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Sprint and Samsung prepping a candy-bar-style QWERTY smartphone

Three pictures show Samsung is working on an Android phone with a form factor that resembles its long-forgotten Blackjack smartphones.

Will this form factor continue to lure away BlackBerry users? PocketNow

A trio of images have surfaced online that show Samsung is working on a portrait-style QWERTY handset running Android.

Borrowing a bit from the form factor of the long-forgotten Samsung Blackjack, the device seems to feature a screen in the vicinity of 3.1 inches. At this size, we're looking at HGVA resolution (320x480), which isn't exactly great for heavy gamers or multimedia enthusiasts.

However, that isn't the target demographic for a phone like this. Much like the Motorola Droid Pro, this design should appeal to business users and folks looking for convenient text messaging and e-mail.

A Sprint logo is clearly visible at the top of the device, indicating that it's most likely ready for mass production. With Mobile World Congress and CTIA on the horizon, I would expect to hear more about this phone in short order.

Perhaps there's something unique enough in this phone to be considered an "industry first." Sprint has an event planned for February 7 where it plans to show us that the "impossible is possible." Okay, so maybe I'm reaching here.

I'm actually somewhat surprised that it has taken so long for a second manufacturer to come out with this design. As Android adoption continues to grow, RIM has seen its share of the market dip over the last year. A few more handsets with this form factor should draw away additional users comfortable with a candy-bar-style smartphone.