The above video shows the newly announced Kyocera Echo Android powered smartphone from Sprint.  It is an interesting concept, a phone that can turn into a “tablet like device” and back.  There are a lot of unanswered questions about the Echo, such as battery life for a dual screen device, which are sure to be answered as we get closer to release this Spring.

UPDATE: We have some more specs we wanted to include for your information, including the fact that it is coming with Android 2.2 under the hood:

• 5-megapixel camera with flash, autofocus and digital zoom
• 720p HD camcorder to quickly capture those on-the-go memorable moments
• 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

The Echo is going to run $199.00 with a two year contract, not bad for a newer device.

Sprint is touting the fact that owners of the Echo are going to be able to multi-task in ways that they have not before on a mobile device.  Here are some bullets from the press release announcing the Echo:

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.
  • 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.
  • As of now, there are no review units available for us to get a look, but rest assured we will let you know when we get our hands on one!

    Let us know what you think in the comments.

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      • i can see this being usefull for the grey haired fraternity who like a seperate keyboard and full screen as well

    1. Looks like a mix of a cool concept with a disappointing choice of manufacturer and specs… too bad something with a Tegra 2 made by a better manufacturer isn’t on Sprint.

    2. it has the new snapdragon, not the EVO’s QSD8650; it’s not enough though, android still isn’t that flexible as an os…

        • So will this be Sprint’s first high end Android phone that does NOT have WIMAX?

          If so, what a coincidence that their 4G surcharge was expanded to all smartphones (WIMAX or not) just a week ago.

    3. It looks like a brick! Most likely not a shirt pocket device. Not unless you carry a sewing kit in another pocket. I’ll wait and see how long the extension cord has to be to make it through a busy day.

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