The HTC ‘Merge’

HTC’s coming ‘Merge’ smartphone may be just the ticket that business travelers want. With it’s global SIM card slot and CDMA network support, it can pretty much travel anywhere in the world and still be able to access all the local cellular networks. While the smartphone is stuck with Microsoft’s Bing search system for default internet searches (blame Verizon and its contract with Microsoft for this), it’s a pretty solid phone that will deliver the features you need while on the go.

The HTC Merge or ‘Lexikon’ as it has been previously called, has an excellent keyboard with a true sliding feel. None of that slide/flip nonsense here that makes you feel like you’ll break your several hundred dollar smartphone if you are careless. It also packs a pretty decent 5 MP camera, a flash and 720p HD video recording abilities which is slowly becoming the norm for high end smartphones thanks to the three way competition between Apple, Google’s Android and the BlackBerry platform. Competition is always good. If there were none, we’d all still be stuck on 1 MP smartphone cameras with no flash for the manufacturers to save money (or something like that, who knows with smartphone makers and their cost analysis). Before you go out and say that “Smartphone manufacturers care about us!” in the comments, keep in mind that Nokia developed a 3D operating system literally years ago but decided not to use it because of the $2 it added to each smartphone’s cost. Yeah.

The screen specs on the Merge are pretty nice. It has a 3.7” touchscreen with all the features at 480 x 800 pixels which is pretty good compared to a lot of smartphones out there. It also has Android 2.2 installed with its 512 MB of RAM, you’ll be able to zip through your daily smartphone tasks. Even the 800 MHz processor is near the high end of what is currently available. I can forgive the lack of the ‘n’ Wi-Fi network standard support in the Merge because lets face it, not that many places you’ll be using Wi-Fi from will support it.

The microSD slot in the Merge is a nice feature, but is pretty much the standard in most smartphones besides what Apple makes. While the Merge hasn’t been seen yet in full release form (just unofficial demo models so far), expect it to be a pretty sweet machine designed for those of us who travel overseas on a at least a semi-regular basis. I’m sure it’ll be jailbroken for AT&T and T-Mobile’s network pretty quickly, so even if you’re not a Verizon fan, you still might be able to use one.

Let me know if the HTC Merge is something you’re interested in. There are just so many Android OS smartphones available right now and so many options… tell me if you have a preference for HTC or another manufacturer!

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