Yesterday we were treated to a rather odd show in New York, one featuring a short magic show by David Blaine followed by a reveal of a human-sized phone that only turned out to be a mockup of a tinier phone. That in itself I found to be an outrage, as I was very excited about dual 4-foot screens. Then came the big reveal: Kyocera, a name not oft spoken aloud when it comes to notable Android phones. The phone Sprint and Kyocera shook hands for one full minute to release was called the Echo, Kyocera Echo, or Sprint Echo, however you want to title it. This phone is one that can be a single screen phone or fold out to a laptop or single giant screen mode. It’s 3G, it’s running Android 2.2 Froyo, it’s got a single 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and it’s less than a week away from MWC 2011. Why would Sprint and Kyocera release such a wild card?
Because, ladies and gentlemen, Sprint and Kyocera don’t care about early adopters – and that’s not a negative. I suppose the more accurate way to say it is that these companies are not tending to early adopters, developers, hackers, and general power-phone enthusiasts the same way the following phones have and still do: Nexus S, EVO, and all manner of iPhone, I’d argue, believe it or not, What this phone relates a lot closer to is the Samsung Continuum. The double screen bit is an obvious similarity, but they relate to one another the most in the support Verizon and Sprint know they’re going to have to supply for them: hardware primarily, then the occasional “how do I do this simple thing” from the newbies.
As far as I can tell from here, the wave of smartphone about to be released at Mobile World Congress 2011 right in front of my eyes, I’d say the Kyocera Echo wont see more than a couple firmware updates before it’s left to die by Sprint and Kyocera. On the other hand, the Nintendo DS crowd might be excited to see a clone of their favorite gamine system put out here with the capability to call people – but then again, there’s no Pokemon.