Excerpt: The Kyocera Echo represents a first for the entire smartphone industry: it is the first dual-screened phone, which is pretty impressive considering that Kyocera isn’t exactly known for smartphones. It runs on Sprint’s 3G network and is capable of running certain apps in parallel, granting you an experience similar to what you’d get on a desktop computer with dual monitors. But does it make sense to have dual displays on a smartphone, or is this just a novelty?
Pros: + Software that enables dual-screen use is well thought out
Excerpt: Using two monitors helps you breeze through tasks on the computer, so why not bring the principle to the phone? That’s what Kyocera (yeah that budget handset brand) has done with the Echo, which features two 3.5-inch WVGA displays joined together via a nifty “pivot hinge”, enabling the screens to work both in tandem and independently depending on the situation — kind of like Toshiba’s Libretto W100 .
Summary: The Kyocera Echo's design offers some unique advantages, but its appeal is hampered by usability quirks and a lackluster feature set.
Pros: The Kyocera Echo has a one-of-kind design that offers two screens and the ability to use two applications at once. Call quality is acceptable and the smartphone is quick and responsive.
Cons: The Kyocera Echo's design entails some usability quirks and we're concerned about long-term durability. The feature set is pretty average, it lacks 4G, and you'll have to wait for an upgrade beyond Froyo.
Excerpt: Sprint announced that they would be releasing an industry changing smartphone, and the result was the Kyocera Echo. Featuring dual 3.5 inch LCD screens, the Kyocera Echo is an innovative approach to smartphones in the highly competitive U.S. market.
Kyocera Echo – now there’s a smartphone power users have been waiting for a long time
4 May 2011
Conclusion: Aside from the battery life issue, the Kyocera Echo is an amazing smartphone. Too bad it’s only for CDMA networks right now, as a GSM model would be excellent. Kyocera says that this is only the first model and they’re working on creating a platform out of it – that would be awesome, in my opinion!
Will the dual-screen form factor rise above the Android masses?
21 April 2011
Summary: I used the phone for about two days as my main device, just to get a feel for how the battery would hold up. It’s hard to say how most people will use it, but I couldn’t help but pop it to dual-screen every time I wasn’t just checking the time. The Echo lasted throughout the day each time, from morning onward, though barely getting by towards mid-evening. Expect to take that complementary second battery with you, just in case.
Pros: Fast processor, Simultasking works as advertised, Hinge feels sturdy
Cons: Unpolished Android skin, Hinge is awkward to use
Conclusion: The Kyocera Echo is an interesting and innovative phone that’s received more negative press than it deserves. The smartphone is not only serviceable but more useful than average when “simultasking” with two apps open in two screens. Even spanning screens in tablet mode makes for a more usable experience when viewing spreadsheets, web pages and the like.
Pros: A for innovation, unique design that's funky-steampunk-cool. Two screens are more useful than one., Pro: Innovative design that actually adds utility. Solid build and robust hinge. Kyocera is working with developers to bring more dual-screen apps to Android. Good voice quality. GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth work well.
Cons: We need more apps to simultask. Display quality is just OK., not a fast phone., Con: Displays aren't impressive in terms of brightness and colors, also disappears in sunlight. Hinge is well-made but awkward to operate. We wish the Echo were faster.