Folding phones have gone from abstract concept to reality, with the likes of the samsung galaxy fold and galaxy zed flip headlining, the future and foldable technology there’s. Even a motorola razer flip phone, just like the good old days except it’s, one big display inside, but where did this all start and who did it? First: hey how’s it going i’m josh from 91 tech, and this is the kyocera echo. What i would consider to be the first foldable smartphone in history, so today let’s see what it’s all about and how it holds up. One decade later, obviously, the echo isn’t a foldable in like what we’re used to today with the samsung galaxy fold, but instead a lot closer to what we’ve seen with the lg g8x and its dual screen attachment or more recently, the microsoft surface duo, which is essentially Just two tablets with a hinge, the galaxy fold 2, is a much more refined, practical form factor in terms of foldables. Although my favorite implementation thus far is the zed flip, as it’s shaped like a classic flip phone, but opens up to reveal one large screen. The motorola razer did something similar, but unfortunately it didn’t get great reviews, but that zed flip has been definitively successful. And personally, i think best signifies the future of this technology. If it ever becomes the norm. The kyocera echo, though, is the precursor to all this, and it came nearly a decade beforehand. Back in 2011, a japanese company called kyocera released the dual touchscreen android featuring two 3.
5 inch displays. When folded, you have a single screen but unfold it and sure enough. You get two screens to form a 4.7 inch mini tablet, ignoring the thick bezel in the middle. It can also kind of stand like a nintendo ds, which is quite funny to me, and i actually found a clip on youtube of someone emulating sonic the hedgehog on here with the controls on the bottom screen and the game on the top, which kind of makes Just way too much sense recently before i actually bought this phone, i did a video going over some of the worst smartphone failures in history, and this unfortunately, was one of them, while the tech is intriguing and it’s, certainly a fascinating device to talk about today, actually Buying and using one back in 2011 would have been a huge pain. This is a very small phone which was the norm for the time, but that also means a very small battery. Only sized at 1 370 milliamp hours mix that, with the 3.5 inch displays that both have a resolution of 480×800 and you’d be hard pressed to get much use out of this thing before running to plug it in the tech. Specs are also very of the era and just not powerful enough to handle two displays at once. It has a snapdragon s1 qsd 8650 chip, which is clocked at 1 gigahertz, along with 512 megabytes of ram there’s, not much point in me giving the name of the chipset, but it gives us some perspective on how old this phone is and it wasn’t bad for 2011.
heck the iphone 4s from late 2011 also only had megabytes of ram, and it was capable of running the first major ai assistant with siri, but this phone was basically trying to be two phones at once with only the internals of a single phone. It was immediately cursed to failure, no matter which way you slice it as futuristic as it was in theory. It was just too early on in smartphone history for anything like this to actually work. So if you actually bought this phone through sprint, whose logo is prominently displayed on the top of the phone, you would unfortunately be quickly disappointed, probably i’m sure there were those out there who enjoyed the novelty of the phone and were willing to make the sacrifices for It, but i think overall, most people would agree it just didn’t make sense for the average person looking to get a phone even for most tech enthusiasts and before we look too close at the design of the echo add time. How many times have you woken up in the morning unlocked your phone opened social media like instagram or tiktok or reddit or whatever, and quickly found yourself mindlessly scrolling for way too long, while your brain exercises the mental equivalent of tv static? Well, if i’m being honest more often than not, that was me, but you know what makes mornings great coffee and also morning brew an online email newsletter that sends out daily news in an informative, relevant and witty fashion.
That’S all readable within just 5 minutes, subscribing literally takes 15 seconds and it’s absolutely free, there’s, no reason not to do it and so to subscribe to morning brew and start your days off right click. The top link in the description it’s become my main source of news. Honestly, a quick read in the morning helps me wake up and keeps me attentive. It actually gets my brain moving instead of whatever social media does to it, probably melts it or something again, that’s the top link in the description to subscribe to morning, brew, it’s, literally free, so what’s the harm seriously. Please give it a shot. It really helps out the channel those brands like this. Let me do videos like this, which is awesome so big links to morning brew for sponsoring this video top link in the description and uh with that let’s get back to the kyocera echo. This is a very strange weird looking phone, it is from the front even folded up and in the most normal state it can be. The bezels are asymmetrical on the sides, which is done to make the middle bezel a little bit thinner when unfolded and that’s understandable. But it hurts me when in this position it just feels so wrong on the top and bottom of this display. We have these rounded silver emblem things i don’t even know what to call them, because they don’t actually serve any purpose that i know of besides having the sprint logo on top it’s, a strange stylistic choice, but then again, this whole phone is kind of a strange Stylistic choice, so i guess i can’t act too surprised flipping over to the back.
We get a slightly more standard appearance emphasis on slightly because it’s still very strange, with a black silicone feeling back casing and a circular punch out on the top behind which we have the camera flash and speaker on the back. You have the very small kyocera logo. Ironically, a lot smaller than the big sprints logo on the front, if you didn’t know any better, you might have thought that sprint was the one who made this phone, although in all fairness, their name, recognition probably would have spread much further than kyocera and i don’t Even know if i’m saying that right, kyocera kyocera i’m – not quite sure, please don’t, hurt me in the comments. We can slide up and pull the back panel off here in classic old android fashion and doing so reveals the battery i kind of missed. When phones did this, but then again that back panel is so cheap feeling and flimsy, and i definitely understand why they don’t anymore but it’s time to address the elephant in the room and that’s the giant blatant hinge. It’S there it’s obvious and honestly i wouldn’t expect anything else from a decade old phone that somehow has two screens. We can unfold the phone and have the screen a lot looser than you might expect almost like on a swivel, and it does actually feel a lot more stable than it might look. It can definitely swing around pretty easily and holding it like a ds isn’t.
The most secure position, but it’s still very much usable like this. I do wish the phone was a little bit easier to open with one hand, as the design makes it kind of difficult. You’Ve, probably noticed there, the taco, wallpaper and passcode and yeah. Whoever had this before me, didn’t bother to reset the phone before sending it, which means lucky me. I get to do it myself. Luckily, these old androids don’t have any kind of lock you would have with icloud or modern android for this phone. All you have to do is go to the emergency call and then we just need to input number sign, number sign, seven, three, seven, three eight and then number sign again and then this factory data reset page shows up and all we have to do is hit Reset and it’s just gon na reset the whole phone i’m, not gon na, have to sign into anything it’s just gon na work, so definitely not the most secure but uh very convenient for me, and that took a couple minutes to do. It’S kind of funny. The boot up screen for this phone is very of the era for sure, with the 3d sprint animation. But with that done we have a fresh new echo. The echo runs android 2.3 gingerbread, so it is pretty ancient and the software here is disappointingly unoptimized with few applications built to actually take advantage of the dual screens that’s. Just one of the many reasons this phone failed, but we do basically have four modes.
We can use the phone in there’s tablet mode, which just combines the screen like a tablet, optimized mode where a single application uses both screens. So here i’ve got my email inbox on the bottom and a selected email on the top. I was actually a little surprised. The email app even still works, but i genuinely connected a gmail account to it, which is pretty cool, there’s simul task mode, which is pretty interesting and really a precursor to the picture and picture features we have. Today. You can run two different apps at once. One on each screen, the problem is this: phone’s hardware is just beyond ancient, so we won’t be playing fortnite on the bottom and watching youtube on the top anytime soon. Still, though, in theory, you could watch youtube and have your web browser or something on the bottom, which is cool given modern, androids and iphones, can do that by making the video window float on the screen. Something that’s not terribly different and would have been huge back in the day and then for the last mode of functionality. We have the most boring, but probably also most practical, single screen mode where we fold it up and use it more or less like a regular old smartphone emphasis on old, i suppose, but geez even with the age. This phone is so darn chunky. It is so thick when you’re holding it as just one screen, and that makes sense, but i can’t see why you’d ever only want to use the one screen.
It’S, not exactly a pleasant experience and it kind of feels like you’re, holding a brick in your hand. Although to be fair, the phone isn’t really heavy and yeah, i mean there’s two screens on this thing. Of course, it’s gon na be thick when folded up plus it’s, actually all built pretty well, it doesn’t feel flimsy or loose when you’re opening it up or closing it it’s, solid and it’s, also very satisfying to do as it clicks into place. Opening and closing this is way more fun than it should be less than that isn’t that great the software is also pretty fast at adjusting to your position, which impressed me and the phone as a whole feels pretty good in the hand, it’s plastic to be certain, But a good feeling plastic. It feels sturdy if i was to drop this phone. I honestly wouldn’t be too worried about it. Braking despite the two screens, this phone could have been great, if not for a few specific problems. The specs were fairly typical for the time, but powering two screens and potentially two apps at once, not ideal. We’Ve talked about that. The battery life talked about that too it’s garbage the software. It works fine when it comes to the apps optimized and there are seven of them: a browser contacts, an email, app gallery messaging phone and something called view queue view queue was a custom flash player for youtube and no, it doesn’t work anymore, but it did back In the day, so let’s just pretend it works.
Despite the big flaws and the battery and the specs, this phone still might have been worth having at least for that novelty and had the phone sold well, perhaps we would have seen a healthy spread of application support from big name developers like google and facebook. Don’T forget this is 2011., but then there’s this big black line going down the middle of the screen and it’s. Because of that, in conjunction with the other prominent issues, i don’t find it difficult to see why this phone failed in tablet mode. This phone just doesn’t make sense as the obstruction just unfortunately is really hard to ignore. Could you get used to it? I mean in a sense you can get used to anything right and i’m sure there were actually owners of this phone back in the day that used the echo and enjoyed it immensely. But the bezel here is too much for me and i find the only position. I personally would want to use this thing is holding it kind of like the nintendo ds with one app on top and a different one below the software. Here is fine it’s a bit slow but it’s about what i would expect from a decade old, android device. It works, of course, good luck, finding any apps for this thing or actually browsing the web or really doing anything. I mean it’ll do for texting, calling possibly email and yeah not much more, and i mean it’s 10 years old.
That will go for pretty much any android phone from the same year. So what kind of camera do we have on this thing? Well, one that was pretty mediocre in 2011 and has held up about as well as any other mediocre smartphone from 2011. we’ve got 5 megapixels and can film video in up to 720p yeah? No. This is pretty terrible, although honestly, maybe not as bad as i expected. We’Ve come a long way, that’s for sure there’s, also no selfie camera here, which wasn’t super atypical in androids at the time. And can we talk about how ridiculous you would look if you used this phone for the camera in like the tablet mode? That would be just fantastic, so that’s, the kyocera echo it’s a strange phone. I hadn’t even heard of the brand before talking about this phone and that failed smartphones, video and kyocera has never been a huge mobile phone player even in the early days, but they’ve still chugged along popping up here and there typically to release cheaper to mid grade. Phones with their most recent line being the duraforce which, as the name implies, is built to be as durable as possible. They’Ve got a duraforce ultra 5g coming out soon. So, if you’re looking to get a phone that’s tough to break and can use the newest tech in internet connectivity and that’s something to look at, unfortunately, though, the phone doesn’t fold. Ultimately, this phone is just a very obscure piece of smartphone history lost in the past and really never getting the spotlight a spotlight that i think one could very well argue it deserved being the first dual screen.
Folding smartphone really was no small feat, especially a full decade ago, but that technology just wasn’t ready yet it’s fun to take a look at it. So many years later, and in the very least this is one of the coolest phones, i own definitely fun to pull it out and show it off to people who’ve never heard of it and it’s also just way too fun to open and shut. Much like how my favorite thing about the blackberry, priv and its sliding keyboard was that it’s fun to play around with i’m still addicted to sliding that keyboard. So i’ll link my video on that phone in the description by the way, if you’re interested at all. In that, but that all being said, i think, i’m right about done here. If any of you actually had this phone or even heard about it, when it came out, make sure you, let me know in the comments down below if you found this video interesting, maybe hit that like button and consider subscribing for more content.