Dell introduced the Android-running Aero smartphone, calling it its first U.S. smartphone - a designation that puts the Streak in clear tablet terms. With an AT&T contract, the Aero is just $99.99.
The Dell Aero is now available on the AT&T network, Dell
announced Aug. 24. The smartphone, which Dell is calling its first in
the United States, runs version 1.5 of Google's Android mobile
operating system, also known as "Cupcake." It's priced at $100 with a
two-year AT&T contract, or $300, via the Dell Website without a
The launch of the Aero follows the Aug. 13 debut of the Dell Streak
- a "hybrid" device that in size and pricing is something of a large
smartphone or a small tablet. The Streak is also available on the
AT&T network, or unlocked at an unsubsidized price. With the Aero,
however, there's no second-guessing - it's a smartphone all the way.
"The Dell Aero is built with a focus on style and performance to
help people find new ways to connect with friends and express
themselves socially, supported by the nation's fastest mobile broadband
network," Ron Garriques, president of Dell Communications Solutions,
said in a statement.
Long and lean, the Aero measures 4.8 by 0.46 by 2.28 inches and
weighs just 3.67 ounces. By comparison, the Streak measures 6 by 0.4 by
3 inches and measures 7.7 ounces, and the Apple iPhone (still the
measuring stick for all smartphones) is 4.5 by 0.37 by 2.31 inches and
weighs 4.8 ounces. It features a 3.5-inch multitouch display (same size
as the iPhone) with pinch-to-zoom functionality and a resolution of 640
by 360 pixels. (Last comparison: the iPhone display, notably, is 960 by
Staying focused on the Aero, Dell has packed in the features usually
arriving on phones at twice the price. The 3G-running Aero supports
quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900MHz) and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA
(850/1900/2100MHz) networks. There's also WiFi connectivity - users
going for the AT&T contract will receive "free" access to the
carrier's 20,000-plus hotspots - as well as Bluetooth, GPS and assisted
Dell has included its own user interface on top of Android, and the
Aero ships with Quick Office, Facebook, Twitter and a number of Google
applications already installed. Facebook and other social-networking
apps are additionally accessible with a single tap.
The Aero also comes with a 5-megapixel camera with 8-times zoom,
flash, a dedicated camera key, and shooting and editing capabilities.
Also on board are a 2GB microSD card expandable to 32GB and support for
Adobe Flashlite, a full HTML browser, POP, IMAP and Webmail email
accounts, and Microsoft Active Sync Email.
Dell was recently rumored to also have a smartphone called the "Thunder" in the works.
also long and lean and running Android, Engadget reported that the
Thunder features a 4.1-inch display and an 8-megapixel camera.
Like rising smartphone giant HTC, Dell appears to have placed its
smartphone bets with Android OS, which has proven to be the
fastest-growing OS in the country. Dell's Mini 3 smartphone - the very
first phone offering from the Texas PC maker - was introduced in
November 2009 and debuted on Brazil's Claro network and in China on
Dell has not yet shared sales figures for the Streak, and during a
conference call to announce revenue for its fiscal 2011 second quarter,
executives kept the focus primarily on the company's commercial
business, offering little more than to express that it expects the
tablet market to grow, and that there's major buzz connected with
"Certainly there's a lot of excitement around Android," CEO Michael
Dell said during the call, "and we're participating in that."
EDITOR'S NOTE: The text has been corrected to reflect that the Aero runs Android 1.5, not 1.6.