Seems a bit odd seeing a rugged, PTT-centric phone on Sprint Nextel that isn't getting sourced out of Motorola's ranks, doesn't it? Indeed, get used to it -- this here is a phone supporting Qualcomm's QChat protocol, the CDMA-based push-to-talk standard that Sprint will be phasing in as iDEN dies a long, slow death. The Samsung Z400 (not to be confused with the phone of champions) clearly takes a page out of Motorola's book, though, by gearing up with plenty of rubber bits, so even if it ends up not being particularly rugged, it'll certainly look the part. It also features a media player, camera, Bluetooth, and support for some sort of "chat and dating" service (seriously, look it up in the manual!) so we have some hope that adding some manufacturers to the Direct Connect ranks is going to spice things up a bit. No word yet on when this one might launch.

[Via Phone Scoop]

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Samsung's first Sprint Direct Connect phone wafts in via FCC