Kyocera’s Echo, the first dual-screen Android powered smartphone to hit the market was demoed at CTIA today, and we have some hands-on footage of the device.
Thanks to the help of a free application called “Tablet Mode Extension” provided by Kyocera, homescreens, widgets, and applications can be split across both screens. The same set of buttons (home, menu, back) can be found on both screens, with the right screen’s buttons becoming inactive while the device is in tablet mode. Also available is “Simul-Task” mode which allows running a separate app on each screen. While this provides a unique Android experience, the mechanism that handles opening, closing, and sliding the right screen on top of the left screen seems to be fragile and prone to damage. The phone was also very difficult to operate single-handed, but generally would be used with both hands.
Performance wise the 1GHz Snapdragon device was very snappy, with little to no lag launching applications and browsing the internet using the stock browser. The WVGA (x2) device comes pre-loaded with Android Froyo 2.2.1. The provided camera application at first appears very basic, but when opened into tablet mode provides more functionality. Expected to come to Sprint on April 17 for $200, the Echo is set to be one of it’s flagship handsets.