Sprint announces the Kyocera Echo: one screen doesn't cut it anymore

Sprint announces the Kyocera Echo: one screen doesn't cut it anymore
At today's NYC event (check how our live coverage went on), Sprint kept its promise and unveiled an "industry first" device, namely, the Kyocera Echo - a dual-screen Android smartphone with two 3.5" touch displays, which actually allow for a healthy sized 4.7" real estate when combined. By the looks of, Sprint is positioning this peculiar device as something between a modern smartphone and a mini-tablet. And yes, we noticed that the branding says "Kyocera". Just ignore that and continue reading.

In closed mode, the Kyocera Echo is your typical Android 2.2 Froyo smartphone that can do normal stuff like browsing the web, dialing contacts and... anything, really. However, the Echo becomes way more interesting as you open it (it utilized a hinge mechanism that is said to leave almost no space between both parts) to reveal the second 3.5" LCD screen. The second display, identically to the first, has a resolution of 480x800 pixels.

Kyocera's second modern-day foray into the realm of smartphones (the other recent one was the Zio) is actually focusing on the high end, as it also comes equipped with a powerful 1GHz Snapdragon chipset and a 5MP camera. Unfortunately, it'll only sport 3G bands, no WiMAX compatibility, because Kyocera and Sprint wanted to get that launched as soon as possible, as well as keep the price decent.

You are probably wondering how the software is going to take advantage of this new dual-screen layout. Apparently, Kyocera has taken its time to rework most of the core apps of the Android 2.2 system, including the email client, picture gallery, video and YouTube players, etc. Unsurprisingly, the concept behind it is what we already find with tablets - on one side you have your inbox, for example, while on the other - the contents of the selected message. Only here we're going to have the inbox on one screen, and the content on the other! Thankfully, they will release special APIs for developers, which will allow them to design apps for the Kyocera Echo's unique dual-screen form-factor.

One of the most interesting features of the Kyocera Echo is its Simul-task mode, which is almost described as the next level of multitasking. What it does is to allow you to work with two apps at the same time. For example, you can be browsing the web, while composing an email or watching a video at the same time. Well, it might be useful in certain situations, though we don't see it becoming a widely-used feature. Even more so when the apps that will be able to simul-task are limited to the web browser, gallery, YouTube player, phone, contacts, email and messaging.

So, what battery life can we expect from this dual-screen device? Would it be twice as short? According to Sprint, it's going to be a standard performing device in this category, which sounds a bit optimistic. However, you might be interested to know that they are bundling it with an additional battery for free. He-he, wise man you are, Hesse.

Clearly, not everyone is too fond of Kyocera, but the Echo seems intriguing enough to spawn a small Echo-community. The handset is coming out this Spring, at a price of $199.99 on contract. Well, guys, in the final analysis, it wasn't a phone with glasses-free 3D that we saw today, but rather a phone with 2x2D displays (which are still glasses-free, by the way), but don't be blue, 3D is right around the corner now!

source: Sprint

Related phones

Echo
  • Display 3.5" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Battery 1370 mAh(7.00h talk time)

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55 Comments

1. cornerofthemoon

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 20, 2010

This phone will have more punchlines thrown at it than David Hasselhoff but I'm sure it will attract a very dedicated cult following.

10. KParks23

Posts: 729; Member since: Oct 13, 2010

LOL last pic on the right looks like the guy is just walkin out like F this HAHAHA!!!

29. Napoleon

Posts: 60; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

Completely disappointed Sprint... Here's hoping that this isn't the only phone lined up for Q2...

36. Napoleon

Posts: 60; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

Moreover, here's hoping for the HTC EVO 2!!!

35. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

And then sprint wonders why they are number three... Wait wernt we supposed to see some super cool 3d lg phone? I mean who cares about this company... If it is not a well known phone maker then who cares... Cough cough dell cough zte...

51. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

least the dell is an established computer company that deals with highend technology(alienware). Sanyo/Kyocera makes wonderful flip phones.

44. grillmaster423

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 08, 2011

Here's one, I've been waiting in line 5 minutes, now, who spiked the punch with battery acid, and why isn't my two screen phone working?

2. Dissappointment unregistered

wow........this is probably......this totally blows. I would rather have seen a new blackberry announcement than this knock off nintendo ds.

12. TKFox007

Posts: 303; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

Second

37. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Third. They could have given actual shipping dates for the BlackBerry Playbook and they would have had more of an impact. Two 3.5 inch screens.... I am starting to wonder if Sprint actually has a formal business plan to remain in third place.

3. twashington4

Posts: 81; Member since: May 24, 2010

So, will any third party apps take advantage of this dual screen? No, you'll get one bright colorful 3.5" screen and a really dark one.

4. OhSo3D unregistered

Wow... I really hope htc can salvage sprint with something at MWC.

5. Roberto unregistered

That was a waste of David Blaine...

6. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

I'm more interested in the David Blaine show. That seemed to be an awesome illusion.

7. cornerofthemoon

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 20, 2010

The phone looks like it would be a blast to play with....providing the software amendments don't carry lots of bugs.

8. Syksyd

Posts: 63; Member since: Apr 16, 2010

LMAO!!.....This is what sprint thinks will bring them back from near death, please get a new crop of high end phones like VZW,ATT, and TMO......This phone is a joke, what a fail SPRINT............

11. KParks23

Posts: 729; Member since: Oct 13, 2010

ppl will buy it to look cool.....and sprint is DEF not close to death haha

18. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

actually, they are a very poor company that has ran negative for years until very recently. close to death has been a way of life for them. They will survive... most likely.

42. KParks23

Posts: 729; Member since: Oct 13, 2010

like i said we talkin about 2011 not 2008 and in 2011 there not near death thanks mostly to htc and the evo but yea they were in the dump a couple years ago

9. Sprint=disappointment unregistered

Wow. I am truly disappointed. So why was David Blaine brought to the sprint show? Bringing him caused me have greater hopes for what could be. Now I am full of.."that's it, that is all you've got." Hey Sprint, Thanks for tickling my sensitive spot all week and then walking out on me before I experienced joy. I like your network but despise your presentation.

13. Sprint....wtf unregistered

WTH Sprint, do you like puttin crap out like Sprint ID...now this. I would say fail...but I think you are beyond that at this point.

14. TKFox007

Posts: 303; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

Well now I see why they brought David Blaine, they needed to get people hyped up for this disappointment of monumental proportions.

15. Mikal unregistered

What is it that makes this phone a joke? It is not a DS knock-off. It doesn't even flip i don't think. This coudl be Kyocera's version of an Evo Shift or a Samsung Transform, I do have to admit that the Zio didn't stand a chance over the Transform. Just because Kyocera doesn't ususally make the best phones sometimes, doesn't mean that this one will be bad. Heck, I think they used the ideas I wrote to them. I told them to have a 5 MP camera and a 1 GHZ processer.They didn't use 4G or a trackpad like I suggested, but those aren't really need and the writing at the top says why. There may have been other things they left out, I even suggested one 4 in. Display, but two 3.5 in. To make a 4.7 is awesome. So really, just because the Zio was a fail to some people, why does it mean this one is bad? Just wait until the phone is sold and has reviews out, and it will probably turn out great. Think about the mean things you say about Kyocera. It's not that nice to do.

16. Mikal unregistered

Kyocera also didn't add a front facing camera like I suggested, but the 4.7 in. in all screen is an excuse. I hope that they added a flash to the camera like I said. I also hope that they continue to market some products under Sanyo, but I think they were gonna stop this year. Anyway, this will probably turn out to be a great phone and be way better than the Zio.

17. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

It gives fanboy reason to thrash Sprint, as these fanboys are so in love with their parents free family plan

19. Tottenham

Posts: 86; Member since: Jan 05, 2011

I swear, this thing looks like it was constructed in someone's garage. What a brick! No 4G because Sprint wanted to get it to the market as soon as possible!? Why, were they concerned somebody was going to steal their thunder with some other dual-screen POS? I guess if you're going to introduce some novelty POS, you want to make sure it's the only one on the market. Considering all the hype, I was really expecting something amazing. What a letdown.

20. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

Ya, Kyocera took soo long working on this product that it has a 1st gen Snapdragon processor (same processor as HTC Evo 4G). While the processor is still powerful, it is not as powerful as the 2nd gen Snapdragon processors. I don't really get how Sprint can be proud of this phone. Only thing that is new about it is the fact that it has dual touch screens.

21. mmoney unregistered

WOWWWWWWWWWW.. What A Disapointment even David Blaine didnt want that sorry ass phone. good Job Sprint keep up the shity ass work. why dont you look at what verizon is doing and actually come out with some more phones compatible or better than the evo. I was looking so forward to this announcement, seeing that i work for sprint and everything. But What a Fuck uP this was. I might think of getting it for my 2 year old.

30. Napoleon

Posts: 60; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

Hahaha your 2 year old will probably hate it as well lol lol lol....

22. shimmyx20

Posts: 280; Member since: Mar 03, 2009

If there's 3rd party apps that can take advantage of having both screens, I could see some potential for this thing. Even the way that some of those first party apps take advantage of this setup is pretty cool.

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