Skip to comments.Sprint's Kyocera Echo dual-screen Android phone announced, we go hands-on
Posted on 02/07/2011 4:56:03 PM PST by dangerdoc
Sprint promised us an "industry first" at its event today, and it certainly delivered: check out the Kyocera Echo, the first dual-screen Android phone. That's right, dual-screen -- that's two 3.5-inch 480 x 800 displays which can be unfolded and used as a single 4.7-inch 960 x 800 surface. The screens are connected by a slick sliding liquid-metal hinge that Kyocera's filed several patents on -- the phone can be closed and used like a regular single-screen phone, unfolded all the way, or propped up into the faux-laptop configuration shown above. Under the hood there's a 1GHz second-gen Snapdragon running Android 2.2 -- we'll forgive the older software because Kyocera had to do extensive customization to add dual-screen support to seven core apps like the browser, email, and messaging. The seven optimized apps can be run on each screen individually so you can have the browser up top and email below, and several of them include useful full-dual-screen views as well. There's also a new dual-screen app manager, which is brought up by tapping the two screens simultaneously. Unfortunately, third party apps can't be run in any of the new modes and just fill the entire display for now -- Kyocera and Sprint say an SDK is coming shortly.
Interestingly, the Echo doesn't really run the optimized apps simultaneously when you have two of them open -- it quickly switches them in and out of hibernation, even though they're both displayed on screen. That means you can't do things like watch a video while writing an email, for example -- it's an odd limitation, but it seems like it'll only be an issue in limited circumstances. As for battery life, Kyocera and Sprint aren't giving definite numbers, but we were told things would last about a day with heavy use of both screens -- and the Echo is being sold in a bundle with a second battery in an external charging case, so you should have plenty of juice on the go. Downsides? Well, it's not the most attractive phone we've ever seen, and we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that there's just a lone rear-facing 5 megapixel camera with 720p video capture and that the Echo is 3G-only -- there's no WiMAX, which is a bit odd for a Sprint halo device. Still, it's definitely one of the most intriguing Android handsets we've ever seen, and at $189 when it launches sometime in the coming months, it's bound to pique some serious interest. Check a short hands-on video after the break
I predict the next great smart phone will be a good old fashioned laptop. Full circle.
My laptop looks funny when I put it up next to my ear and ruins the lines in my slacks when I put it in my pocket.
This actually looks like a little laptop, maybe you have a point.
That must be some bulk...
That’s two 3.5 inch screens, it’s standard phone size. At least standard for a few years ago.
Monday, 07 February 2011 23:16
Two cores 2GHz each and two slower
Videos with Brian are hinting DLP Pico projector support, gesture recognition as well as four display support, augmented 3D gaming, wireless video, 3D picture support, glass free 3D support, HD video teleconferencing, a lot of what we might even see in some advanced devices in 2011. Lets not forget the support for HDMI 1.4a, USB 3.0, SATA 2.0 as well as SD 3.0.
Dont worry, LTE and other multi modem high speed internet standards are there, too. Just imagine, a phone that can connect to three LCDs and a HDMI at the same time and can support four cameras (two at the front and two at the back). Of course it will support multiple operating systems.
The smartphone / tablet version of the OMAP 5 is called 5430 and it supports dual channel LP DDR2. It is a 14x14 mm chip with 980 balls. Let me remind you that this product goes after 28nm, Tegra 3 generation, just for your information. They even made a press release for the 2H 2012 chip. Looks cool doesnt it.
You can see the product spec and the videos here.
Well, I suspect that it will dock with a laptop, or have a laptop-like docking station capability.