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Samsung Working on BlackBerry-Style Android Handset With QWERTY Keyboard

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A newly leaked Samsung handset with the mode number GT-B5330 has just begun to surface. The device is pictured in white with a front-facing QWERTY keyboard, similar in style to those found on Research in Motion’s famed BlackBerry smartphones, along with a front-facing camera, rear-facing camera, and also Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The messaging-centric form factor is still more rare on the Android platform so it’s nice to see Samsung continuing to work on handsets with a front-facing keyboard.

Sammy Hub reported that the device recently received Chinese certification. Unfortunately, though, for power-users, this device is targeted at the entry-level segment with a rather paltry QVGA display with a resolution of 320 X 240 pixels. The phone has a single-core processor with a clock speed of 850 MHz.

It’s unclear if this handset will eventually make its way over to the U.S. In the past, Samsung has offered a front-facing keyboard Android smartphone on Sprint’s Now Network in the U.S. with an eco-friendly theme and design.

From the leaked images, the phone will rely primarily on its touchscreen for navigation while the hardware keyboard will be used for text entry. There doesn’t appear to be any navigation keys, trackpads, or directional pad to navigate the Android OS with hardware keys. This will make the experience clunky compared to a BlackBerry as the Bold and Curve smartphones with keyboards are accompanied with a trackpad to make navigating without having to use the touchscreen easier.

At this time, there is no additional information about the Samsung GT-B5330.

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

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