After accidentally outing it on their very own website, Sprint has officially announced the Kyocera Echo. It rocks two 3.5-inch screens that can be folded out to form one 4.7" viewing area - or if you like you can "simultask" by running a different app on each screen. Heck, you can put a full QWERTY landscape keyboard on one screen for faster typing. 

Other specs: WiFi b/g, hotspot, 5mp camera, 720p camcorder, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB onboard memory, packed with an 8bg microSD card, 1370mAh battery and it comes with a charging cradle and a spare battery.

You'll nee to pay the extra $10 smartphone-fee that Sprint charges despite the fact that WiMAX 4G is nowhere to be seen. You'll also need to pony up an extra $29.99 / month for that mobile hotspot feature.

They say it'll be available for $199 (presumably on a 2-year contract) in the "spring." More details as we have them - check out our liveblog of the event for more. Full press release is after the break.

NEW YORK (BUSINESS WIRE), February 07, 2011 - Sprint (NYSE: S) and Kyocera Communications Inc. today announced the first dual-touchscreen Android™ smartphone, Kyocera Echo™, exclusively from Sprint. 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.


Kyocera Echo(TM), exclusively from Sprint, shown in Simul-Task(TM) Mode (Photo: Business Wire)

Until now, a single screen on a smartphone could only be used to complete one task at a time, even with limited multitasking capabilities available on some smartphones. Kyocera Echo’s second screen provides 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.

Images and video of Kyocera Echo’s dynamic design in action are available now at www.echobykyocera.com. Pre-registration begins today at www.sprint.com/echo.

In its closed position, Kyocera Echo is a pocket-friendly, single-display smartphone. When opened, Kyocera Echo reveals a revolutionary new platform for wireless multitasking and gives customers a new level of versatility in Android. Its innovative hardware and optimized software enables consumers to use the touchscreens in four unique ways:

Single-Screen Mode with all the functionality of a single-display, touch-screen smartphone.
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.
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 touchscreen 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.
“Sprint is proud to boast the most powerful Android portfolio available today and Echo adds to that legacy with industry-leading technology that will change the way our customers use smartphones,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “Today’s busy schedules often demand that we do at least two things at once. Kyocera Echo is the first device that allows us to do a different task on each of two screens while also providing a tablet-like, larger screen experience that easily fits in a pocket when closed.”

Kyocera Echo will be available this spring for $199.99 with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade and after a $100 mail-in rebate in all Sprint retail channels, including the Web (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-Sprint1). Pricing excludes surcharges and taxes.

“For years Kyocera has provided handsets to Sprint’s Prepaid Group and MVNOs, as well as to Sprint under the Sanyo brand,” said Eiichi Toriyama, president of Kyocera Communications Inc. “We value greatly our relationship with Sprint and we are thrilled that they have chosen Echo as the standout product with which to reintroduce its customers to the Kyocera brand. With Kyocera Echo, we are proud to give Sprint an iconic, industry-changing device that delivers an entirely new experience for smartphone users.”

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.

A Software Development Kit (SDK) and developer guide for Kyocera Echo will be available before the launch on the Sprint Application Developer Program (ADP) website at http://developer.sprint.com/android. The developer guide will provide details on developing for a dual-screen handset and Android 2.2 device. It also will provide information on how to take advantage of Kyocera Echo’s unique hardware and software capabilities on the Sprint Network. The Sprint ADP has been providing tools for third-party developers since Sprint first launched the Wireless Web on its phones in 2001.

Some competitors may offer lower prices, but Sprint customers get more with unlimited data while on the Sprint Network with their monthly plan. Sprint offers real simplicity, value and savings vs. competitors, making it easy for customers to get the most out of their phones without using a calculator to tally up costs or worrying about how much data they’ve used.

Kyocera Echo requires activation on one of Sprint’s Everything Data plans plus required $10 Premium Data add-on charge for smartphones. Sprint’s Everything Data plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM includes unlimited Web, texting and calling to and from any mobile in America while on the Sprint network, starting at just $69.99 per month plus required $10 Premium Data add-on charge – a savings of $39.99 per month vs. Verizon’s comparable plan with unlimited talk, text and Web, and $35 per month vs. AT&T’s comparable plan with unlimited talk, text and just 2GB of data (excluding Verizon’s Southern California plan; pricing excludes surcharges and taxes.)

Sprint Everything Data plans qualify for automatic enrollment in the Sprint PremierSM loyalty program1. Existing Sprint customers can switch to an Everything Data plan without extending their service agreement. New lines of service require a two-year service agreement.

An optional charge of just $29.99 per month turns on Kyocera Echo’s mobile hotspot feature, connecting up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, gaming devices and digital cameras, at 3G speeds anywhere on the Sprint 3G network (pricing excludes surcharges and taxes)

 

Reader comments

Dual-screened Kyocera Echo gets official on Sprint: $199 this Spring

66 Comments

This thing will take forever to get a update... With all that extra stuff on there... Im not knocking it because I havent tried it but if im gonna move up im going dual core.. My evo already has a snapdragon...

I bet there will NEVER be an update. I seriously doubt dual phone displays will be of real interest to any other manufacturer, or even consumers. So nothing will be written to take advantage of a niche feature on an obscure phone.

WOW Sprint dropped the ball on this one hard. I just don't really know what to say because it looks so damn horrible. I was here expecting at LEAST an awesome Android/WebOS tablet and at best an awesome new HTC 3D phone that would blow the Atrix outta the water.

I was really hoping for something a lot more worthwhile than this. This gadget looks like a joke, and definitely not worth an announcement show like this.

Every smart phone activated on Sprint now has the $10 premium data fee added on to the cost of the plan.

You know, on its own this isn't a bad device, I can see the benifits but... it was not worth a press event, its going to be a niche thing so I highly doubt it will get much developer support beyond what it launches with, its expensive really for what it is and if I'm reading this right, no 4g at all but you're still paying the premium data fee?

Sprint needs to fire their marketing and research team. Verizon announced about 4 or 5 phones, AT&T announced a few. Even T-mobile got somekind of good line up going. Sprint calls a big announcement for 1 phone that will probably be a major FAIL.

No front facing camera = fail
1370 maH battery = fail
No 4G = fail

Why do they always leave out critical specs when they release "Industry firsts"? This phone could have been a home run with everything included. As it stands, it's just a gimmick. Sad.

Add "No dual-core processor = fail"

That single processor crap may have passed last year...definetly not this year.

Probably no updates ever = fail
Obscure manufacturer = fail
1st gen Snapdragon in a 2011 phone = fail

What a POS, this is just sad. Who the hell really needs 2 screens, what's the size of RAM memory? OMG, no 4g, front facing camera, god Android doesn't even have great games that can run right and they think the 2 screens will make everything better. This is really sad, nobody is ever going to invest time and money in using both screens. Wow I hyped this up so much thinking it was a 3d phone and now this year will belong to every carrier except Sprint. Wow in a few months, we will see," Sprint's drops the price of the phone because nobody is buying it".

wow Sprint better have something good because this isn't it no 4g no duel core are you kidding me piece of crap

FAAAAAAAAAAAAIL we dont need a two screen device that hogs on battery life from kyocera (YUCK!) we needed LTE after all thats that would defend the idea of charging everyone the "premium data" i dont know what data since sprint's 3g is lame and slow, they better improve their antennas or something. Things arent gonna go well with sprint =/

That was the most stupidest thing Sprint could ever think of what a waste of ******* time they let Big Red shit all over them

Why exactly couldn't this have been shown at CES? Did they really need to hold a complete press conference and waste money that Sprint clearly doesn't have on hiring David Blaine? What a waste. Here's hoping Sprint doesn't screw us over at MWC or else it may be time to move on.

SPRINT! ARE YOU F'N KIDDING ME? I was feeling a little guilty about leaving Sprint after 7 years. Now, I'm glad I finally made the switch to Verizon. I gave up my Evo. I am using the incredible until the Thunderbolt comes. I cannot believe THIS is all Sprint brought us. A CHEAP ASS KYOCERA GIMMICKY POS.

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. I mean this could possibly be one of the biggest fail in smartphone history. Such a horrible idea omg. The best part is not one person is excited for this what a joke.

What a terrible announcement. Really not a big deal... especially from Kyrocera - last time I saw one of those it had the old Sprint logo on it. Some cool features on the phone, but would have rather seen a "first" announcement for a dual core phone, tablet or iPhone 4G. I think Sprint should have spent more money on focus groups in guaging customer perception of this product instead of paying David Blaine (who is amazing!). The bloom fell off the rose rather quickly on this one.

The shitty backflip sold more than this ugly POS will. I bet there are a lot of angry media members for being dragged to a press event for a CHEAP ASS KYOCERA.

I don't really mind that they didn't put in a dual-core; only Honeycomb takes advantage of dual-cores right now. What I do mind is that they hyped up a device that has a 1st gen Snapdragon, not even the new 2nd gen.

Another unique device on sprint. Why all the hating on hardware innovation? If you only want black slabs then go jump on the iphone bandwagon. I'm glad kyocera is trying something different and sprint is supporting them.

Unfortunately, Sprint probably won't announce anything substantial until CTIA in late March. MWC is pretty much a GSM show.

This reminds me of the Kin from VZW. Was supposed to be this big thing and most likely it will sell just as poorly.

My first thought: someone saw their kid's Nintendo DS and this is the result. What a waste. Switched to Sprint on my husbands plan, and even with the Evo, I regret leaving Verizon. The Evo is falling apart and Sprints customer service sucks, at best. VZW must be laughing their tushies off...

Falling apart how? I've had mine 7 months and nothing on it is falling apart.

This new kyocera phone looks like a huge waste of time though. Yuck

I try not to use the words "epic fail" lightly, but I think this qualifies.

--Dual screen phone with a hinge from a maker that's not known for quality
--Both screens can't run regular Android apps at the same time without one going into hibernation
--No dual screen app SDK and even once that's released very, very few devs are going to make apps for a single phone
--Heavily customized Froyo with dual screen support meaning the odds of a software upgrade are slim to none
--Horrible battery life necessitating a bundle with an extra battery and charger

Did I miss anything? Geezus Sprint--could you have failed harder?

That was pretty funny, almost everybody that wrote on Sprint's wall was pissed off...looking at this piece of crap gimmick of a device, I can see why people are pissed off!

Hey look! A Nintendo DS that can make phone calls (but can't run DS games, though...)!

Seriously, though. The concept is interesting. It is just very thick looking, and very gimmicky. It looks like it is trying to be a mini-netbook. Too many moving parts that could go awry for my liking (although my 10-year-old niece might like it).

I think the 3-screen prototype looks a lot better (and more professional).

This is ridiculous..... if Sprint doesn't at least come out with the evo2 I'm going to Verizon. Dont get me wrong, I luv my evo, but damn dont let b the only good phone Sprint has for the next 5 yrs. Besides the epic too.

This was Sprints last hope to keep our lines and they FAILED!!! All this hype for a niche device with no 4G. Well even if it had 4G the 4G coverage areas have holes like Swiss cheese. That is what we experience with our EVO's now. What can I say Sprint...FAIL!!!! Hello Thunderbolt and Verizon

I registered on this website just to express my sheer hatred for Sprint at this point. This release of a terrible phone will only hurt Sprint's image in the long run. This makes things worse than it already is. You created a mystery press conference featuring David Blaine for this? This phone is miserable. I could buy a 3DS, duct tape a brick to it, and it would be just the same.

I'm embarassed.

Looks like I'm keeping my Evo for a while. Absolutely nothing to tempt me to downgrade to this phone.

Give me a single big screen and a dual core processor. Maybe bump the screen resolution up a hair.

***Repost*** Ok people are obviously not impressed much by this device, I understand that. Being an early adopter for almost every Sprint phone since the Startac I can say this wasn't what I had HOPED for. Unfortunately I feel like people got into this hype frenzy that was self created. Sprint released one simple invite and imaginations went wild.

This probably won't be a hit, but it's at least going to expand the offerings in the competitive world... imagination can now be pushed further... "how can we do what they did, only better" That's how we got the Evo amongst other great devices.

The saddest thing about this phone is that it seems impractical to me. Not even a fully functioning dual screen setup. Only 7 apps can utilize it according to the reports. I don't understand how the extra .4 inches would make me want to have the hassle of this phone over the 4.3 inch screen of my Evo.

I give Sprint good marks for at least trying, but I think I speak for most when I say they should really invest in some consumer focus groups before they release another phone.

Willing to wait til NEXT year even (still holding my EVO) for them to hit another one out of the park. Any more Evo Shift's or Echo's and I'm afraid that all of the ground Sprint has begun to recover will fall from under them.

While not supporting violence, who isn't going to look the other way when major shareholders start the raping and beating of Dan Hess? Hell, what about even the WebOS fans? Dan has to go. Obviously, his position has been compromised due to pictures someone took of him and a monkey while in Vegas.

Considering Kyocera has made nothing but JUNK, Sprint is really really tempting me to going to Verizon for the Iphone. If I don't get at least an Evo II, and NOT a crap phone like this, I will bolt.

Until I actually see one in person I won't judge.
With all the negative comments here, you'd think it was the only phone Sprint had for sale and our ONLY upgrade path. I don't think this is an intended upgrade for those of us on 4g phones.

I came to Android from WebOS because I was impressed with Android on my wife's phone. I'm probably waiting to see what HP has to show us on Wednesday. That said, I really love my evo. Now that I have the extended battery for it, I can use it all day and not worry about plugging it in.

First a head scratch. Then a shaking of the head, when reading spec's. -- But now. ......... thinking of a Dual core Galaxy Tab, folded in my back pocket. I now see a stepping stone here.

That's it? One phone? THIS PHONE??? Did I join the wrong network? Everyone else has new dual core phones. All Sprint gets is EVO Shift and the twin of the Nintendo DS?? EPIC FAIL!!

I actually almost think i like this phone. or perhaps some version of a dual screen phone. i know a lot of you complain about how thick a phone is but that does not bother me much really, as long as it has a good battery. its hard to see how thick it is so i am imagining it about as thick as the epic and that is not bad really.

I can see where this could make things easier to pull up. i like the pic shot where you still have your thumbnails on the bottom screen and your pic displays on the top, you can show more pics quicker that way.

i dont think its as bad as a lot of you are saying.