Rumors: Samsung Nexus S using fancy curved display Sprint had to pass on, HTC EVO Shift 4G is the Knight?

We've been fed some information by an established tipster today that paints an interesting picture of what sort of Android gear Sprint will -- and won't -- be getting next. First, we're told that the EVO Shift 4G trademark HTC recently filed for is the device known as the Knight, a downsized EVO 4G with a four-row sliding keyboard and a larger battery. Interestingly, as far as our tipster knows, the front-facing camera is off the table -- but in light of all the buzz around video calling these days, we wouldn't be surprised if it had been added back.

Perhaps more interesting, though, is some buzz around the display on the Nexus S. You might remember that we noticed it's concave on the front during its brief reveal at the Web 2.0 summit yesterday, an extraordinarily unusual design element for a full-touch phone. Well, our tipster tells us Samsung's been shopping this curved display technology to carriers for a while -- as early as CES at the beginning of this year behind closed doors -- claiming that its research showed such a design improved perceived usability over a perfectly flat display. Sprint bought the line and wanted to get a curved-display model on shelves in time for the holidays this year, but Sammy was apparently unable to deliver product in the volume it was asking for... so that's where the Nexus S might come into play; seems the Google-branded model could be the first to ship with it. We're unconvinced that it'd be any better, but our judgment is fully reserved until we've got a device in our hands -- which hopefully happens sooner rather than later.

[Image via xda-developers]

Note: Commenters are pointing out that the Dell Venue Pro also has a curved display, but it's a different situation -- that's longitudinally convex glass over a flat display. Here, it's laterally concave -- though we don't know whether the underlying AMOLED component is curved or not.