Kyocera Echo Dual-Screen Android Smartphone Review

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The Kyocera Echo uses a unique pivot hinge that allows it to fold to a single-screen or dual-screen view. When closed, you'll see a single 3.5-inch touchscreen that supports a resolution of 800x480. When opened, you'll get the benefit of both screens for a combined 4.7-inch diagonal screen and a resolution of 800x960.

Because the Kyocera Echo has two screens, it's a bit thicker than some of the other smartphones we've seen recently. The Echo measures approximately 4.5 x 2.2 x 0.7 inches. It's also a bit on the heavier side, coming in at 6.8 ounces. This makes it the heaviest phone we've reviewed in recent months. Although the phone may be a tad thicker and a bit heavier than other smartphones on the market, we're willing to give the Echo some leeway since its unique design requires more size and weight. Overall, we felt the phone was still pocketable and easy to hold and carry.

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Taking a look at the edges of the Kyocera Echo, and you'll see a bevy of ports and options on the left edge of the lower display. In fact, all of the connectivity ports, etc are located on the left edge. Here, you'll find the 3.5mm headset jack, microSD card slot, power button, volume rocker, and microUSB port. The microSD card slot and the microUSB port are covered by little rubber stoppers that pull out to reveal the card/port.

On the back of the phone, you'll notice the 5 megapixel camera and single LED flash as well as a small self-portrait mirror and a speaker. The back cover slides off to reveal the phone's user-replaceable battery. As you'll notice from the list of box contents, the Echo comes with a spare Li-Ion battery as well as a travel charger. When removed, you'll notice that the back battery cover is very thin and flexible, more so than with other covers we've seen lately. Although we were a bit concerned the cover might crack or snap due to its flexibility, once it was securely attached to the phone it did its job sufficiently.

  

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Below each of the screens you'll see three backlit touch-sensitive buttons (Home, Menu, Back) that provide haptic feedback when pressed. When the phone is opened to dual-screen mode, the touch sensitive buttons below the rightmost screen are disabled.

The hinge on the Kyocera Echo works quite well, though we wish it was a bit sturdier—when opened, the top, or rightmost screen wiggled a bit. Frequent texters will appreciate the fact that the Echo can be used in landscape mode and the lower screen can be used as a keyboard. In situations such as these, you can tilt the upper screen for easier viewing.

Under the hood, the Kyocera Echo's specifications are similar to many of today's other popular smartphones—there's a 1GHz Snapdragon processor as well as 1GB of memory and an 8GB microSD card for file storage. The Echo also ships with Android 2.2, aka Froyo.

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