Sprint announced today at its “Make the Impossible Possible” press event in NYC that it would be releasing the Kyocera Echo, a “tablet smartphone” with dual 3.5 inch touch screens. When folded the handheld looks and feels like any other Android phone, but it opens up to reveal another screen that can be used by itself or in tandem for a number of different applications.
Sprint’s press release today boasts that the Echo’s two screens can be used to “send an email on one screen while surfing the web on the other, watch a video on one screen while texting on the other, comparison shop online with one web site on each screen and so much more.”
The Echo will also feature unique “optimized” apps designed specifically to take advantage of the two-screened interface. For example, users could use the bottom screen for selecting photos from a library while using the top screen to view the selected photo, or users could be composing an e-mail or message on the top screen while the bottom screen functions as a full QWERTY keyboard.
The Echo will also feature a tablet mode with one application spread across both screens for 4.7 inches of usable space. This is the probably the most unique and exciting feature of the phone. As you can see in the picture, it seems like a lot of screen real estate for something that fits in your pocket, and this is what most people are excited about.
Sprint explains that “Tablet Mode is ideal for viewing maps, videos, websites, detailed documents, and long lists on-the-go.”
Other notable features include a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera, 720p HD camcorder, and Wi-Fi hotspot capability.
The Echo will be available sometime this spring exclusively on the Sprint network. The price will be $199 with a 2-year contract and $100 mail-in rebate. No word from Sprint on the full retail price.
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