At their self-hyped press event today, Sprint and Kyocera released what they have been calling an "industry first" device, the Kyocera Echo. Although the dual screen concept is not new, it has never been implemented to this extent on a phone before, so it will be interesting to see if people like it.
On paper, the hardware shows nothing to dislike. The Echo will sport good smartphone specs, a second-gen Snapdragon CPU, a 1370 mAh battery, a 5 megapixel camera with flash, and a rumored 512MB of RAM. Luckily, Kyocera did not skimp on the main selling point, two 3.5-inch 800×480 displays.
These displays are mounted on a special kind of hinge, which allows them to be oriented in multiple positions including a folded laptop like arrangement, a "single" 4.7-inch arrangement, and a regular single display arrangement. Needless to say, this setup adds some bulk to the device, but overall it still looks attractive.
The device runs only Android 2.2, but this is understandable considering the adjustments Kyocera made to the software. These modifications allow applications to be run side by side or spread across both screens. An application can also display on one screen and then use the other one as a keyboard.
Although this is a pretty cool concept, I probably would not buy it. I like the idea of having a screen that can be used as a keyboard while still leaving the other screen accesible, and multitasking with two apps side by side would be pretty neat. However, it still seems like having dual screens is a marketing bullet point that will really not be helpful in real life.
Even if this turns out to be a total flop, it is still refreshing to see a company trying something new and daring that doesn't look like every other device out there.[CNET]