A leak yesterday has forced Samsung into officially announcing the Galaxy Chat, a smartphone that combines a full QWERTY keyboard with Android 4.0. The device joins a select band of phones which provide the pairing, including the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro and the upcoming LG LS860. It also resembles Palm's Pixi device, released back in 2009.
Samsung's announcement confirms specs shown on the Chinese government's certification site, including a disappointingly small 3-inch QVGA (320 x 240) touchscreen. The device offers 4GB of internal memory with a microSD slot for upgrades, along with a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1200 mAh battery. Clearly targeting the budget end of the Android market, the Galaxy Chat will make its debut in Spain later this month, before being rolled out more widely to "Europe, Latin America, Middle East, China, Southeast Asia, and Southwest Asia."
It's an odd design, but one which may strike a chord with some buyers, particularly BlackBerry fans looking to move away from RIM's ailing platform. Samsung is certainly pushing its proprietary BBM alternative ChatON, giving the app a dedicated launch button on the Galaxy Chat.