The Kyocera Echo is one of the hottest Android phones to hit the market recently, and for good reason. It takes mobile innovation to a new level, and redefines multitasking capabilities with its “Simul-task” mode, which utilizes the Echo’s two 3.5″ LCD displays.
This device packs a 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture, and runs Android 2.2 smoothly and effectively thanks to its 1GHz Snapdragon CPU. The screens, both 960 x 800 pixel, flip on pivoting mechanisms that rest upon a (now patent-pending) tilting/locking hinge. While Kyocera’s been churning out great smartphones at a high rate lately, these relatively weak specs are no excuse, especially when considering the competition. Fortunately for the Echo, the internal specs aren’t the focal point or primary reason to purchase this device.
Kyocera engineered a multitasking system called “Simul-task” mode especially for the Echo’s dual screens. This allows you to run one app on a single display while running a different app on the other display. There are also app-specific tweaks, like in the camera app or email app, which accurately demonstrate the difference two displays can make. Currently, seven default apps are optimized to work in Simul-task.
One of the greatest advantages to having an additional screen happens to be the massive touchscreen keyboard it provides. When you tap into a text field, the entire bottom screen turns into a full QWERTY keyboard, making it one of the biggest touchscreen keyboard available.
There are also apps from third parties that have been optimized for the Echo, such as The Sims 3 by EA. Naturally, games look quite similar to the Nintendo DS’s UI. Kyocera has created an API for the Echo and it will allow third-party developers to work on optimizing their apps and games for its dual-screens.
While the Echo’s bulky design, lack of WiMax support, less-than solid battery life performance and weak camera give it a deterring negative side, Kyocera still managed to deliver an entirely new approach to mobile computing. The Echo will be available on Sprint on April 17th for $199.99 with a two-year contract. You can pre-order the device on Sprint’s website.
Looking for more of the latest Android releases? You’ll want to check out Droid 2 Global Arrives and Motorola Bravo.