Lightning, Thunder, Flash, Aero – Dell’s upcoming Windows 7, Android phones

It looks like Apple isn’t the only one losing control of its smartphones –Engadget reports that a slew of Dell handsets were leaked on Wednesday, including a high-end Windows Phone 7 handset (the “Lightning”), and three Android phones.

Leaked: Dell Lightning Windows Phone 7 Handset

The renders are pretty gorgeous, I have to admit–and the specs aren’t too bad either. Both the high-end Windows device and its Android equivalent (the “Thunder”) feature 4.1-inch WVGA OLED touch screen displays and, presumably, 1GHz QSD8250 Snapdragon processors, while the other two Android phones are slick and skinny at under 11mm thick.

Take a look at these sexy handsets (details and pictures below) and let us know what you think in the comments!

Dell Lightning

Platform: Windows Phone 7

The Dell Lightning is a candy bar slider that includes a full QWERTY keyboard, 4.1-inch WVGA OLED capacitive touch screen, and 5-megapixel autofocus camera. Internal specs are said to be a 1GHz QSD8250 Snapdragon processor, 1GB flash ROM with 512MB RAM plus a MicroSD card slot coupled with an 8GB MicroSD card.

The apparent marketing material Engadget got hold of suggests the Lightning will also have GPS, an acceleromater, a compass, FM radio, and…full Flash video (including video playback). Wow. AT&T and T-Mobile 3G support is listed. According the materials, the Lightning will hit stores in Q4 of this year, with an LTE model to follow by Q4 of 2011.

Dell Thunder

Platform: Android 2.1

Dell’s Android answer to the Lightning looks to be the Thunder: a touch screen phone that boasts a 4.1-inch WVGA OLED display, an 8-megapixel camera, and on-device image editing software. The handset is supposedly geared toward “creative explorers” and “affluent professionals” who want to connect seamlessly with their social network without losing any style points.

Engadget suggests that the Thunder houses the same 1GHz QSD8250 processor as does the Lightning, though the spec sheet hasn’t been released. The Thunder features Flash 10.1 for web video watching, along with an “integrated Hulu app.” While the Thunder will run Android 2.1, it will do so under the custom Dell “Stage” user interface.

According to leaked info, the phone will be sold in AT&T and HSDPA versions in Q4 of this year, with a potential LTE model coming out around the end of 2011.

Dell Flash

Platform: Android 2.x aka Froyo (due after Android 2.1 aka Eclair)

Dell’s mainstream Android phone is so sexy, you may not even have to hold out for the Thunder. Dubbed the “Flash,” it features an “innovative design with unique curved glass,” and is “geared toward creative-types”.

The Flash packs an 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7230 processor, a 3.5-inch WVGA TFT touch screen display, a 5-megapixel autofocus camera, and Flash 10.1. It’ll also feature 512MB RAM and up to 64GB of external memory via a MicroSD card. Dell bills the phone as being super-connectable, with support for USB, WiFi (b/g with UPnP/DLNA), AGPS, 3.5mm, and Bluetooth v. 3.0. The phone will be just 11 mm thick and has a target weight of less than 115 grams.

The Flash will be available (hopefully) in the first quarter of 2011, though it’s unclear as to whether it will be AT&T branded or unlocked and compatible with AT&T. While it will run Android Froyo, it may also feature the custom Dell “Stage” UI skin.

Dell Smoke

Platform: Android 2.x Froyo

Targeted at corporate consumers, the Dell Smoke is a candy bar style Android Froyo-running smartphone with a full QWERTY keyboard and a “price that won’t break the bank.” The Smoke will feature the same “Stage” UI of the aforementioned Android phones, and sets itself apart from other business phones with an elliptical, slender “non-conforming” style. At 59.8 by 120 by 10.5 mm, the device is described as “perfectly pocketable.”

The Smoke features an 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7230 processor, 512MB/256MB of internal memory with a MicroSD card slot that supports up to 32GB. It also has a 5-megapixel autofocus camera, 14.4Mbps HSPA, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, and dual-mic noise canceling.The Smoke apparently won’t appear until Q2 of 2011, but it looks like it will definitely be worth the wait.

Dell Aero

Platform: Android 1.5

Meanwhile, the Dell Aero that we’ve been hearing about may not be as fast or shiny as the other leaked handsets, but it has a tentative release date of Q2 this year on AT&T. That makes it the first handset we’re likely to see, which is only really important if you’re impatient.

The Aero is now said to feature a 3.5-inch capacitive touch screen (plus capacitive stylus for handwriting), 5-megapixel autofocus camera, and weighs in at 104 grams at just 11.7 mm thick. It has a somewhat slow (compared to the other leaks) 624MHz Marvell processor, but it comes with some nifty software such as QuickOffice, and support for Microsoft ActiveSync and Exchange.

The Aero also has a WebKit browser, Flashlite, and reportedly some sort of media player that will support music streaming and download ability. Dell does plan on updating the Aero to Android 2.1 sometime between Q3 and Q4 of 2009, though it’s unclear as to whether or not this will be an OTA update.

So it seems that Dell has invested heavily in Android (it also has Android iPad rivals in the works), but the sexy “Lightning” suggests it hasn’t forgotten about Windows Phone 7, either. Which device interests you the most?

Source: PC World

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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