In case you forgot about Dell’s first Android phone, the Dell Mini 3i, they issued a press release reminding us all that it should launch later this month on the world’s largest carrier – China Mobile. The last day of the month is exactly one week from today (Monday, November 30th) so judgement day is near!
Chinese Android lovers will have their choice of 2 colors – Red Passion and Oiled Bronze – and will enjoy the very iPhone-like OPhone experience. Much like Sense, Blur and now Nexus, OPhone is an open source platform built on top of Android’s open source code. Included software includes 139Mail, Fetion chat and digital maps for navigation, the 2 former of which I assume we would be more familiar were we Chinese.
From a hardware perspective the Mini 3i has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 3MP camera with zoom/flash/auto-focus and MicroSD slot up to 32GB. The verbage of the release makes it very clear that this is one of many pieces of hardware the Dell/China Mobile team will embark upon and in fact points out that the duo unveiled a 3G netbook earlier this year. Unfortunately the Mini 3i doesn’t enjoy 3G connectivity, but this is a complexity of China Mobile’s network more than this specific hardware itself.
For those interested I’ve pasted the full press release:
China Mobile Becomes First to Sell Dell Mini 3i Smart Phones
* The Mini 3i, in Red Passion and Oiled Bronze colors, will begin arriving across China later this month
* China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, serves more than 500 million subscribers
BEIJING–(BUSINESS WIRE)–China Mobile will soon become the first mobile operator to sell the Mini 3i, a sleek and slim new multi-touch smart phone from Dell designed to leverage the power, flexibility and applications of China Mobile’s new OPhone and Mobile Market platforms. Available in Red Passion and Oiled Bronze colors, the Mini 3i will begin arriving through China Mobile’s nation-wide channels (its authorized stores) by the end of this month and Dell direct to follow.
The Mini 3i runs China Mobile’s flexible OPhone open source platform, and includes the latest in popular entertainment including pre-loaded 139Mail e-mail, Fetion chat and digital maps for navigation. A large 3.5-inch widescreen creates a big-screen experience, making photos and videos bigger and more intense. The Mini 3i is also compatible with a range of consumer applications, e-mail platforms, and office productivity software.
“People today want to carry their lives with them – they want to discover, capture and share new content as they roam around the world,” said Michael Yang, vice president and general manager for Greater China Consumer of Dell. “We believe Dell’s year-long development collaboration with China Mobile will amplify those experiences better than anyone else in the industry.”
“This signals an important milestone in the long term partnership between China Mobile and Dell,” said a China Mobile spokesperson. “We are excited for Dell to be among the first manufacturers to introduce new technology based on the OPhone platform. We look forward to working with Dell as it brings innovative new products and services to add value to our customers’ lives.”
The Mini 3i is the result of a year-long collaboration with China Mobile and further illustrates Dell’s ongoing investment in smarter and more mobile products. China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile service provider with more than 500 million subscribers, teamed with Dell earlier this year to develop a new product for the rapidly growing base of mobile broadband users in China, embedding 3G technology in the Dell Mini 10 netbook.
With the recent launch of the OPhone platform, industry analysts are estimating that the current base of 180 million mobile broadband users in China will continue to grow at a rapid pace. The Mini 3i is specifically engineered to give those customers a smart phone that delivers fast, easy and fun access to the internet, e-mail, chat, music and video.
Popular Mini 3i Features:
- Entertainment: Access to China Mobile’s Mobile Market suite of services, games, productivity tools, wallpapers, ringtones and applications. Discover China’s popular Internet sites including 51.com, Kaixin and Renren.
- Customization: Personalize MP3 ring tones, icons and shortcuts. Run widgets on the home screen: sports, stocks, news and weather tickers.
- Navigation: GPS navigation.
- Search: Search contacts, appointments and e-mail from the home screen.
- Camera: 3 megapixel camera with zoom, auto-focus, flash, video capture and photo-editing capabilities. A 3.5 inch, widescreen (16:9), 640 x 360 display that’s ideal for viewing photos and videos.
- Popular Messaging: Support for the wide range of messaging platforms and services, including e-mail, IM, MMS and SMS.
Dell Mini 3i OPhone Specifications:
- Form Factor: Tablet/PDA
- Dimensions: 58.35 x 122 x 11.7
- Display: 3.5” nHD, 640×360
- Bands/Modes: Quadband GSM/EDGE
- Weight: <105g (grams)
- Micro SD (up to 32GB)
- Connector: Mini USB
I’ve heard a few people draw comparisons to the Palm Pre and I can definitely see the resemblence, only I think the Palm looked a bit more polished. How do you think the Dell Mini 3i stacks up against other Android and Non-Androids out there in the looks department?