Feb, 07 2011

We knew Sprint had something special up their sleeves in conjunction with Kyocera – and early reports confirmed its name would be the Echo – but details were and still are scarce. According to new updates by Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, however, the device will indeed be an industry first.

The Kyocera Echo will be the first dual-screen Android handset. As the Wall Street Journal describes it:

Sprint Nextel Corp. plans to unveil a smartphone late Monday that includes a twin set of touch screens that give the device a pseudo-tablet design, according to a person familiar with the device.

The device, called the Echo and made by Kyocera Corp. of Japan, features two 3.5-inch touch screens that can be stacked side by side.

It also houses a pivot hinge that allows one screen to be tucked beneath the other. I’m having trouble imagining this in practice, so I guess I’ll just have to wait until tonight to see just what Sprint and Kyocera have done. WSJ says users will be able to multi-task while both displays are in play.

Some use cases they provided were obvious: you could drag widgets or icons from one screen to another, or simply carry out multiple tasks at the same time. Imagine running Twitter on one side while you browse the web on another. It does kind of get me excited, regardless of the manufacturer.

That’s only me dreaming at this point, though. We don’t know just how flexible this device will be (software-wise, not hardware-wise), so we’ll be looking forward to the unveiling later on tonight in New York. [Image courtesy of Engadget. Not indicative of the Kyocera Echo’s design.]

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