Dell is fast readying the Lightning, its new smartphone that would run the latest Microsoft Windows Phone 7 OS. The leak is perfectly timed, we suspect, to slightly cut down on the buzz about the latest iPhone OS 4.0 announced by Steve Jobs. And at least for the last 24 hours, the Lightning has replaced the iPad as the coolest gadget.
As you can see from the photos of the Dell Lightning here (revealed by Engadget), this mobile phone has a rare form factor: it is a portrait slider. You have a large touchscreen, paired with a vertically sliding QWERTY keypad.
Dell Lightning Windows 7 smartphone: Quick specs
- Processor: 1GHz QSD8250 Snapdragon processor
- OS: Windows Phone 7
- Form Factor: Portrait-Slider with QWERTY Keyboard
- Screen: 4.1-inch WVGA OLED with capacitive multi-touch
- Camera: 5MP Autofocus
- Memory: 512MB
- Storage: 8GB microSD
- Weight: NA
- Network: UMTS/GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSDPA/HSUPA
- Video: H.263/H.264, 3GP, MPEG4, WMV, DivX 4.x/5.x/6.x
- Audio: MP3, WMA, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR, midi
- Browser: IE (others such as Opera or Skyfire might come pre-installed)
- Connectivity: WiFi (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth v2.1 EDR,USB 2.0
- Battery: 1400mAh
- Misc: GPS, g-sensor, accelerometer, e-compass, FM radio, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, microUSB I/O
The Dell Lightning, according to rumours, is set for a possible fourth quarter release. The cell phone looks like a potential crowd puller for Dell and Microsoft. Technical specifications of the Lightning revealed so far include a 4.1 inch OLED touchscreen with a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels (that is just .2 inches less than the HTC HD2), a fast-paced 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of flash, 512 MB of RAM and 3G. The OLED screen of the Nexus One was a beauty, and is fast becoming the standard for high-end smartphones.
The Dell Lightning is likely to see an upgrade to 4G in a year. A 5 megapixel camera complete with auto focus capabilities, GPS, an accelerometer, compass and FM Radio are the other main features.
Those are attractive specs, and if we go by the specs and the photos, the Dell Lightning is going to be a massive hit.
Another interesting factor is that the Dell Lightning would come with full Adobe Flash support. If you remember, Microsoft had clearly said when Windows Phone 7 was announced that there would be no Flash support the new OS. So what has led to this change? There is an on-going Apple vs Adobe war over Flash right now, with Steve Jobs making it very clear that Flash would not make an appearance in either the iPhone models or the recently launched iPad. (Related story: When will the iPad come to India?) It looks like Microsoft has decided to throw in its lot with those supporting the introduction of Flash on mobile phones – and Dell Lightning’s Flash support is confirmation of that.
On the storage front, the Dell Lightning will strike with 8 GBs of microSD storage. Windows Phone 7 specs clearly state that users would not be able to add memory, so that would be what the phone comes with from Dell. A 1400 mAh battery would take care of the power requirements.
The slide out QWERTY is always better for faster texting, while Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR are available for connectivity.
Cloud-based automatic syncing and backup and remote management takes care of your data loss problems, and the phone supports MS Exchange email, GMail, Yahoo Mail and the routine POP/IMAP set up of email accounts.
The rest of it is standard Windows Phone 7 fare – and that means the Lightning would also have integrated XBOX Live gaming, and all the social networking functionality of the latest OS from Microsoft.
As of now, there is no information on the Dell Lightning’s price – but we expect that to be revealed in the next couple of months.
The Dell Lightning has definitely set the bar higher for Windows Phone 7 devices – now we will have to what the other mobile phone partners of Microsoft come up with in the next few months. Interesting times!
Here in India, we can expect Dell to launch this phone in the first half of 2011 – but a lot of that would depend on the success of the phone in United States. Stay tuned.