updated 09:45 am EDT, Thu March 25, 2010
Dell teases Aero Android phone, Mini 5 tablet
At CTIA, Dell was teasing attendees with the upcoming Aero handset due at AT&T as well as the Mini 5 tablet. The Aero was not running, as AT&T didn't want Dell staffers to show off what the carrier calls unfinished software. The Mini 5 was running, however, and the preloaded apps and overall interface indicated Android 2.0 or maybe even 2.1 was running on the device.
Otherwise confirmed were the 5-inch capacitive touchscreen, VGA webcam, access to Android Market, Facebook and Flash 10.1 support. Processing power comes from a 1GHz Snapdragon, and the 800x480 touchscreen is sharp.
The MID will also have the ability to output 720p videos to HDTVs thanks to a docking port. A movie trailer compilation was playing on the device, and not surprisingly was playing very smoothly. Also mentioned was that the device's exterior will be highly customizable, like many notebooks from the manufacturer, as also indicated by a leaked flyer page from Dell last week. We were also reminded that the Mini 5 nickname may not stick around until the device's launch. Dell is also working on tablets of different form factors.
While the Aero was strictly hands-off, the handset shares its body with the Mini 3 for Chinese and Brazilian markets, examples of which were on hand and running. Unlike those two, however, the US-spec Android handset will have a 5-megapixel camera along with Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, YouTube and TwitPic integration.
The Aero will also share the Mini 3's 3.5-inch touchscreen display, and Flash Lite will be supported when browsing. AT&T will also let Aero owners connect to its 20,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. The device was surprisingly light, however, which is likely to unfairly hurt its image compared to heftier smartphones like the Droid; while it feels good in the hand, it doesn't have the reassuring bulk of some competitors.
Prices or release dates for either the Mini 5 or Aero were not revealed. A carrier partner for the Mini 5 is likewise not yet official, but expected to also be AT&T.