A flawed first attempt at an interesting concept
The Kyocera Echo is an audacious, exciting new idea. But the execution doesn't grab me. Nobody wants a tablet with a bezel in the middle. But we absolutely do want a phone that makes it easier to do multiple things at once, such as manage multiple Web pages or view e-mails and attachments without having to flip back and forth. The Echo almost does this—but not quite. The simultasking apps don't work well enough together, there aren't enough of them, and the phone doesn't have enough GPU power to handle the huge double screen. If there were a dozen great dual-screen games, that would be an argument for the Echo—but I'm worried that may not be possible because of the poor graphics benchmark performance. If Gmail and social-networking software worked in Simultasking mode, you could have the best Twitter/Facebook/e-mail phone ever. But they don't, so you don't. This all puts the Kyocera Echo under the banner of "fascinating misfire." I hope Kyocera doesn't lose faith in this idea, because it really stands apart. But hopefully the company will work on making version 2 let us do more things at once.