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Kyocera Echo: Dual-screened Android

Squint, and you’d think you’re looking at a double-jointed Nintendo DS, sans buttons- but this is the latest phone to be announced by US phone network Sprint, the Kyocera Echo.

Looking like two separate phones bound together by a multi-jointed hinge, Sprint are promising that the screens can work both on separate tasks (video on one, email on the other) and in tandem. When you only need the one screen, the other half of the phone can be slid behind the other, although this makes for one thick slice of phone.

Inside, there is a 1GHz Snapdragon processor (what, no dual-core) which will be running Android 2.2. We’re guessing that Kyocera have had to tinker heavily with the Android innards to get the dual-screened apps running together with each other.

The Kyocera Echo currently has seven optimised apps to take full advantage of the two screens- what they’re calling “simultasking”. Expect Nintendo DS-style division of labour, displaying the game up top, while controllers are laid on the bottom half. Sprint demonstrated this with their own version of The Sims.

Announced yesterday in the US, hands-on tests from several reporters said that there were still a few kinks- Engadget couldn’t get both video and email running together, and there was no pinch-to-zoom feature on the double-screened Android phone.

Freshly announced on a US phone network, no news yet on whether we may be getting something similar in the UK.

Here is Sprint’s video trailer, bigging up their latest addition.


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