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Photos have leaked of what could be Google's next smartphone, featuring a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

The photos came courtesy of Chinese social media site Weibo and show the device, codename 'DROID 5', to have NFC and wireless charging functionality, as well as a ruggedised "shockproof" water and dust resistant design.

Engadget is reporting Motorola Mobility is the team behind the new device. Google purchased Motorola Mobility in 2012 for more than $12 billion. 

Smartphones with physical keyboards are becoming increasingly rare as smartphones with virtual keyboards become increasingly popular.

Google has refused to comment on the authenticity of the photos.

Motorola Mobility's most recent effort is its Moto X handset, unique for its extreme customisation options.

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David Swan

David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. He also writes for Junkee and Fasterlouder. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan

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