Sprint counters Verizon iPhone 4 with dual-screen Android phone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Just days before Verizon and Apple are set to begin general sales of the iPhone 4, Sprint has countered by unveiling an exclusive new Android-powered dual-touchscreen smartphone from Kyocera, a unique device touted as an "industry first."



Sprint held an event this week to hype the Kyocera Echo, a new device with two 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen displays connected by a patent-pending "pivot hinge," which allows the screens to operate independently, side-by-side or combined. When working in concert, the screens create a display that measures 4.7 inches diagonally, operating in what has been dubbed "tablet mode."



The Echo is set to launch exclusively on the Sprint network this spring for $199.99 with a two-year contract, after a $100 mail-in rebate.



"Sprint is proud to boast the most powerful Android portfolio available today and Echo adds to that legacy with industry-leading technology that will change the way our customers use smartphones," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said. "Today?s busy schedules often demand that we do at least two things at once. Kyocera Echo is the first device that allows us to do a different task on each of two screens while also providing a tablet-like, larger screen experience that easily fits in a pocket when closed."



Just a few days after Apple and Verizon formally announced the Feb. 10 launch of the CDMA iPhone 4 last month, Sprint began hyping an event scheduled for three days before that launch. The carrier boasted that it would show off an "industry first," though the news that Verizon's deal with Apple is non-exclusive led to speculation that Sprint could announce that it too would carry the iPhone 4.



Instead, Sprint announced on Monday the Kyocera Echo, which allows users to accomplish two tasks at once, such as sending an e-mail on one screen and surfing the Web on another. In its closed position, the echo works as a single-display smartphone that the carrier called "pocket friendly."







"For years Kyocera has provided handsets to Sprint?s Prepaid Group and MVNOs, as well as to Sprint under the Sanyo brand," said Eiichi Toriyama, president of Kyocera Communications Inc. "We value greatly our relationship with Sprint and we are thrilled that they have chosen Echo as the standout product with which to reintroduce its customers to the Kyocera brand. With Kyocera Echo, we are proud to give Sprint an iconic, industry-changing device that delivers an entirely new experience for smartphone users."



In order to take advantage of the dual-screen display, Kyocera has customized the Google Android mobile operating system, optimizing native applications for browsing, messaging and e-mail, photo viewing, and accessing the phone and contacts. Using VueQue, users can watch a YouTube video on one display while accomplishing tasks on the other. The Echo runs Android 2.2.







The handset will ship with a spare 137 mAh battery and a low-profile charging cradle, which can also tether the spare battery to the handset to act as an external power supply. Other features of the Echo, according to Sprint and Kyocera, include:



Sprint?s nationwide 3G network and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)

Wi-Fi hotspot capability, which supports wireless connections for up to five devices

5-megapixel camera with flash, autofocus and digital zoom

720p HD camcorder to quickly capture those on-the-go memorable moments

Corporate (Exchange ActiveSync) and personal (POP & IMAP) e-mail, IM (Google Talk), text messaging

Media player with a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack

Stereo Bluetooth 2.1 (+ EDR)

Full HTML Web browser with Google Search

1GHz Snapdragon processor (QSD 8650 Android)

1 gigabyte (GB) of onboard memory and an 8GB microSD card for the external memory card slot supporting cards up to 32GB

Voice and text prompts in both English and Spanish
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 173
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    seems gimmicky, but then again, it might appeal to a lot of people. I'm really curious to see how this thing does. I doubt Sprint expects this to be an "iphone killer"
  • Reply 2 of 173
    It begs the question... what happens with each Android update?
  • Reply 3 of 173
    If the battery holds, it may be a nice product to have around. But not for me
  • Reply 4 of 173
    What a design disaster.



    As Mr. T used to say, I pity the fool...
  • Reply 5 of 173
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    I'm really curious to see how this thing does.



    I'll just tell you right now, and save you the wait: you'll never hear about this phone again. Ever.
  • Reply 6 of 173
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    It begs the question... what happens with each Android update?



    I bet 2.3 will be the most this thing sees since there's so much software customizing needed to be done by the manufacturer. Most phones these days might end at 2.3 actually. 3.0 sounds like it's geared at tablets, and I was reading how 3.0 might have a "light" version for phones.



    I wonder if Google will split Android development and specifically say Android for Tablets and Android for Phones, and 3.0 is the start of that split...
  • Reply 7 of 173
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    It begs the question... what happens with each Android update?



    Hah, what android update? I was unaware android phones ever got updated lol
  • Reply 8 of 173
    iliveriliver Posts: 299member
    Some people on here need to get a life and not constantly bash anything and everything that isn't from Apple.
  • Reply 9 of 173
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    What a design disaster.



    Why's that? Actually, the part where it says you can watch youtube on one screen while working with the rest of the phone on the other sounds kind of cool. If this is like a per app thing, imagine being in a conversation with someone via text message while playing angry birds lol
  • Reply 10 of 173
    iliveriliver Posts: 299member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    Why's that?



    You're wasting your time. It's like reverse trolling only worse.
  • Reply 11 of 173
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iLiver View Post


    Some people on here need to get a life and not constantly bash anything and everything that isn't from Apple.



    Some people on here need to get a life and not constantly bash anything and everything that is from Apple.



    Don't quote me, it's more fun if he doesn't know what I'm saying.
  • Reply 12 of 173
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    Why's that? Actually, the part where it says you can watch youtube on one screen while working with the rest of the phone on the other sounds kind of cool. If this is like a per app thing, imagine being in a conversation with someone via text message while playing angry birds lol



    Yeah, that'll be great for battery life.



    It's going to be awkward to use and easily broken, and it's ugly.
  • Reply 13 of 173
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Some people on here need to get a life and not constantly bash anything and everything that is from Apple.



    Don't quote me, it's more fun if he doesn't know what I'm saying.



    What you call bashing is often a very neutral or fair stance. You remind me of all the right wing nutjobs that have gotten so used to Fox News' far right bias that they view every OTHER news network as far left!
  • Reply 14 of 173
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrFreeman View Post


    If the battery holds, it may be a nice product to have around. But not for me



    2 screens to break instead of 1. If they are providing a spare battery, battery life must suck, which it probably does with two screens.



    Sort of a knockoff of Nintindo DS series. Does it do 3D?
  • Reply 15 of 173
    obiobi Posts: 3member
    what about battery life?

    A lot of information is provided, but its interesting to see that some is missing.

    'Tablet' sized screen but room for phone battery?
  • Reply 16 of 173
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Yeah, that'll be great for battery life.



    It's going to be awkward to use and easily broken, and it's ugly.



    Hey, you never know. The displays might not be using as much power as you think, and it's the phone's radio that's mostly to blame for battery drain.



    Easily broken, we don't know that. Awkward to use, Nintendo sells gameboys like this. Ugly, yes.
  • Reply 17 of 173
    interesting idea. In fact, I quite like it. IF battery is not at least 5-6 hours in full use on both screens then I agree with above, its the last you will hear of it.



    Its interesting though, I can see lots of uses for this set up.
  • Reply 18 of 173
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    Why's that? Actually, the part where it says you can watch youtube on one screen while working with the rest of the phone on the other sounds kind of cool. If this is like a per app thing, imagine being in a conversation with someone via text message while playing angry birds lol



    Ah yes... Not enough to do one useless thing with your time... Double down.
  • Reply 19 of 173
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    What you call bashing is often a very neutral or fair stance. You remind me of all the right wing nutjobs that have gotten so used to Fox News' far right bias that they view every OTHER news network as far left!



    Funny, you often remind me of the same thing.
  • Reply 20 of 173
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    Ah yes... Not enough to do one useless thing with your time... Double down.



    I predict that the above will be the best comment of the thread.
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