Sprint goes DS-like with Kyocera Echo


They say that good things come in twos – any parent to a pair of twins will surely echo that sentiment, and Sprint has taken heed of such advice to introduce the new Kyocera Echo which takes a totally different route when it comes to form factor and features for a smartphone – we’re talking about having a couple of displays here instead of your usual one-screen handset.

Yeah, I do think that this is a ruse to steal some thunder away from the upcoming Verizon CDMA iPhone 4 that is said to arrive next week, since the Echo is a pioneering device where cell phones are concerned with its two displays. Powered by the Android operating system, there are no demo units available as at press time for us to look at, although future updates are already in the offing.

Most folks who are not that tech savvy might mistake this for the Nintendo DS that is notorious for having dual displays, but the Kyocera Echo intends to help you be more productive instead of spending your time playing games. After all, it lets you do two tasks simultaneously to get more done, imagine composing an email on one screen while checking out the day’s news on the other, how about viewing a video on top while texting your friend at the bottom?

With two displays, imagine going comparison shopping online with one web site on each screen – that sure as heck beats flipping between windows or panels. The Kyocera Echo boasts innovative hardware as well as optimized software that allows you to use the touchscreens in four unique ways, and they are :-

  • Single-Screen Mode with all the functionality of a single-display, touch-screen smartphone.
  • Simul-Task Mode with two of the phone’s seven core apps (messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, phone, gallery, contacts and VueQue) running concurrently but independently on the dual displays – e.g., reading e-mail on one screen and opening a text message on the other; checking Facebook via the browser on one screen while looking through a photo gallery on the other; or even searching the Web on one screen and checking email on the other.
  • Optimized Mode with both displays supporting a single, optimized app with complementary functionality and enhanced usability – e.g., composing e-mail on one screen with a touch-screen keyboard on the other; watching a YouTube™ video on one display while browsing and queuing additional YouTube videos on the other (with a preloaded Kyocera app called VueQue); or viewing gallery images on one display while browsing image thumbnails on the other.
  • Tablet Mode with one application spread across both displays for a full 4.7-inch viewing area. Tablet Mode is ideal for viewing maps, videos, websites, detailed documents, and long lists on-the-go.

Out later this spring, the Kyocera Echo will retail for $199.99 with a new two-year service agreement after a $100 mail-in rebate – any takers?

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