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Are Motorola and Sprint working on sliding portrait QWERTY?

The two companies have promised to release more than 10 Android devices this year. Is this the next model?

Could this be Motorola's first sliding portrait QWERTY handset to run Android? Pop Herald

The next collaboration out of Sprint and Motorola's renewed partnership looks to have already landed online.

A blurry photo passed to Pop Herald shows an Android handset with a portrait QWERTY slider that doesn't look all that different from the Motorola XPRT. According to the source, this phone will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread and may possibly support Sprint's 4G network when it makes its official debut.

Considering the XPRT was only just released, it's far too early to talk replacements. So you might be wondering why bother with an almost identical phone? Well, if you take a closer look at the picture, you might see a different phone altogether.

For example, notice how both the bottom of the device and the keyboard have a smilelike curve to them? Well, the bezel around the display also has that same shape to it, so it's entirely possible that what we could be looking at is a portrait slider, like the BlackBerry Torch.

Motorola has come up with different designs for its Android handsets since the Cliq, and though it has hit upon some curious form factors along the way (Backflip, Flipout, Flipside), the company has yet to experiment in the world of portrait sliders.

Obviously details are pretty scarce, but if I had to guess, I'd say the screen size will be in the area of 3.1 inches, similar to the one found on the XPRT. Tucking the keyboard under this relatively small screen would make for a compact, but functional handset. Think of the Palm Pre and you'll see where Motorola might be going with this design.

Given that Sprint and Motorola recently collaborated on the dual-core Photon 4G, I would not expect high-end hardware out of this new model. I'd be surprised if this had much more than a single-core 1GHz processor and a 5-megapixel camera. Specs aside, though, does this type of design appeal to you?