So What Does STYLEZ Think?
I was excited back in January to hear that Sprint was releasing some HUGE news in February, that was supposed to revolutionize the mobile industry. There was much debate, speculation, and wishful thinking as to what that announcement was going to be. Well, February 7th came... then it went... and most of us, well, are not impressed! SMH! The big announcement turned out to be Sprint's newest smartphone, on the Android platform, made by Kyocera (parent company and current manufacturer of Sanyo phones). The Kyocera Echo is a dual-screened, Nintendo DS inspired, device that (by their marketing statement) will revolutionize the way people use their Android device. I don't buy that, but it is a good concept. I don't think the concept is practical, but it's good.
- dual screens (of course)
- multiple modes of the screens
- size of the combined display (4.7")
- (the idea of) the optimized apps (since they are not out yet, its hard to say they will perform as intended)
- current Android smartphone OS (v2.2) which allows the use of FLASH for web animations/videos
- Additional battery and charging stand included
- Only 3G (which is not slow, but Sprint's 3G network is lacking)
- Additional cost for internet (Sprint is also charging Premium fee on a device that does not truly use the Premium features, like 4G)
- Hinge system has not been proven (phones that open and/or slide have ALWAYS been a problem, and although Sprint claims that this one has passed all of its "stringent" tests, their tests in the past have yielded phones that break within the 1st year!)
- its a Kyocera (they're not a horrible company, but they also haven't proved to make durable and high performance devices)
- possible compatibility issues with non-optimized Android apps (this is a new device with even newer technology that has never been seen, or programmed, for. So there is a huge chance that most apps will fail to run properly)
All in all, it is a great idea and an emerging technology. If you don't mind being their guinea pig, then go for it. At $200 (after mail-in rebate) and an expensive data plan, I would like to have seen this be 4G instead. I myself wouldn't jump up to buy it because a) its too new of technology and needs to be tested in the consumer realm and proven to work and b) its made by a company that is not a star in the mobile phone game. Kyocera acquired Sanyo and builds the phones, but Sanyo is not the most premier company for phones either!
That is what Stylez thinks. What do you think? Please read more below and comment!
Sprint Kyocera Echo: The Big Picture (First Dual Screen Smartphone, runs Android 2.2)
When, on February 7, 2011, Kyocera and Sprint introduced Kyocera Echo, the first dual-screened Android 2.2 Smartphone, during a high profile event hosted by Sprint in NY City, it became pretty evident that the dual screen philosophy is all set to make its way in the Android smart phone world. The new Kyocera Echo runs on Android 2.2 OS, is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and comes with 4G support, but the main feature on the Echo are the two 3.5” WVGA touch screens connected side-by-side by means of a hinge.
There is no doubt about the fact that Kyocera Echo could be highly efficient, but it is difficult to anticipate if this unique device will be successful in combating Windows Phone 7, Verizon’s iPhone, and the other Android smart phones, like the much-awaited HTC Pyramid etc. However, based on Sprint’s press release, issued recently providing all the details about Kyocera Echo, this dual-screened smartphone, measuring 4.53” in length, 2.23” in width, and 0.68” in thickness, sounds just awesome!
What Makes Kyocera Echo Smartphone Unique?
When closed, Kyocera Echo looks like just any other regular smartphone. However, when unhinged or swiveled, you can see both its screens at the same time. Each of the 2 WVGA screens of Echo measures 3.5” and features a brilliant resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. The Echo screens can perform several functions just by changing their hinge angle. Another good thing about this smartphone is that it can run applications both “simultaneously & independently”, as informed to the audience by Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. That is, it allows you to either use the single screen mode to run different applications on different screens or run just a single application on a 4.7” screen by combining the 2 screens! To put it in simple words, you can now enjoy the experience of browsing videos on one screen and watching your favorite one on another one at the same time. You can also choose to expand the video across the 2 screens by clicking on the ‘full-screen’ button. You can also use one screen to view e-mail, Facebook, etc, and the other one as a virtual keyboard! Isn’t that just cool?
The various dual-screen experiences of Kyocera Echo can be summed up as follows –
- VueQue – YouTube where browsing videos is in the bottom screen and video is in the top screen
- E-Mail Messaging – Compose/View the messages in top screen and type in the virtual Full QWERTY on the bottom screen
- Browser: Now View two websites at same time.
- Gallery: thumbnails for browsing on bottom screen and full size pictures on top screen
Thus, the Sprint-Kyocera Echo is a smartphone that promises a great deal of versatility and is certainly something we all can look forward to. As reported by eWEEK.com, Sprint-Kyocera’s Echo Phone has definitely given Android a new hardware!