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Tonight in New York at The Edison Ballroom Sprint had a Gala Event. The Ballroom was where the famous production “Oh Calcutta!” ran for 13 years. Tonight it was David Blaine and I was hoping he would make the snow disappear, but I think that’s a bit too difficult. I feel as if I’ve been shoveling snow for what seems like years.

Instead Sprint announced the Kyocera Echo™, the first Dual touch-screen smartphone. This Android-powered device features two high-resolution 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen displays connected by a patent-pending “pivot hinge” that enables the two displays to operate independently, side-by-side or combined to form an oversized 4.7-inch (diagonally) integrated display.

Until now, a single screen on a smartphone could only be used to complete one task at a time. Kyocera Echo, exclusively from Sprint this Spring, will provide the ability to do two things at the same time and get more done – send an email on one screen while surfing the web on the other, watch a video on one screen while texting on the other, comparison shop online with one web site on each screen and so much more.

    Kyocera Echo’s innovative hardware and optimized software enables consumers to use the touchscreens in four unique ways:

  1. Single-Screen Mode with all the functionality of a single-display, touch-screen smartphone.
  2. Simul-Task™ Mode with two of the phone’s seven core apps (messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, phone, gallery, contacts and VueQue™) running concurrently but independently on the dual displays – e.g., reading e-mail on one screen and opening a text message on the other; checking Facebook via the browser on one screen while looking through a photo gallery on the other; or even searching the Web on one screen and checking email on the other.
  3. Optimized Mode with both displays supporting a single, optimized app with complementary functionality and enhanced usability – e.g., composing e-mail on one screen with a touch-screen keyboard on the other; watching a YouTube™ video on one display while browsing and queuing additional YouTube videos on the other (with a preloaded Kyocera app called VueQue™); or viewing gallery images on one display while browsing image thumbnails on the other.
  4. Tablet Mode with one application spread across both displays for a full 4.7-inch viewing area. Tablet Mode is ideal for viewing maps, videos, websites, detailed documents, and long lists on-the-go.

Kyocera Echo will be available this spring for just $199.99 with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade and after a $100 mail-in rebate.

Today, customers can visit www.sprint.com/echo to pre-register and check out images of the only Android phone with two touchscreens.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk7nf6TNHH4

Kyocera Echo also includes customized apps optimized for the dual-screen Optimized Mode experience including VueQue™, which lets users watch a YouTube video on one display while browsing, queuing and buffering additional YouTube videos on the other display. Additional applications optimized for the dual-screen experience include:

  • Messaging and e-mail: Users can turn the device horizontally and use the top display to view the e-mail/message application while using the lower display as a full-sized virtual keyboard.
  • Browser: Takes the browser experience of a standard 3.5-inch smartphone and enhances it, allowing users to view two websites simultaneously.
  • Gallery: Users can scroll through thumbnail images on one screen while viewing an enlarged image on the other
  • Contacts/phone: Users can view more of the phone’s contact directory or an expanded virtual dial pad.

Beyond the dual touchscreen innovation, Kyocera Echo operates on the Android 2.2 system and has access to more than 100,000 apps in Android Market™ – everything from Facebook to Angry Birds. Additional key features include:

  • Sprint’s nationwide 3G network and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)
  • Wi-Fi hotspot capability, which supports wireless connections for up to five devices
  • 5-megapixel camera with flash, autofocus and digital zoom
  • 720p HD camcorder to quickly capture those on-the-go memorable moments
  • Corporate (Exchange ActiveSync®) and personal (POP & IMAP) e-mail, IM (Google Talk™), text messaging
  • Media player with a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack
  • Stereo Bluetooth® 2.1 (+ EDR)
  • Full HTML Web browser with Google Search™
  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor (QSD 8650 Android)
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) of onboard memory and an 8GB microSD™ card for the external memory card slot supporting cards up to 32GB
  • Voice and text prompts in both English and Spanish

Kyocera Echo comes packaged with a spare battery (1370 mAh) and a low-profile charging cradle. Along with charging the spare battery independently of the phone, the charging cradle also can tether the spare to Kyocera Echo as an external power supply.

Additional Google™ features include Google Maps™, Google Talk™, Gmail™, synchronization with Google Calendar™, and access to Google Goggles™ to search with pictures instead of words. With Sprint, Kyocera Echo users have access to Sprint Zone™, providing one-stop wireless account access, phone tips, news, a list of top apps plus TeleNav GPS Navigator, Sprint TV and Movies® and more.