The Echo is a big deal for Sprint, Kyocera, and the entire smartphone industry. For Sprint, they score yet another exclusive by offering the first dual-screened smartphone. For Kyocera, they’re entering the US market in a big way with a non-vanilla Android phone. And for the smartphone industry, they’re waiting and watching to see how consumers respond to having a multi-screened phone.

Do two screens make sense, or are we talking about a mere novelty? That’s the question we hope to answer for you as we spend some quality time with the Kyocera Echo.

The unboxing experience of the Echo was quite impressive, complete with a unique box and additional accessories not typically seen with a smartphone. In the box, Kyocera includes a screen cleaner, what appears to be a case, and a second battery and battery charger.

First impressions? The selection of apps that can “simul-task”, that is, be displayed either stretched across both screens or be displayed on one screen while another app is on another, is very limited. But when you use these apps, say email and web, a little bit of magic happens. It’s very interesting to be able to literally use and see two mobile apps at one time.

The device is thick, heavy, and quite ugly, but the build quality seems to be pretty high. It’s also interesting that the Kyocera branding is modestly placed on the back, while on the front, the Sprint logo shines brightly near the earpiece.

We’ve got a lot more coming up on the Echo, so stay tuned!

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