Android phones don’t typically have as long a lifespan as other smartphones. Apple for instance, only does one new phone a year. RIM/Blackberry comes in spurts, but they don’t put out new phones quite as quickly as Android.
It seems these days that as soon as you get your Android device, the rumors for it’s replacement start bubbling. Take the Droid 2 for instance, the Droid 2 Global immediately followed and the Droid 3 wasn’t but 6 months later. Now there are rumors surfacing of a Droid HD, also from Motorola and said to be the replacement of the franchise numbered devices (Droid, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid HD).
More after the break
Although there is just a little over a month left in the summer of 2011 Kyocera has just announced a new promotion for owners of their dual screen Android device, the Kyocera Echo, on Sprint.
Kyocera made waves earlier in the year when they announced a totally new spin on the Android device. The Kyocera Echo’s unique form factor takes two screens and lays them side by side to form a 4.7″ screen. When folded up the Kyocera Echo has the same screen size as most average Android phones. This device is targeted to users who may want the real estate from a small tablet but the functionality of a phone. Although most Android media was critical of the device, it’s got a uniqueness all it’s own. Things like WiMax 4G capability and a faster processor may have helped win the media over. Kyocera did package the Echo with two batteries that helps when using the 4.7″ screen for a long amount of time.
More after the break
When we first saw this phone in New York at the unveiling event we weren’t all that impressed. A lot of the journalists there were expecting a 3D super phone or something like that, however when we took a step back the concept behind the Kyocera Echo is actual pretty neat.
The Kyocera Echo features two 3.5″ screens that can be folded and locked in together to form one 4.7″ screen that’s great when you need more room on the phone. Granted the original Dell Streak had a 5″ screen but it was a monster in someone’s pocket. The Kyocera Echo on the other hand folds into a 3.5″ form factor that measures on 17.2 mm thick and weighs in at just 6.8oz.
There was a lot of debate whether this phone would be outdated at launch, well that’s obviously not the case. Although it’s only running Android 2.2 it’s doing so with a 1ghz snap dragon processor over 1gb of RAM and 512m Rom it also has an 8gb microSD card on board.
More including video after the break
You may remember back to February 7th in our little break between the holidays, new years, and CES and then of course MWC. We disrupted that great break for a quick jaunt to New York City to see David Blaine, Dan Hesse and the unveiling of the new Kyocera Echo. The world’s first dual screen Android device, sort of tablet phone.
The concept itself is kind of cool, different, and original. The way the two screens went together to form one screen with a black bar down the middle was revolutionary and a lot better than the one offered by Fujitsu. Unfortunately what was found under the hood left a little too be desired especially because the guts, including the processor and battery were powering to separate, yet syncable screens.
More after the break
Our Sprint ninjas have given us the latest Sprint rebate card hot off the presses. This new Sprint rebate card is in effect from February 27th to April 16th and actually tells us a lot.
First off the Kyocera Echo which is due for a “spring” release won’t hit until after April 16th. So according to the powers that be at Sprint spring which starts March 20th actually starts after April 16th. We know this because it is EXTREMELY RARE that Sprint releases a device mid rebate so they don’t have to issue new cards.
Secondly the Sprint rebate card tells us that the new device being announced tomorrow won’t hit until after April 16th either, or it won’t have a Sprint mail in rebate attached. This is a strong indicator that it may actually be a windows phone 7 device as the CDMA patch for Windows Phone 7 is set to release in March.
On that device we believe it’s either a WP7 device or a push to talk device, possibly Android, on Sprint’s network and not the IDEN/Nextel network which is being phased out. Two of our Sprint ninjas has backed this claim by saying their internal sources referenced a “button on Sprint”. That button reference could be about the upcoming HTC Facebook phones but is unlikely.
Finally the Sprint rebate card also seems to lead to the fact that no new phones will be released at retail until after April 16th
While we were at MWC we were desperately searching for Sprint news. They were suspiciously absent of any big announcement at CES and then after their Kyocera Echo launch we thought for sure they may have some MWC goodness up their sleeves. We did learn a lot from their network side of the business but no device news.
Now we are looking forward to CTIA in March. Sprint had a pretty big event at the CTIA fall conference in San Francisco where Dan Hesse and partners uveiled the SprintID concept which has taken off with mixed reviews. That was also the launchpad for the Kyocera/Sanyo Zio, The Samsung Transform and The LG Optimus S. The Optimus S has by far proven to be the most popular phone out of the three.
The official sprint twitter account tweeted the message above this morning with a hash tag #comebackfeb24. This Thursday is gearing up to be a big day. The Motorola Xoom is set to release. It was also supposed to be the launch date for the HTC Thunderbolt but that seems to be up in the air. The Motorola Atrix is now on preorder with no clear date as well.
As for Sprint, they do have a Windows Phone 7 device the “HTC 7 Pro” waiting in the wings. The HTC 7 Pro was announced back in October of 2010. Of course the Kyocera Echo has been announced and shown off, this could be the news as well. Perhaps they have something totally different up their sleeves, maybe a Blackberry 4G?
Source: Twitter and Slashgear
We are about 2 and a half hours away from what was the best kept secret in the industry. Last night sources tipped off Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal that today’s big Sprint announcement was the Kyocera Echo. The industry first part? It’s the first Android smartphone with a dual screen. When fully opened on it’s special hinge the total viewing space is 4.7″.
Earlier today engadget reported that the Kyocera Echo was up on Sprint.com if you did a search for it. The description is still there however clicking through to the link yields an “oops” page for now. Perhaps David Blaine can do some magic tonight and return that page to sprint.com
If the announcement is the Kyocera Echo, which is all but confirmed, it will be the second Kyocera device running Android. Kyocera released the Zio at an event in San Francisco at CTIA back in October. The Kyocera was one of three phones with a new concept, Sprint ID. The Zio, the LG Optimus S and the Samsung Transform were all introduced at this Sprint event led by CEO Dan Hesse and leaders in the media industry who have put together Sprint ID’s.
There are no other specs about the Kyocera Echo so we are excited to learn more about it.