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Smartphone-Palooza!: HTC Merge and HD7S, BlackBerry Dakota, LG Thrill Prep for Debuts

It was widely believed that Verizon Wireless would be first to launch the HTC Merge this spring, but the carriers little sister is beating it to the punch. Alltel, the regional carrier that Verizon bought in 2008, will start taking orders for the Merge on March 28. It comes with a reasonable price of $124.99 if you sign up for a two-year service agreement.

The Merge, HTCs latest device, comes equipped with a 3.8-inch touchscreen and a full QWERTY keyboard. It runs on Android 2.2, has an 800MHz processor and sports a 5-megapixel camera that records 720p HD video. It also has microSD support up to 32GB.

New photos of the RIMs much-anticipated Bold-like BlackBerry Dakota have hit the Web. They show the device with a touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard. Like most BlackBerrys, the display is a little smaller than youll find on other smartphones 2.8 inches, but the quality 640×480 resolution might make up for what it likes in screen size. It has 4GB of internal storage, a 5MP camera, and is expected to launch with BlackBerry OS 6.1, 768MB of RAM and NFC support, along with a 3G mobile hotspot. No confirmation yet on U.S. carriers for the device.

This week at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, we got our first looks at the LG Thrill and the HTC HD7S, a pair of exciting new smartphone offerings. The Thrill shoots 3D video with its 5MP camera, and doesnt require glasses to watch playback. It has a 4.3-inch display and runs on Android 2.2 or a newer version by the time its released, on a date yet to be announced is 4G capable and has a powerful 1GHz processor. The HD7S is a Windows 7 phone that AT&Ts website says is due sometime in the next few weeks. It comes preloaded with a U-verse Mobile app subscriptions for the service cost $9.99 per month. The HD7S has a 1GHz processor and a 5MP camera. It, too, has a 4.3-inch display.


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