HTC Merge sports 3.8-inch display, QWERTY keypad

Phone maker HTC has officially taken the wraps off its HTC Merge smartphone, the company’s latest offering based on Google’s Android platform. The Merge aims to appeal to bring HTC’s high-end Android magic to folks who live and die by messaging, combining a 3.8-inch touchscreen display and 5 megapixel camera with a slide-out QWERTY keypad. The Merge will also be HTC’s first CMDA “world phone” running Android—which should provide some hints about what carriers are most likely to offer it.

“HTC prides itself on creating unique solutions that meet the needs of different customers, and with features like a full keyboard and global 3G roaming, the HTC Merge smartphone is the perfect example of this commitment,” said HTC America’s president Jason Mackenzie, in a statement.

The HTC Merge will run Android 2.2, the camera will be able to capture 720p high-definition video, and (as one might expect) also packs 802.11 Wi-Fi and an integrated GPS. As with all HTC handsets, the Merge will run HTC’s Sense interface on top of Android 2.2, including HTC’s FriendStream functionality that pulls social data from sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Facebook so users can stay up-to-date on their friends without having a manage a load of separate applications.

HTC hasn’t announced pricing or carrier partners for the Merge, saying only that it will be available from “multiple North American operators” in spring 2011.

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