’ve used bumpers worry free, as this includes one as well.
      You throw some clear skin (Skinomi, etc.) and you don’t have to worry.

      2. ‘User replaceable battery’ Subjective. I’ve had much better experiences on various devices with internal batteries vs user replaceable being just that, horrible and needing replacing.

      3. Small battery? The dual display increase size as is so I can see why they didn’t go bigger AND it’s what can allow the 5 day battery life, which NO ONE else can offer on a smartphone.

      “I’d rather have a higher capacity battery for general use instead of redundant secondary display”
      This phone is OBVIOUSLY not for you if you don’t have a need/use for the e ink display.

      I’ll give you the camera dig, but I’m not big on photos. I like the selfie taken with the main camera, which only HTC offers a camera that good for selfies.

      I’m not simple minded, but rather see the innovation in the product itself. 1.Battery life is the biggest achiles heel in today’s market, and having the capability to stretch it to 5 days is amazing.
      2. I read books, articles, etc on my phone all day. The e ink will allow me to save my eyes. I love my Amazon Kindle, but I can’t use that for blog reading nor carry a tablet with me all the time.

      • churchofyoda

        I completely agree with you. Not everybody needs/wants the she thing. I’m thinking Amazon’s next phone should utilize this technology. If Amazon would make it durable like their Kindle Fire tablet, the combination of durability and long battery life would be a great combination. It would be easy to market to travelers and the outdoors-type (camping/hiking, etc.).

  • that_guy

    I hate e-ink displays, with great passion.

    • steveb944

      What’s the reason? It may not be great for certain tasks on a smartphone, but for text and superb battery life it’s bar none.

      • that_guy

        It’s just ugly.

        • steveb944

          Then it’s safe to say you don’t have an Amazon Kindle or Pebble smartwatch. It’s a shame because it’s better for the eyes.

        • that_guy

          Yes its safe to say that. Although I did come close to getting a pebble.

  • steveb944

    Thanks for the post Cam, as well as the review.

  • Mark McCoskey

    While that phone is not for me, I appreciate coverage of phones (and tablets) that support T-Mobile bands 2, 4 and 12. Thanks Cam!

  • g2a5b0e

    I believe this phone was first debuted at CES in 2014. That was almost a year & a half ago. That’s not a problem in & of itself, however, there are a few reasons I wouldn’t buy this phone.

    1. Support: I believe this phone still runs Jellybean.

    2. Price: I can’t just spending flagship money on a device that is pretty much mid-range by today’s standards.

    3. This is purely conjecture, but I bet the camera is garbage.

    However, if they release a YotaPhone 3 with closer to flagship specs & it doesn’t take over a year coming to our shores, I would definitely consider it.

    • Actually it’s shipping with Lollipop.

      • g2a5b0e

        Glad to hear I’m wrong on that.

    • policywank

      You’re thinking of the first Yotaphone. This is the Yotaphone 2. Newer hardware and software, better specs almost all around, etc, etc. The puzzling thing, though, is that I read that the first yotaphone had a 13mp rear camera. I don’t know why they would have gone to a worse camera. Since they don’t yet have support for the Amazon Kindle app on the e-ink screen, my main reason for wanting the phone doesn’t apply yet.

      • g2a5b0e

        No, you’re wrong. I’m not thinking of the first YotaPhone. Look up when this phone debuted. It’s over a year old. Also, fewer megapixels doesn’t equate to a worse camera.

        • policywank

          Okay, dude. Sorry for whatever I did that got your panties in such a bunch.

        • g2a5b0e

          My “panties” are actually quite straight, but thanks for your concern. It helps to know what you’re talking about before trying to correct someone.

  • Brie

    I really love the idea of this phone though not this iteration. Ideally a 5.7 inch display with a min of 3000 mAh battery. I am patient :)

    • policywank

      My hope is that a yotaphone 3 or 4 will be close to my ideal device.

    • Laurel Treguboff

      I have a xperia ultra 6.4″ screen I just wish it had eink on the back lol.

  • Pens47

    Why no coverage of the ASUS Zenfone?

    • vrm

      that is a POS.

  • Fabian Cortez

    From the article:

    Secondly, since it’s not a device officially offered by T-Mobile (yet), there’s no Wi-Fi calling.

    If Google would get their butt into gear with baked in Wi-Fi calling, none of this would be an issue.

    • Kogashuko

      Yeh kind of what I was thinking. Was going to miss the feature when I switch over to AT&T but it seems to not work right anymore and I learned yesterday I get 4 bars in my house with AT&T LTE and GSM thanks to the 4 towers around my house as opposed to the one and only Tmobile HSPA+ that is about 3 miles away.

  • Jose

    I’m good, I like my Kindle Paperwhite, plus, reading on a Note is a good experience!

  • Kogashuko

    Why does this even exist?

  • fencepost

    I’d absolutely consider this – I used to do a lot of reading on my phone before switching to a larger-screened tablet, but I could easily switch back to something like this just for the portability. Comparing it to a Moto X, the YotaPhone2 has
    * a slightly slower processor (2.2 vs 2.5, both Snapdragon 801),
    * same resolution on a slightly smaller screen (by .2 inches)
    * weaker camera (8MP vs 13MP)
    * Wireless charging (not on the Moto X)

    Odds are it’s running pretty close to stock Android which would be a plus for me (I want my Bluetooth tethering) but so is the Moto X.

    At the original price point in Cam’s video not a chance, but right now it’s $75 more than an equivalently-configured Moto X unless you’re waiting and watching for their occasional 1-day sales, and that difference seems fairly minor.