Are two screens better than one? Sprint and Kyocera think so. At a press event in NYC today, they announced the Kyocera Echo, an Android OS 2.2 Froyo smartphone with dual 3.5" displays that open to create one large 4.7" diagonal display. The phone has a patented hinge that allows use in traditional mode (it looks like a standard slate phone), clamshell mode and slate mode with both displays flat.
The bezel is thin for reduced visual interuption when used in full open tablet mode. You can run different apps in each display or dedicate both displays to one app-- say an extra large Google Maps view or a long web browser window.
The Echo will be available this Sprint for $199 with contract from Sprint exclusively. It has 3G (sorry no WiMax 4G) and it runs on a 1GHz Qualcomm Snadragon CPU (no Tegra 2 here).
- Dual 3.5-inch LCD WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) capacitive touchscreens (4.7 inches diagonally and 800 x 960 pixels when opened)
- Android OS 2.2 Froyo
- Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD 8650 CPU
- Memory: 1gig/512 megs, 8 gig microSD card included
- 3G EV-DO for data
- WiFi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- 5 megapixel rear camera (no front camera)
GPS that works with TeleNav and Google Maps
- Two 1370 mAh Lithium Ion batteries with portable charger included (hmm, does that mean poor battery life?)
The usual array of Google apps and Sprint apps are included
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview