With Sprint obviously feeling left out of the iPhone party, the company is trying to muscle up to the swelling competition from Verizon and AT&T by teasing an exclusive new Android-powered dual-touchscreen smartphone. Dubbed the "Kyocera Echo," the smartphone in question is billed as a first of its kind Android device. It was formally unveiled this week by Sprint, with an estimated launch scheduled for spring.
The Kyocera Echo will run you $199.99 (two-year contract, of course), after a $100 mail-in rebate. But while the smartphone's critics contend that this smartphone is nothing more than a clever attempt to distract from iPhone-mania, some of the device's specs are worth noting. Most noticeably, of course, are the phone's two 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen displays. According to the manufacturer, the screens are fused by "pivot hinge." So the screens can either be operated independently of one another, or combined to make a 4.7-inch diagonal display that makes the phone work in "tablet mode."
Pretty sweet. But will it make a dent in the iPhone market? "Sprint is proud to boast the most powerful Android portfolio available today and Echo adds to that legacy with industry-leading technology that will change the way our customers use smartphones," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said, trying to drum up hype for the handset. "Today’s busy schedules often demand that we do at least two things at once. Kyocera Echo is the first device that allows us to do a different task on each of two screens while also providing a tablet-like, larger screen experience that easily fits in a pocket when closed."
Time will only tell if the Kyocera Echo will please consumers, or if it will simply "echo" the failures of other would-be iPhone killers.