CNET First Look
Dell Aero (AT&T)Dell has entered the smartphone race with its first release in the U.S. See how the Android-based Dell Aero stacks up to the competition in our First Look video.
Hey everyone, I'm Bonnie Cha, senior editor at CNET.com, and I'm here with your first look of the Dell Aero for AT&T. This android phone was announced back at the spring CTIA show and it's Dell's first smartphone in the US. So far, I've got to see and I'm not too impressed. I was hopeful when I first saw the phone since it's one of the slimmest and lightest Android phones that I've seen to date and even though it has mostly plastic instruction, they think it still feels pretty solid. Because of the smaller size, the screen measures just 3.5 inches diagonally, but I found that it was fine for most tasks and it's also pretty sharp, but navigation is where things start to go downhill. As you can see, the Aero doesn't have the standard Android controls below the screen. Instead, the back button is located here on the left side and it dabbles as the home key when you do a long press. On the right side, you get a button that acts like the menu option on other Android devices. With time, I can maybe get used to it, but overall I think it just makes using the phone harder than it needs to be. I would like having quick one touch access to the shortcuts and I really missed having a dedicated search key, and thus, Custom UI doesn't really add much either. You can have up to 10 home screen panels, but there are a very limited number of widgets. Also, that on-screen [unk] keyboard is pretty horrible. Unfortunately, the news doesn't get any better when you move on to the phone's features. First of all, the Aero ships running Android 1.5, which is already bad enough, but to make matters worse some of the basic functions are pretty limited. For example, the phone won't pull contact information from new various accounts like Facebook and G-mail. You can get only My Exchange Content synchronized with the phone. The phone is also pretty sluggish with just a 624-megahertz processor. There were slight delays when opening apps and it even gets slower when you're working with multiple programs opened. I've really wanted to like the phone and see Dell back in the mobile space, but compared to other smartphones out there, the Aero just doesn't compare. Even though it's pretty affordable at $100 with contract, I think it's worth spending $3 more to get the HTC Aria, which give you more features and better performance, or if wanna stay within the $100 price range, you get more added the Palm Pre Plus or the older iPhone 3gs. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been you're first look at the Dell Aero for AT&T.