Sprint has taken the wraps off the Kyocera Echo, an upcoming Android OS smartphone with an unusual design featuring a pair of 3.5-inch touchscreens.
This device is going to offer a number of different configurations depending on what the user is doing.
In Single-Screen Mode, the Echo will act like any smartphone with just one 480 x 800 touchscreen.
Sliding out the second screen is going to open up a new possibilities. In Simul-Task Mode, this device will be able to run any two of its seven core apps (messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, phone, gallery, contacts and VueQue) at the same time. This would enable the user to, for example, search the Web on one screen while checking email on the other.
In Optimized Mode, both the Echo's displays will show a single, optimized app with complementary functionality -- like writing an e-mail on one screen with a touchscreen keyboard on the other.
This smartphone is going to have one more trick: Tablet Mode will allow it to spread one application across both displays for a 4.7-inch, 960 x 800 viewing area. This was created to make it easier for users to view maps, videos, websites, detailed documents, and long lists.
The Kyocera Echo is going to run Google's Android OS 2.2 on a 1 GHz processor. It will have 1 gigabyte (GB) of onboard memory and come bundled with an 8 GB microSD card.
This smartphone will support Sprint's 3G network, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It will be able to share its cellular-wireless connection with another computer with mobile hotspot software, but this device will not be able to connect to Sprint's 4G WiMAX network.
As the Echo is going to have two displays, it is going to require an unusual amount of power. That's why Kyocera is including one 1370 mAh battery, as well as a second battery of the same capacity that can be swapped out. An included cradle will be able to charge the phone and/or one of these batteries when not in the device.
Price and Availability
The Kyocera Echo is going to be released at some point this spring, though exactly when it not yet known.
Sprint is going to charge $200 for this Android OS-smartphone when purchased with a new or renewed two-year service contract.
Sprint and Kyocera have released a video showing the Echo going through its different configurations:
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