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First Dual-Touchscreen Phone Arrives in April

Tuesday Sprint said that the wait is nearly over, as the nation's first dual-screen smartphone, the Kyocera Echo, is slated to arrive as a Sprint exclusive on April 17. Sporting two 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreens, Android 2.2 "Froyo" (although images suggest Gingerbread), and slightly resembling Nintendo's DS handheld gaming platform, the phone will cost $199.99 with a new two-year contract.

"Continuing to set the bar high in Android innovation, Sprint is thrilled to bring this industry-first device to the market," said Fared Adib, vice president Product, Sprint. "Kyocera Echo’s unique dual-screen, Simul-tasking capabilities allow customers to do things they have never before done on a wireless handset. We believe customers will really appreciate and leverage the dual-screen capabilities and are excited to partner with Kyocera to bring this innovation to Sprint customers."

According to the specs, the dual-screen smartphone will come packed with a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, a 5MP camera with flash, autofocus and digital zoom, 720p HD video capturing, stereo Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 1 GB of on-board memory and an additional 8 GB microSD card already installed (the slot supports up to 32 GB). It also features a digital compass, accelerometer, proximity sensor, light sensor and GPS.

Naturally the phone's biggest feature is the dual-screen setup. In Single-Screen Mode, users can conserve battery life by turning off one of the screens. In Simul-Task Mode, two of seven specific Echo apps can run on each display simultaneously. In Optimized Mode, optimized apps will take advantage of both screens including an email client which will display the message on the top screen and a virtual keyboard on the bottom. Finally, there's the Tablet Mode, turning both displays into a single, 800 x 960 touchscreen "tablet."

"Customers can reserve their Echo for purchase at www.sprint.com/echo beginning Saturday, March 26, while supplies last," the company said. "Customers who reserve Kyocera Echo will be able to complete their purchases beginning at 9 a.m. ET on March 26, and must complete their purchases no later than April 14 at 9 p.m. ET. The devices will be available for pick up on April 17."

Sprint and Kyocera have also launched the "Duel for Dual Sweepstakes" for a chance to win the smartphone. The entry form is somewhat hidden within Sprint's promotional Flash game that's located here.

  • shineon2010
    why do you need dual screen on a phone? pointless.
    Reply
  • abswindows7
    TO SAY HEY MAN LOOK AT THIS IVE GOT 2 SCREEN OHH DAMN YOUVE ONLY GOT ONE MUAHAHAHHA

    Seriously, this thing will break so easily, I broke my slidding keyboard by dropping my cell phone twice in a year on the floor.
    And I take care of my stuff.
    Only dropped my iPhone 4 once and I skipped an heartbeat...
    Reply
  • Parsian
    2 screen, one to be used a s a keyboard??? nvm, its twice the battery usage. no thnx.
    Reply
  • xambron
    What's going on Nintendo DS.
    Reply
  • Skiddywinks
    Parsian2 screen, one to be used a s a keyboard??? nvm, its twice the battery usage. no thnx.
    This is the real killer. If done properly (and not just tacked on as a gimmick) I am sure the extra screen could be genuinely useful. But the cost to the battery life is just going to be far too great.
    Reply
  • ProDigit10
    MAN, THE MAIN PAGE'S POPUPS ARE SOOOOOOOOOOO ANNOYING!!!!!
    I'm used to read with the aid of my mouse, but now every time I do and hover over a link, a popup blocks half of the text, not to mention how annoying a hovering popup that moves with the mouse really is!
    Reply
  • joytech22
    What if they put a slim battery behind the second screen? Battery life would improve significantly.
    But as we know, that would make the phone a little bit thicker which would cause more rage than the low-res, power-consuming screens.
    Reply
  • starryman
    Alot of Hoop and even more Laa
    Reply
  • mman74
    Pointless. If you need the bigger screen real estate, why have a split in the middle and not just get a tablet.
    Reply
  • virtualban
    ProDigit10MAN, THE MAIN PAGE'S POPUPS ARE SOOOOOOOOOOO ANNOYING!!!!!I'm used to read with the aid of my mouse, but now every time I do and hover over a link, a popup blocks half of the text, not to mention how annoying a hovering popup that moves with the mouse really is!Someone in here has said something like this: "it's like navigating a minefield".
    Yes, I read with the aid of my mouse too and I feel your pain *pats on the back*.
    Reply