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Dell Mini 3i smartphone ready for China launch

The Android-based Mini 3i smartphone will feature a 3.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 3-megapixel camera.

Dell and China Mobile on Monday offered up more details about the Dell Mini 3i smartphone, which will be going on sale in China later this month.

Dell's Mini 3i smartphone
Dell's Mini 3i smartphone Dell

The Android-based device, Dell's first smartphone, will support e-mail, instant messaging, and both MMS and SMS messaging. It will include Bluetooth and GPS capabilities and a Mini USB connector, and will accommodate Micro SD cards up to 32GB.

The quadband GSM/EDGE phone weighs 105 grams and includes a 3-megapixel camera with zoom, auto-focus, flash, video capture, and photo-editing capabilities. The touchscreen has a 640x360 resolution. Dell had already confirmed earlier this month that the Mini 3i would have a 3.5-inch high-definition screen.

Under the hood, the device is running China Mobile's OPhone software, a customized version of Google's Android operating system.

Like other Android phones, the Mini 3i will provide access to an online store, in this case, China Mobile's Mobile Market, where people can download apps, games, wallpaper, and ringtones. Users will be able to run different widgets on the home screen to keep on top of the news, weather, stock prices, and sports scores.

Dell said it has been collaborating with China Mobile for about a year on the development of the phone. The two companies teamed up earlier in the year to integrate a 3G data card for Dell's Inspiron Mini 10 netbook for the Chinese market. With more than 500 million customers, China Mobile is the world's largest mobile service provider, according to Dell.

Dell was initially mum on details when it first mentioned the Mini 3i about 10 days ago. But the company did reveal that China Mobile and Brazil's Claro would be the first global providers to carry its new smartphone.

Like China Mobile, Brazil's Claro boasts a huge subscriber base, with 42 million customers in Brazil alone. By selling the Mini 3i through both providers, Dell can potentially capture a much larger mobile audience than it could through any U.S. carriers.

Arriving in China Mobile stores by the end of November, the Mini 3i will shortly thereafter be sold directly from Dell. For those interested in color schemes, the Mini 3i will be available in Red Passion and Oiled Bronze--the image below shows the Red Passion treatment:

Dell Mini 3i smartphone Dell/China Mobile