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U.S. Cellular gets HTC Merge and LG Genesis

Regional carrier U.S. Cellular scores a coup with the HTC Merge and the LG Genesis, two new Android smartphones.

The HTC Merge next to the LG Genesis
The HTC Merge next to the LG Genesis U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular scored quite a coup today with the announcement of two new Android phones, the HTC Merge and the LG Genesis.

The HTC Merge is U.S. Cellular's first "global ready" smartphone, meaning it supports both CDMA and GSM chipsets for travel abroad. It has a 3.8-inch touch screen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, plus it ships with Android 2.2 Froyo. Other features of the phone include a 5-megapixel camera, GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile hot-spot capability. There were rumors that the Merge might head for Verizon Wireless, but it looks like U.S. Cellular beat it to the punch. The Merge ships with an 8GB microSD card.

Next is the LG Genesis, which is a U.S. Cellular exclusive. It looks to be the next generation of the popular LG EnV phones from Verizon Wireless. The Genesis has a dual-screen flip design similar to the EnV, but it's equipped with Android 2.2 Froyo instead. It has a full QWERTY keyboard but also comes with Swype and voice texting. The internal screen measures 3.2 inches diagonally, and features include a 5-megapixel camera and 32GB of storage (you also get an additional 8GB microSD card with the phone). It also has GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile hot-spot support.

The HTC Merge is available today for $149.99, and the LG Genesis will be available June 9 for $149.99 as well. The prices here are applicable after a $100 mail-in rebate, a data plan purchase, and a new two-year service agreement.