Sprint unveils dual-screen, Android-based Echo smartphone

As previously rumored, Sprint did indeed reveal a dual-screen smartphone running on Android 2.2 at a special event in New York City this evening.

As previously rumored, Sprint did indeed reveal the Kyocera Echo, a dual-screen smartphone running on Android 2.2 at a special event in New York City this evening.

The hype has been building, especially after some leaks earlier today and Sprint's promise of an "industry first" to be unveiled this evening.

Well, a dual-screen smartphone is certainly something we haven't seen before. Together, the pair of 3.5-inch WVGA LCD touch displays form a 4.7-inch viewing panel. It's a bit reminiscent of the Nintendo DSi XL. The intention? Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says "extreme multitasking," or "simultasking" as dubbed by Sprint developers. That will also depend on the strength of the processor, but it's still an interesting concept. Users will also be able to tilt one of the screens, putting the smartphone into "laptop mode."

Naturally, there is also a tablet mode (everything has to be related to a tablet somehow these days). Users can either run two different programs with one on each display or use both together as one big workspace. As tablet mode is expected to deplete the battery quicker, the Echo will come bundled with a charger and a separate second battery.

Unfortunately, there is no 4G in store for the Echo. Hopefully an Android OS upgrade is in the works, or otherwise this smartphone might come as slightly disappointing to some customers. The Kyocera Echo will roll out this spring for $199 on contract.

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