NEC’s Funky Cold Medias: A Dual-Screen Phone [Mobile World Congress 2013]

mwc2013bug-coaBARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS – Quick: What’s better than one screen? Two screens, of course. Or so says NEC with its funky new Android 4.1-powered Medias Tab.

When opened out, the screen measures 4.7 inches with 720 x 1280 pixels. Other numbers include 1.3MP/13.1MP cameras, Bluetooth 4, a 1,980mAh battery and a “multi-media tuner.

But the point of this is the screen. NEC has opted to put the screens on the outside, making them both vulnerable when the phone is folded. I guess it’s inevitable, though – how else could you use one screen without a complicated twisting hinge.

In use, the screens can either work together (as in maps) or separately (there’s a neat mode where you can use each screen as a separate browser window.

I loved that you can pinch-to-zoom with a finger in each window.

I like this design quite a lot. It’s small enough to fit in the pocket like a phone, but when you need some more screen space you just open it out. But if you want to watch movies, I expect that the line along the center will drive you crazy.

As ever, it’s a compromise. And considering the tradeoffs, NEC has made some pretty good choices.