Earlier in the year, Sprint
made quite a big deal about the first
smartphone. But the Kyocera
Echo was quickly
overshadowed by the Atrix 4G, Verizon's iPhone 4 and a slew of other
devices from HP, Samsung, and LG. Now, the phone has one last chance to
shine before becoming yesterday's news, as it is going on sale this week
exclusively on Sprint. The smartphone will cost $199.99 with a 2-year
contract, and will officially go on sale to end-users on March 26.
Since it has been awhile between the launch and this release, here's a
bit of the back-story: this phone features two 3.5" touch panels that
can operate independently, side-by-side or combined to form an oversized
4.7-inch (diagonal) integrated display. It also uses Android 2.2 (and
not 2.3), comes with Wi-Fi, a 5MP camera, 720p HD camcorder, stereo
Bluetooth, 1GB of onboard memory, an 8GB microSD card and support for
Sprint's 3G (not 4G) network. At $200 on contract, it's hard to consider
this over some of the more popular smartphones, but having two displays
sure would be nice...if only the battery life didn't take a hit.
The Wait is Almost Over - Kyocera Echo™, the Nation's First Dual-Touchscreen Smartphone, to Launch April 17 Only at Sprint
Beginning March 26, Sprint customers can 'Reserve Now' for $199.99
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sprint (NYSE: S) and Kyocera Communications Inc. today announced availability of Kyocera Echo™, the nation's first dual-touchscreen smartphone, on April 17 in all Sprint retail channels, including the Web (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-Sprint1). The innovative Android™ device will sell for $199.99 (excludes taxes) with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade*. Beginning March 26, consumers can visit www.sprint.com/echo to "Reserve Now" and be among of the first to get their hands on Echo.
"Continuing to set the bar high in Android innovation, Sprint is thrilled to bring this industry-first device to the market," said Fared Adib, vice president Product, Sprint. "Kyocera Echo's unique dual-screen, Simul-tasking™ capabilities allow customers to do things they have never before done on a wireless handset. We believe customers will really appreciate and leverage the dual-screen capabilities and are excited to partner with Kyocera to bring this innovation to Sprint customers.
Announced in early February, Echo already has received rave reviews from industry insiders. According to Boy Genius Report, "Kyocera Echo is unlike any other device we have ever seen, and it's truly innovative." Phonescoop also touted, "[Echo] is one of the most unique Android phones we've ever seen."
Kyocera Echo features two high-resolution 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen displays connected by a three-dimensional "pivot hinge" that enables the two displays to operate independently, side-by-side or combined to form an oversized 4.7-inch (diagonal) integrated display. The Super Copper Alloy hinge is so unique it has six patents pending, and so tough it has passed severe durability testing.
"The industry response to this innovative device has been overwhelmingly positive, confirming the need for a pocket-size multitasking handset with a tablet-like experience," said Yasuhiro Ohishi, vice president of sales and marketing at Kyocera Communications Inc. "With the multitude of Android apps available for download, Echo is an ideal tool for today's multimedia, multitasking lifestyles."
Kyocera Echo operates on the Android 2.2 operating system and has access to more than 150,000 apps in Android Market™. Available at www.echobykyocera.com are videos showing Echo's unique functionality and a complete look at the phone's specifications and features, which 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
* Stereo Bluetooth® 2.1 (+ EDR)
* Full HTML Web browser with Google Search™
* 1 gigabyte (GB) of onboard memory and an 8GB microSD™ card for the external memory card slot, which supports cards up to 32GB
Sprint is offering customers a unique opportunity to reserve Kyocera Echo for purchase. Through the reservation process, customers will be able to reserve their devices online, pick them up in a Sprint Store, and receive the full retail experience, including Sprint's Ready Now service. In addition, Sprint customers visiting the Echo site will also have the opportunity to win an Echo in the "Duel for Dual Sweepstakes." Beginning March 15, customers can use their "sharp-shooting" skills to compete against others to win their first dual-screen smartphone. Customers can reserve their Echo for purchase at www.sprint.com/echo beginning Saturday, March 26, while supplies last. Customers who reserve Kyocera Echo will be able to complete their purchases beginning at 9 a.m. ET on March 26, and must complete their purchases no later than April 14 at 9 p.m. ET. The devices will be available for pick up on April 17.