Sprint has announced the Kyocera Echo, a new Android smartphone with two 3.5-inch touchscreens. You can use it as a regular smartphone in single screen mode or slide out the first screen to reveal a second one. The screens, which are connected by a hinge, can act independently, allowing you to run two apps concurrently. For instance, you could watch a video on one screen and check your e-mail on another. In tablet mode, you can turn the screens into one 4.7-inch display.
The phone, which has a 5-megapixel camera, weighs in at 6.8 ounces, two ounces more than the iPhone 4. It comes pre-loaded with several apps, including VueQue, which lets you watch a YouTube video in one display, while browsing, queuing and buffering additional YouTube videos on the other. The phone also comes with a spare battery, which could indicate that battery life is on the short side.
Do you really need a phone with two screens? It could make sense for business travelers who want to multi-task without pulling out their laptop at the airport. Another plus for travelers: For an additional fee, you can turn the phone into a wireless 3G hotspot for up to five other devices, so you won't have to worry about hotel WiFi access. The phone will be available this spring for $199.99, after a $100 mail-in rebate, and with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade.