Dell Aero, the first smartphone from Dell was announced at the CTIA Spring 2010 show. We were waiting for its launch ever since its announcement but now we doubt its stability in current situation. We are very sure that the Aero cannot compete with the latest smartphones as its features are limited and is also slow compared to others. One reason for such slow performance is the user interface. The smartphone also disappoints with its price of $100 as if you can afford another $30 then you can go with the HTC Aria. If not, there are many options in this price range like the iPhone 3GS, Palm Pre Plus etc. If you would like to take an overall view about the mobile than have a look at the preview of Dell Aero.
The phone measures 4.8 inches in length, wide by 2.3 inches and is 0.5 inch thick. It has the usual weight of a smartphone as 3.7 ounces. But considering it as an Android phone, this is the sleekest ever. It is mainly constructed of plastic but gives a solid feel when held. You don’t have much color options with the phone as it comes with a combination of black and gray color along with Chrome accents. Upfront is the 3.5-inch capacitive touch screen that has a resolution of 640x360p. There are no physical buttons up front and hence it has a clean look. A normal Android phone includes home, back, menu and the search buttons but the Aero is void of everything. The controls are shifted to its sides. The power button is present on the left spine of the phone and just below it is the back key which also doubles its function as home. The menu button is present on the other side and as you guess, it doubles its functions as voice command.
We are not sure how many of you will be convenient with the phone. The lack of search button is a big loss and instead the Aero includes a universal search. The display is small but there will not be any problem in reading texts. Other notable features include the pinch to zoom, internal accelerometer etc. On the right spine of the phone are also the controls for camera and volume rocker while the micro USB port is present on the left. In order to use a headphone, you need fix the adapter that is included in the box. We are grateful that the camera has a flash. The microSD memory card is to be placed behind the battery.
Out of the box, you get an AC adapter, USB cable, 2GB microSD memory card, stereo headset, 3.5mm adapter for headphone and reference materials.
The Dell’s own user interface is very slow in responding but on the contrast it is extremely customizable. The main home screen provides all the basic information like weather updates, date, time and it also include a notification bar at the bottom. On top of all other home screens, there is a toolbar that act as short cut for browser, messaging, email, phone app etc. You can set up to 10 of those screens which we believe is more than necessary. The small size of the screen has resulted the virtual keyboard unusable in portrait mode. Using the keyboard in landscape mode is far better than in portrait mode. When you are about to enter any password, the keyboard automatically switches to alphanumeric mode which will be great if your passwords contains only numbers.
The Aero ships with the outdated Android 1.5 which is unacceptable. We appreciate the one click photo upload options but devices now are running with the Froyo (Android 2.2). Other notable features in the Aero are browser that is enabled with Flash Lite, hand writing recognition and video editor.
The phone includes all the basic organizing features like the Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi, 3G, GPS, voice commands etc. You can save contacts only in your SIM meaning that you can save only about 250 contacts. Each contact has room for several numbers and other details regarding the contact like birthday, email address etc. The built in player supports file formats including MP3, AAC, AAC+, MPEG, 3GPP, MPEG4 etc. The player has basic options like repeat, shuffle, play, stop etc. Internal memory available is 2GB while the external memory can be expanded up to 32 GB for storing your audio, video files and photos.
The included 5MP camera has flash support and zooms up to 8X. Video recording can be done at a maximum of 30 fps. Editing options include white balance, geo-tagging, contrast etc. Camera interface is pretty easy to use including one touch access to almost all the settings.
Call quality is pretty decent using the AT&T network. Using the speakerphone is however not recommended as there is a lot of background noise. Call quality is good when using Bluetooth headsets. We always suggest you to use quality headsets like the Motorola S9 and the Logitech Mobile Traveller for maximum results. Voice support is however not possible as it run only on Android 1.5. 3G speed is reliable through the country with decent download speeds. Web pages load in matter of seconds and YouTube videos take a few seconds a load but after starting there is no buffering.
The Aero has only a 624 MHz processor and hence it takes a lot of time for loading even simple applications. It is to be noted that most of the latest smartphones are loaded with 1GHz processor. The Dell Aero has a battery life of 4 hours talk time and standby time up to 14.5 days.