A successful launch for the YotaPhone 2

Sharif Sakr talking to TechCrunch

That’s me (left) talking about YotaPhone 2 with Darrell Etherington on the TechCrunch stage at CES 2015

Okay, I’ve been away from this blog for a ridiculously long time, and I’m sorry. But I never turn up late without an excuse, and in this instance the blame lies entirely with the all-new YotaPhone 2.

In my old life as a tech journalist, I always assumed that those on the industry side had it relatively easy in terms of flights and sleep patterns and deadlines. Of course, I was wrong. Now that I’m working with Yota Devices, my December was consumed with the European launch of YP2 in the UK and Italy; then I went to show off the device to folks at CES in Las Vegas; then to Moscow to plan for launches in other markets like Latin America, while also trying to cope with personal changes including a new kid, a new car (which somehow expects to be plugged in) and a new crib.

(By way of proof of at least part of this itinerary, I present a video of me talking on the TechCrunch stage at CES, which WordPress won’t actually allow me to embed.)

Anyway, I now have a chance to catch my breath and write some words. And one of the main reasons why I feel able to relax is that mainstream reviews of the YP2 have been overwhelmingly positive about the phone’s dual screen technology and software. There’s also been plenty of constructive criticism from my old blogger buddies, for which I’m grateful, and which I promise has been duly noted, turned into to-do lists and in some cases fixed already. Engadget raised some valid issues with the YotaPhone’s camera performance, for example, but a recent software update brought drastic improvements in this area — something corroborated by GSMArena’s more recent review.

Here are some review links if you’re interested:


The Verge


— Android Central

GSM Arena

I won’t be able to relax for long. It’ll all kick off again soon for the China launch, plus I’m booked in for MWC and GDC (where I’ll also be showing off the latest developments from GameBench). If you’re at any of these events and want to meet up to talk business or just buy me a shot of Jameson’s (my current price for industry gossip), then let me know. 🙂

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