BoyGeniusReport was sent a collection of pictures of the HTC Merge/Lexikon that we have seen a lot of lately. The phone has now been confirmed in photos to feature Bing as the replacement for the Google search function on the phone, and also appears to be headed to Verizon to join up with the rest of the Droid family. Even more interesting is that AndroidandMe asserts that this phone is an almost identical hardware copy of the HTC Desire Z.
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The reasoning for the suspicion that the Merge is a future member of the Droid family lies in the choice of colors for the device. There are more than enough red accents and styling to indicate this device will come labeld on Verizon with the word "Droid" somewhere in the name.
AndroidandMe believes that the phone is a variant of the Desire Z unveiled by HTC not long ago:
Specs wise, this phone is shaping up to be an exact clone of the HTC Desire Z, better known as the T-Mobile G2 here in the United States. Verizon’s version will feature the same second-generation 800 MHz Snapdragon processor (MSM7630), 3.8 inch display, 5 megapixel camera, 4 GB of internal storage, and slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
I can see the similarities between the Desire Z/G2 and the Merge, but there are glaring differences in the bezel, keyboard layout, lack of trackpad, and keyboard mechanism. What's more, the Merge seems to have small indicator lights above the keyboard to announce when FN or Caps Lock has been activated. I won't venture to say I agree completely with AndroidandMe, but I would say it was at least a related development.
As for the Bing Search feature, Engadget comments that they "don't know how thoroughly it's integrated into Sense, but here's hoping it's better than what Samsung accomplished with TouchWiz on the Fascinate -- hardware this promising shouldn't be saddled with carrier-wrecked firmware."
As for the name of the future Droid device, no solid rumors yet, but I'll throw my hat in the ring and say that the device will be called the Droid Z. Real imaginative, right?
AndroidandMe believes that the price of the handset will be about (no surprise) $199, and that it should "hit stores in late October to early November."
Check out the image gallery from BoyGeniusReport for many more pictures of the device.
Image from AndroidandMe