The Teen First Look: Sprint’s Kyocera Echo Dual Screen Phone

kyocera echo in hand

We were able to get a few minutes tonight with the all new Sprint Kyocera Echo and got  a chance to get a really nice feel of everything that’s in this dual screen beast. What do we think so far? Read on!

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Sprint Unveils the Kyocera Echo, the Worlds First Dual Screen Phone

Kyocera Echo simul-task

Sprint’s said their event tonight would be a first for the wireless industry, and boy was it. Tonight Sprint and Kyocera introduced a pretty incredible looking phone, the Echo. And why is this incredible you ask? For one, it’s the first smartphone with DUAL 3.5 inch screens– that’s TWO screens the size of the iPhones screen in one phone! Yeah, wow is right.

Even more remarkable is what you can do with these two screens. Featuring a revolutionary Pivot-Hinge there are 4 different ways to view and use the Echo: Single-screen mode– Just one 3.5 inch screen visible with the second one hidden behind it using the Echo’s Pivot Hinge (see below for pic); Optimized mode– using specially optimized apps such as updated versions of Email, Browser, Messaging and VueQue (an optimized version of  YouTube that lets you play the video on one screen while browsing and queuing and loading up other videos on the bottom to play right when your current video ends) apps you can use both screens when open to their fullest advantage such as having two browser windows open one on top of the other or having a text or email open on the top screen and the keyboard on the bottom (meaning you have a keyboard that’s the size of an iPod touch or iPhone screen!); Simul-task mode– Having one of those above apps open on the top screen and a second one on the bottom (as in having a text message open on top and a GameCast from ESPN or a YouTube video in the VueQue app on the bottom. This is ultimate multi-tasking.); and a Tablet mode– having any Android app take up the entire 4.7 inches available when both screens are open side by side (basically, this turns the Echo’s two screens into a giant 4.7 inch phone. This is also what will happen when both screens are open and your running any app not optimized for the Echo’s dual screen). You can even go into a sort-of “laptop mode” where you tilt the top screen up as if it were a laptop. Yeah, this is pretty sick.

Kyocera Echo closed

Other specs on the phone include:

  • 1 GHZ Snapdragon processor– Those two screens need some serious power right?
  • Android 2.2– With full access to the over 100,000 apps in the Android Market (though apps need to be specially designed to take use of both screens. Sprint and Kyocera will make available the code for developers to make their own Echo optimized apps).
  • 1 GB of memory built-in with additional 8 GB included on microSD card
  • 5 megapixel camera with flash and 720p HD video recording
  • 3G, GPS and WiFi– With the ability to use this as a WiFi hotspot for up to 5 devices.  Yes, sadly there is no 4G in here.

Even without 4G we must say the Echo still looks pretty sick and we’re sure it will definitely interest those who want something extremely different and cool and don’t necessarily need the fastest network. Sprint said we can expect the Echo sometime this Spring for $199 with new 2 year contract and that it will ship with an additional backup battery and backup battery charger (though don’t worry, Sprint also said that the Echo’s battery is “on par” with that of other top smartphones today, so think of this as a way to make sure you get through the day).

We’ll have more on the Echo coming up (including a first look of this sick new phone), so stay tuned. In the meantime, for more on the Echo see Sprint’s site here.

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PlayStation Phone is Official– Sony Announces Xperia Play

sony xperia play

PlayStation Phone fans it’s finally almost here. Moments ago during Super Bowl XLV, Sony Ericsson (Sony’s phone division) let loose an all new ad touting none other than the PlayStation Phone itself, now called the Xperia Play. Not much was shown off in the ad specs wise– but the biggest needed thing we needed to see was, and that is official shots of this bad boy running PlayStation games in some awesome press shots of the phone itself (one of which you can see above, and it does look AWESOME!). Full info on this beast should be coming in about a week when Sony has their big Mobile World Congress keynote (also known as MWC– a big cell phone conference in Barcelona where a whole bunch of awesome new cell phones are announced for the coming year)– and you can bet we’ll have it all covered for you here once more info come out.

See the ad and another shot of the homescreen (which starts off really freakishly) again after the break.

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The Teen Review: T-Mobile G2 by HTC

g2 with box

If you haven’t noticed recently, there’s a little battle going on between the big 4 US wireless carriers– AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint– and that is the race to 4G. All four carriers have begun launching their own respective 4G networks and are deploying them across the US as we speak. Now obviously if you’re looking for a new phone today and are planning to buy it at its cheaper (also known as subsidized) price, the one you get with a 2 year contract, you’re gonna wanna get one that takes full advantage of these 4G networks.

For the past couple of weeks we’ve had a chance to take a look at the T-Mobile G2 by HTC, T-Mobile’s first 4G phone. So, what do we think? Read on for our full teen review!

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Sprint Plans to Announce Something Big On Monday, and We’ll Be There Live!

sprint feb 7th announcement

Sprint has been extremely quiet, almost too quiet, in this beginning of 2011. While AT&T went 4G, Verizon got an iPhone and also went 4G, and T-Mobile got a 3D tablet and even more powerful 4G phone– all we’ve really heard from Sprint so far is that they’ve gotten a mini-EVO with slide out keyboard (the HTC EVO Shift 4G).

Well this quiet streak looks to end on Monday, as Sprint along with master illusionist David Blaine will be looking to “make the impossible possible” with another “wireless industry first” (if you remember, Sprint was the first carrier to 4G). What exactly this could be is still a complete mystery (rumors are ranging on anything from some sort of dual screen tablet to a 3D Android tablet or phone to Sprint’s first Windows Phone 7 phone)– but whatever it is, you can make sure we’ll have it all broken down for you right here.

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And the Battle Begins

Today is February 3rd, and you know what that means– today was the first day the Verizon iPhone went on sale, as a pre-order for existing Verizon users. And pre-orders have gone so well that Verizon and Apple have stopped the pre-orders tonight because there were just too many (meaning if you are on Verizon and haven’t pre-ordered yet you’re gonna need to head to a Verizon or Apple store at 7 AM next Thursday and try to score a iPhone then).

And while that was expected, the bigger thing happened tonight– Verizon has begun a new war with AT&T, this time over who has the better iPhone. Just look at Verizon’s newest ad above.

Now the early reviews of the Verizon iPhone have it like this: if you want crystal clear calls and more reliable coverage Verizon hands down wins, but if you have a need for speed AT&T is a ton faster. So we ask you– with Verizon’s iPhone one week away from launch, which do you need most in your phone: blazing speed or crystal clear calling?

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AT&T Announces Second 4G Phone Release Date– Motorola Atrix 4G Coming March 6th for $199

motorola atrix 4g pic 2

Inspire 4G not doing it for you? Really waiting for AT&T and Motorola’s 4G superphone the Atrix 4G? If so, your wait is almost up as AT&T has announced today that the Atrix 4G will finally be coming out on March 6th for $199 on a new 2 year contract and data plan (yeah, a little later and more expensive than what Amazon rumored but what can ya do). You also can pre-order the Atrix starting February 13th so you can insure that yours will come ASAP.

atrix 4g laptop dock

AT&T and Motorola have also announced bundles for the Atrix– such as $500 for the Atrix and laptop dock (remember you can dock this in that special laptop case and turn your phone into a full-fledged laptop). Compared to buying them separately this is a pretty good deal because buying the laptop dock add-on after you already bought the phone will cost you an additional $500 (basically, if you buy them both together it’s $500 on 2 year contract, separately it’s a whopping $700). Of course, to take advantage of this bundle you’ll also need to sign up for a tethering plan on top of the data plan ($45 a month for 4 GB of shared internet between your phone and devices you tether it to compared to $25 for 2 GB on only the phone). If you don’t plan on sharing your internet with other devices this may not be worth it to you in the long run.

Compared to just buying a laptop and phone separate of each other, this deal doesn’t look anywhere near as nice as you can buy some pretty solid full featured laptops with Windows 7 and much more power at a Best Buy, Walmart or Amazon for well under $500– though they don’t look as nearly as cool as this. If AT&T/Motorola lowered the price on this laptop dock to $100-$150 separate from the phone we’d see this as a much, much better deal (all the laptop is adding is a bigger screen and keyboard, it’s not like your getting more power).

Motorola atrix 4g entertainment dock

AT&T also plans to offer an “Entertainment Access Kit” for Atrix customers which includes the Motorola HD Multimedia Dock (seen above), a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and a remote control for $189.99– perfect if you wanted to use this as a media center for your TV and have more money to burn.

So, what’s it gonna be– Inspire 4G or Atrix 4G?

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Update Your Facebook Security NOW

facebook account security

Facebook over the past few days has begun rolling out a new security update for its users, an update that you really got to switch to ASAP! This new update allows you to connect to Facebook much more securely, reason enough for you to want to enable it ASAP.

What this new update, which can be found in Settings–>Account Settings–> Account Security, does is it turns your connection from HTTP to HTTPS (HTTP is the protocol needed to load websites, which is why you see it in your browser’s address bar on every site you go to. The “S” added to it makes your browsing much more secure and is used by sites like PayPal and Amazon to protect your info like your credit cards). Basically, this makes it much, much harder for hackers to spy on and take your information– like your password– particularly if you’re accessing Facebook from a public internet connection such as a WiFi network in your school, in a mall or at a Starbucks that doesn’t require you to enter a password to connect.

It takes literally 30 seconds to do (once you’re in Account Security all you’ve got to do is check a box saying “Browse Facebook on a secure connection when possible” and hit save– the box in the pic above). And seeing all the protection this offers, it is definitely worth it.

And if you don’t see the update on your profile yet, don’t worry, Facebook has said it should be available to all users by mid-February so check back periodically until then.

For more info on this and other new Facebook security updates, see Facebook’s site here.

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T-Mobile Releases New Info On LG G-Slate and Samsung Galaxy S 4G

tmobile logo

Come on, you really didn’t think T-Mobile would be silent while AT&T announces more details on their first 4G phone and Verizon prepares to release the iPhone? And wow did T-Mobile have a lot to say today, announcing a whole bunch of new info on their upcoming LG G-Slate 4G tablet AND more info on an all new Samsung Galaxy S 4G phone (a successor to the Samsung Vibrant). Read on for all the info.

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HTC Inspire 4G Is AT&T’s First 4G Phone, Launches February 13th for $99

htc inspire 4g

Looks like that Amazon leak last week had something to it after all. Today AT&T and HTC have announced the first AT&T 4G phone will be the Inspire 4G when it launches in just under two weeks, February 13th, for an incredibly solid $99.99 on new 2 year contract and data plan.

Just to recap the Inspire 4G’s features, we’re talking about a very impressive phone with not just that 4G but also a 4.3 inch high-res screen with aluminum casing, 8 megapixel camera with flash and HD video recording (but no front camera), ability to turn the 4G into a WiFi hotspot, HTC Sense 2.0 with new features like tracking down your phone, 12 GB of built-in storage, HTC Hi-Fi for surround sound (featuring Dolby and SRS surround sound for awesome audio quality), 1 GHZ processor, and Android 2.2.

All in all, this looks like a very solid deal particularly for $99.99. So, will this keep you from bailing on AT&T for the Verizon iPhone next week?

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