The White Whale of Android smartphones finally emerges on a handful of regional carriers







There's something quite satifying about the
HTC Merge


on US Cellular. Maybe it's the sleek design. Maybe it's the excellent slider keyboard. Or maybe it's because it's our White Whale.

The HTC Merge (codenamed Lexikon) first made an appearance as a dual CDMA/GSM World Phone in early September 2010
when the FCC outed it


, pictures and all. At the time, it was clearly branded for Verizon. And it was the Verizon version that
we got an exclusive look at it


just a month later. At that time, the Merge still had not been announced by Verizon.

And so days went by and turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Still no word on the Merge. Meanwhile, the Motorola Droid 2 (another horizontal slider released that fall) had already been revamped and gained a GSM radio, so it, too, would work outside the United States. Whether that's the reason the Verizon held back the Merge, we may never know. But on February 25, 2011 -- nearly five months after its inital FCC showing -- HTC announced that the Merge would be
coming to "multiple carriers" in the spring


.

It first saw release on Alltel and Cellular South. And, this June, on US Cellular. One thing those carriers have in common? They all piggyback on Verizon's network. That's not a coincidence. (And you actually can
buy a Merge at a third-party retailer and actually use it on Verizon


.)

And so we finally have the HTC Merge. This is its story.


HTC Merge Specs


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HTC Merge Forums


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HTC Merge Accessories































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