Hands-On: HTC Merge
HTC's Merge world phone for Verizon Wireless was on hand at CTIA. Here are our initial thoughts about HTC's world-roaming CDMA/GSM wunderfon.
AD article continues below...
HTC announced the Merge in late February, and it will be sold — at least initially — by Verizon Wireless. It's one of the first Android devices that is a world phone, and can use both Verizon's CDMA network in the U.S. and roam onto the GSM-based networks of European operators.
The Merge is a sideways slider, offering a full QWERTY keyboard for typing. As is typical for this type of device, it a bit thick and heavy. The design is standard HTC, with brownish greys, metals and glass. As attractive as I think HTC's devices are, they are beginning to lose a little bit of their individuality. The materials all felt good, though, and the construction was top-notch.
The feel of the Merge in the hand is really nice. It's got a solid feel to it, and the edges are all nicely rounded and don't dig into your hand at all. It will fit into a pocket pretty well, though its weight will be noticeable. The volume toggle, on the right side of the phone, is a thin sliver. The button barely offered any feedback at all.
The slider mechanism was a little tough. Either it wasn't well-oiled, or its a bit stiff due to its pre-production nature. Either way, it was tough to push open with a single hand. I prefer to use one hand when opening phones. Once open, you have access to the large QWERTY keyboard.
The keyboard is very roomy, but they keys are somewhat flat and have little travel and feedback. I am not a fan of sideways sliders because I don't like the width of the keyboard. However, the Merge's keyboard won't be difficult for people to master. I wish the keys had a slightly better feel to them, but it was by no means terrible.
The user interface is HTC's Sense on top of Android 2.2. The UI was hella flakey on the unit HTC had with them. It was stuttery, crashy, and didn't really want to work properly. When it did, we noticed no changes when compared to other HTC Sense handsets.
For the business user who wants a keyboard and needs to be able to roam between the U.S. and Europe, there are certainly worse choices than the Merge.
Hands-On with the HTC 10
HTC showed off its 2016 flagship smartphone today. The HTC 10 takes all the characteristics we've come to appreciate in HTC and amps them up.
Hands On with the HTC U Ultra and U Play
The HTC U Ultra and U Play are the company's new high-end phones, replacing the iconic HTC 10 and One series. They sport flowing 3D curved glass on the back, and high-end specs.
Hands On with the HTC Desire 626S and 520/526
HTC today announced several new additions to its Desire line of mid-range Android handsets. These devices tout style and affordability with a middling set of specs.
Hands On with the HTC U11
The HTC U11 is the company's true flagship phone for 2017. It fills the Goldilocks spot in HTC's U series: better than the U Play, but smaller than the U Ultra, while also replacing last year's HTC 10.
Cellular South Also to Sell HTC Merge World Phone
Cellular South today announced plans to offer the HTC Merge, which is a GSM/CDMA Android world phone. It goes on sale in April, though pricing wasn't revealed.