You might remember the HTC Merge
that was supposed to launch on Verizon sometime last year. Originally discovered on Verizon's inventory system
in August 2010, a picture of the device appeared the next month with the Bing search app
instead of Google. Also called the HTC Lexicon
, the World Phone was put through some benchmark tests
where it scored a number of 1497 on the Quadrant Benchmark test, topping the score on the Nexus One running a similarly installed Android 2.2. Eventually, the device was expected to launch on November 11th 2010
, which never happened. Instead, the phone became available for regional carriers Alltel (April 7, 2011) and U.S. Cellular (June 1st, 2011) earlier this year.
Compared to today's dual-core smartphones, the HTC Merge is not a high spec'd device. With a single-core 800MHz processor (Qualcomm MSM7630) and 512MB of RAM, the phone was equipped with a 3.8 inch screen offering resolution of 480 x 800. HTC Sense runs on top of Android 2.2 and a 5MP camera on back captures video at 720p. For those who like the feel of a physical keyboard, the HTC Merge also has a side-sliding QWERTY. 2GB of native storage can be expanded using the microSD slot on the device.
What brings back the name of Verizon's HTC Merge is a curious holiday ad in the local Greensboro, North Carolina newspaper. The ad, for Big Red, shows a pyramind of handsets with the Verizon variant of the Merge on the bottom
, priced at $49.99 with a 2-year contract. If you really, really want this rare unicorn of a Verizon phone, you can buy one and get two free! Of course, you might need to unload the extra 2 units to make back some of your airfare to Greensboro and back home.