Sprint’s Kyocera Echo hands-on! [video]

We stopped by Kyocera’s CTIA booth to get a second tour of the dual-screen Echo from Sprint. The device, which will be available on April 17th for $199.99 with a 2-year agreement, really does have some innovative features. Applications and games that are optimized for the echo can leverage the second screen to display an enormous, thumb-friendly keyboard, provide more on-screen information, and enhance game-play. Kyocera assured us that the hinge on the device is ready for battle, and should stand up to most of the use and abuse inflicted by teens and tweens — the two main groups the phone will be marketed towards. The hinge itself was a bit finicky when we handled the device, however. Hit the break for more, including a video, and don’t forget to check out our Kyocera Echo photo gallery.

The phone is designed to be used in three positions: closed, which gives the device one usable screen, candybar layout; opened, which is what you see above; and tilted, which allows the use of both screens with one screen tilted towards you — similar to the HTC Arrive. When in the opened and tilted positions, you can shake the phone and feel a fair amount of play in the hinge. We’re not exactly sure how an OEM would make a hinge capable of doing all the things the Echo does without a little wiggle, but it is definitely something discerning customers will notice. The phone is — without a doubt — a first, and while the Echo is a Sprint exclusive, Kyocera says it is the first in a line of dual-screen phones that it plans on producing.

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