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HTC EVO Shift 4G (Knight / Speedy) gets leaked picture, January 9th release date?

Sean Hollister
12.11.10
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We'll warn you that we have nothing but the word of an alleged Sprint employee that this is the real deal, but we don't know what else it could be -- if it walks like a duck and quacks like an EVO with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, we're inclined to believe it's the HTC EVO Shift 4G. Factor in the noticeable lack of front-facing camera, silver trackpad and those throwback flat keys, and we're even willing to forgive those hastily penciled watermarks on the keyboard and on top of the clearly 'shopped screen. Even if this shot is legit, we haven't seen the full device yet -- it sure looks like this Knight is wearing a suit of plastic armor around the edges.

In possibly related news, Android Central nabbed an alleged screenshot of a Sprint database showing an "HTC A7373" handset coming to Sprint on January 9th, and while one Russian e-tailer seems to think that codename refers to the GSM-friendly Desire Z, we have to imagine a Knight / Speedy / EVO Shift release is far more likely than a T-Mobile G2 redux on Sprint's CDMA frequencies.

Update: Just to be clear, there are a few things about this image that irk us, not least of which that pasted-on screen. We're inclined to think this might be a dummy unit that was touched up to look like a real phone.

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