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Hands-on with NEC's bizarre dual-screen Medias W: Mobile World Congress 2015

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Mobile World Congress 2015: Hands-on with NEC's bizarre dual-screen Medias W

2:33 /

Two 4.3-inch touchscreens make for one seriously weird smart phone. Is this the future of phones?

Hello. I'm Luke Westaway with CNET here at NEC's stand in Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. I'm taking a look at the NEC Medias W, an Android phone that has two screens. So, you can think of the Medias W as basically being two screens bolted together, attached by this hinge. When you fold the phone flat, it measures just 12.2 millimeters thick. Unfortunately, we can't fold it all the way here because of this big security tag, the one that's running off with it. Each screen is 4.3 inches on the diagonal. When you open it up, it's got 5.6 inches on the diameter, taking in both screens. So, when you open it up, you will get two home screens. As you can see, I can swipe across these and see twice as many widgets at once, that's very good. Some other cool things you can do with the two screens, set of video duplicating on both screens, which could be handy if you're sitting across from someone on a train or a bus maybe and you both want to get a look at the footage. You can also put maps across both screens and ge a slightly bigger view of where you're going and the browser as well has some quite cool features. So, you can see it's expanded across both of these displays, gives you a wider view. You can pin pages as well, so you can keep one browser page always present on one screen and keep browsing away on the other one. That could be useful if you want to keep Facebook or Twitter running on one side and have a look at more web pages on the other. When you're in the gallery, you'll see thumbnails displayed on the left screen and larger images on the right, which is quite a cool idea. Something else is good is if you tap and hold one of the images on the left side, you can drag it onto the Facebook app to quickly post pictures to Facebook. A part from the two screen feature, this is a fairly standard Android phone. It's running Android version 4.1, which isn't the very latest version of Jellybean but it's pretty close. So, you will get all the usual treats like access to the Google Playstore and of course, all that home screens you can fill with dynamic widgets and apps. NEC says the battery shouldn't be too badly impacted by the two screens. Obviously, having two displays will take more battery life than you would see with a normal phone, but of course, you won't have both screens open all the time, so, hopefully it won't be too bad. So, I think, having two screens could definitely take some getting used to but it's a very cool idea. If it doesn't impact too much on battery life, that's it. It's coming out in Japan in April, there's no word yet on a release elsewhere in the world but fingers crossed today. I'm Luke Westaway for CNET and this is the NEC Medias W.

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