Is it a tablet or is it a phone? The line continues to blur with Sprint's new hybrid phone, the Kyocera Echo, revealed this evening at a swanky press event in New York City. After a flashy performance by magician David Blaine, Sprint took the wraps off the Echo, which sports dual 3.5-inch screens that can fold out into "tablet mode" to make one large 4.7-inch display. The Kyocera Echo will be available from Sprint this spring for $200 with a two-year contract.
Running Android 2.2, the Echo lets you run apps simultaneously on both displays. Dubbed "Simul-task," you can run your browser on one screen and your e-mail on the other. Even cooler, you can also play one YouTube video on one screen and let another queue up on the other display using a special app called VueQue. You can also have one application spread out across the 4.7-inch viewing area, which Sprint calls "Tablet Mode." And of course, you can keep the phone folded and run one app on one display, like a traditional phone.
As impressive as it looks, the Echo is not a 4G phone, which is a big letdown considering how much Sprint is trumpeting its 4G WiMax network and the large wave of 4G devices we saw CES. The Echo is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, which is also somewhat disappointing due to how multimedia-centric this phone is. I was hoping for a dual-core processor, honestly.
Other specs include a 5-megapixel camera with a 720p HD camcorder, 1GB of internal memory and a Wi-Fi hotspot. We're getting our hands on the Echo as soon as we can so stay tuned for our first impressions later tonight!