CNET First Look
HTC Merge (U.S. Cellular)The HTC Merge is an Android smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a rare dual-mode for traveling abroad.
-Hey everyone. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET taking a First Look today at the HTC Merge. This is an android 2.2 Froyo phone for U.S. Cellular, but the smartphone will be upgradable to android 2.3 in the future. It's sells for 149.99. Now, we first heard about the Merge at Mobile World Congress and we got our First Look at it at CTIA. HTC typically makes really pretty devices and this one also has some interesting accents like brushed metal on the back and then also on the rim around the front of the face. All that metal though makes it really heavy. This phone is actually 7 ounces, so it's kind of a whopper. The Merge has this 3.8-inch WVGA touchscreen and 4 touch-sensitive navigation buttons below. It also has the slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Now, typing is pretty good. Sometimes depending on where I hold it, the mechanism seemed a little bit hard to get opened. Sometimes, it would seem like I would fumble trying to open it. So, you may have a little bit of problem with that. The keys themselves are pretty responsive. They feel a little bit flat and they're just not as snappy as I've seen on other keyboards. I do like these indicator lights at the top though that show you when you've got the function button and the caps on. There's also a shortcut key here that's programmable. That's the AP-1 key right here. On the back is a 5-megapixel camera that comes with auto focus, and it also includes 720p HD video capture. There's also an LED flash right next to it. But one of the phone's most interesting feature is actually behind the back cover. It's the sim card slot. You can slip in a sim when you travel abroad; otherwise, it won't work in the U.S., CDMA only here. Overall, the Merge is a really decent phone. It's not your most exciting. It's not the highest end, but it is one of the best options if you are a U.S. Cellular customer. Again, the keyboard could be a little bit more responsive and the sliding mechanism could be a little bit better too, and you also have to be okay with the phone tucked in your purse or in your pocket, but I don't think that you're gonna go wrong with this phone because it's got pretty decent specs overall and the price isn't gonna blow you out of the water. I'm Jessica Dolcourt. This is your First Look at the HTC Merge for U.S. Cellular.