The Android-based Echo will offer on-screen multi-tasking. We are already imagining how such a device will be deployed for product review or field work.
Kyocera and Sprint have announced a new dual touchscreen smartphone, the Echo. It will run Google Android, and will include custom apps that take special advantage of the dual-screen setup.
The Echo has two high-resolution 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen displays connected by a patent-pending “pivot hinge” that enables the two displays to operate independently, side-by-side or combined to form an oversized 4.7-inch (diagonally) integrated display running 800×960.
Beyond the dual touchscreen innovation, Kyocera Echo operates on the Android 2.2 system and has access to more than 100,000 apps in Android Market. The processor is a 1GHz Snapdragon (QSD 8650 Android). Other features include a 5MP camera, WiFi, and GPS. Even though Sprint is rolling out WiMax support, the Echo offers only 3G cellular data support.
Additional key features include:
- Wi-Fi hotspot capability, which supports wireless connections for up to five devices
- 720p HD camcorder
- Media player with a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack
- Stereo Bluetooth® 2.1 (+ EDR)
- Full HTML Web browser
- 1 gigabyte (GB) of onboard memory and an external microSD card slot supporting cards up to 32GB.
What we think
Kyocera claims the Echo is the first smartphone capable of on-screen multi-tasking. Kyocera and Sprint are touting the consumer possibilities, such as email on one screen and web surfing on the other. But we are more interested in seeing which engineering software provider or DCC vendor first jumps to take advantage of this phone’s unique capabilities. Too bad it is only on the Sprint network, the smallest of the leading US providers.