Sprint Dual-Screen Echo Android Phone to Tackle Apple iPhone 4

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Sprint Dual-Screen Echo Android Phone to Tackle Apple iPhone 4

by Nicholas Kolakowski

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The Echo

Sprint and Kyocera call the Echo the worlds "first dual-screen Android smartphone." Its two touch-screens can run two applications "simultaneously and independently," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a Feb. 7 presentation.

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The Echos two 3.5-inch touch-screens, unfolded. Users can also operate the smartphone in its single-screen "traditional" mode.

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Form Factor

The Echo seems comparable in size to many of the slider phones on the market with physical QWERTY keyboards.

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Android 2.2

The Echo runs Android 2.2, backed by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. Sprint claims the device will arrive sometime in the spring, and retail for $199 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate.

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Single Camera

Unlike many smartphones hitting the market with front- and rear-facing cameras, the Echo features only a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera module.

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Dual Batteries

Kyocera will ship with Echo with two batteries and a specially modified charger that will let users charge the second battery and the phone at the same time. This will apparently deal with the expected power drain from operating two screens.

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Users can adjust the Echo's hinge and screens to fit multiple functions: tilted at a 30-degree angle, one screen can act as a virtual keyboard for the other screen's Facebook or e-mail program. Tilted flat, the smartphone's two screens act as one large 4.7-inch screen for movie watching.

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The Echo can run either a single application split across both screens, or reserve each screen for separate functions within a single application. For example, you can sort through an e-mail box on one screen while reading individual e-mails on the other.??í

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Adobe 10.1

As with other Android devices, the Echo will support Adobe 10.1, allowing users to view a wide variety of Websites' rich content.

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The Echo's rear camera aperture.

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Sprint executives emphasized the Echo's ability to run games and other high-powered applications. The smartphone will also act as a WiFi hotspot for up to five devices.

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The Echo comes with an 8GB microSD card and can support a 32GB card.

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As with many mobile devices hitting the market, the Echo's back is partially textured to provide some friction on smooth surfaces. No sense in your fancy new device sliding off a table.

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The Echo's hinge was designed to be lightweight but rigid, withstanding the inevitably heavy duty of being folded in and out multiple times per day.

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