Hands-on with the Dell Aero; well, sort of

CNET takes a hands-on look at the upcoming Dell Aero Android phone for AT&T. Unfortunately, it's not quite the in-depth look we were after.

LAS VEGAS--It's been a long time since we've seen a handheld device from Dell (moment of silence for the Dell Axim PDAs please), so you could say we were pretty anxious to check out the Dell Aero in person.

The Aero is Dell's first U.S. smartphone and AT&T's second Android device (after the Motorola Backflip) that will be available in the coming months. Dell was on hand at the Mobile Focus event at CTIA 2010 on Tuesday night with the Aero. Unfortunately, the company was apparently under strict orders by AT&T to keep the device turned off (boo!) as to not reveal the user interface and software, so we only get a feel for the phone's physical design.

It's just like the Dell Mini 3 , which we saw at Mobile World Congress 2010. The smartphone is incredibly compact and light; probably the smallest Android device we've seen to date. It features a 3.5-inch capacitive touch screen but it's void of the traditional navigation controls found on many Android smartphones, which is a bit worrisome. We remember it being rather confusing on the Mini 3 to do simple things like return to the previous page or home screen without those buttons.

AT&T and Dell will have a customized interface that will lay on top of the Android OS, and unfortunately, it looks like the Aero will ship with Android 1.5. All the other usual suspects are there, including Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G, and Bluetooth. The Aero also gets a bump in the camera department with an upgrade to a 5-megapixel camera over the Mini 3's 3.2 megapixels.

Though we wish we could have given you a look at the Dell Aero's insides, you can check out the photo gallery to at least get an idea of the phone's design.

About the author

Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.

 

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