Verizon tipped its hand a bit last night by inadvertently outing its next Android smartphone. A 360-degree view of the HTC Merge landed on the carrier's Web site only to be abruptly pulled.
AndroidCentral was quick enough to see the phone and capture a video of the device. The Merge, which once carried the nickname of Lexikon, should be Verizon's first sliding QWERTY world phone. Specifications include Android 2.2, an 800MHz processor, and a 3.7-inch touch screen.
Incidentally, AndroidCentral was able to get its hands on the Merge and do a full review back in early October. One of its findings was that the phone carries Bing as the default search engine, something that might put off a few interested buyers.
Rumors predicted that Verizon was ready to announce the phone, possibly as early as November 18, though we're already beyond that date. Recently, the Merge appeared in Best Buy's inventory system leading many to believe a formal press release is around the corner. Indeed, with Black Friday and the holiday shopping season fast approaching, Verizon will want to start advertising this soon.