Is This Verizon's Android 2.0 Version of the HTC HD2?

Looks like that unknown HTC handset may be the Android equivalent of the HD2—complete with speedy 1GHz Snapdragon processor (like the upcoming Acer Liquid). And it's rumored to hit Verizon by year's end as the HTC Passion.

The HD2 is probably the most interesting WinMo 6.5 phone out there (even though it won't arrive in the U.S until early next year, possibly on T-Mobile). Besides the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, it's got that huge 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen—so an Android 2.0 version sounds pretty exciting. If the rumor is true, of course.

UnLockr, who dug up the original mystery pics, believes the Passion is the CDMA version of the HTC Dragon, and suggests the hardware buttons are similar to the Motorola Droid handset because Verizon wants to have their Android devices controlled as uniformly as possible. That kinda makes sense, especially now that we're hearing "Droid" may actually represent the name of Verizon's entire Android series.

We'll know more after Verizon's Droid event on Wednesday, but fingers crossed on the Passion. A beautiful big screen on what could be the first truly fast Android phone available. Verizon could get on a roll with this whole Android thing. [UnLockr]