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Consumer advice: Rating the dual-screen smartphones

In the wake of LG’s new V10 dual-screen smartphone, check out some of the ways phone-makers have doubled your display, with varying results, from the folks at CNET.com

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

Product Review: www.cnet.com/products/samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-plus/#ftagCAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a compelling design, top-tier specs and excellent battery life. Its second menu for the curved display adds some useful shortcuts.

The bad: One of the most expensive handsets on the market, the Edge+’s usefulness doesn’t live up to its sky-high price. Fans of removable batteries and microSD card slots will be disappointed that this has neither.

The cost: $449.99 (with two-year contract) to $899.99

The bottom line: Buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ if you love the idea of a wraparound screen; otherwise, you'll be able to find less expensive phones that do nearly as much.

Samsung Continuum

Product Review: www.cnet.com/products/samsung-continuum/#ftagCAD187281f

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The Samsung Continuum features two displays; the smaller ticker window is a great tool for quickly accessing information and multitasking. The smartphone also has a 1GHz processor and a 5-megapixel camera with HD video capture. It offers full wireless options and can be used as a mobile hot spot.

The bad: The smaller screen makes for a more cramped typing experience. Ticker display currently isn’t available for third-party apps. Runs Android 2.1, and Bing is set as the default search engine. You can’t uninstall preloaded apps and services.

The cost: $24.95 to $99.99

The bottom line: More than just a gimmick, the Samsung Continuum’s secondary display is a useful management and multitasking tool, but its constant flow of information might not appeal to everybody.

Kyocera Echo

Product Review: www.cnet.com/products/kyocera-echo-sprint/#ftagCAD187281f

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The Kyocera Echo has a one-of-kind design that offers two screens and the ability to use two applications at once. Call quality is acceptable and the smartphone is quick and responsive.

The bad: The Kyocera Echo’s design entails some usability quirks and we’re concerned about long-term durability. The feature set is pretty average, it lacks 4G, and you'll have to wait for an upgrade.

The cost: $127.50

The bottom line: The Kyocera Echo’s design offers some unique advantages, but its appeal is hampered by usability quirks and a lackluster feature set.

LG Doubleplay

Product Review: www.cnet.com/products/lg-doubleplay-t-mobile/#ftagCAD187281f

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The LG Doubleplay has a vibrant and sharp display, a 1GHz Qualcomm Scorpion processor, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, DLNA support, Wi-Fi calling, mobile hot-spot support, full Webkit browser with Adobe Flash, support for T-Mobile’s 4G/HSPA+ network, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture, and great call quality.

The bad: The LG Doubleplay’s quirky dual screen and split keyboard design is a little too strange for us. It’s a hefty and bulky handset, and has poor battery life.

The cost: $199.99

The bottom line: The LG Doubleplay has excellent features for a midrange Android smartphone, but its bizarre design is not for everyone.

For more independent reviews of personal technology products, visit www.cnet.com.

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