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Dell recently revealed their new smartphone which is.. .not really that smart. Dubbed the Mini 3i, it resembles the iPhone is many aspects, from the rounded edges to the chrome plating at the back, bringing back memories of the iPhone 2G, along with the easily scratchable chrome plating. Seriously, those things seem to develop scratches the moment they are exposed to air. It’s as if you could see it scratching itself. 🙂

Dell Mini 3i

Anyway, the specs on the Mini 3i is not really awesome. The plus points are a nice capacitive touch screen, 360*640 resolution screen and 3.2MP camera with probably a few hundred meg of internal storage and a MicroSD slot for expansion should you (eventually) run out of memory. The downside is… that’s pretty much all it has. Not GPS, No WiFi, no 3G, meh. In Dell’s defense, the phone is supposed to launch for Chinese markets, which does not have WiFi (only a government censored version) nor 3G on their networks. Dell is currently considering whether or not to add GPS functionality into the phone or as a separate module.

Open Mobile System

As for the OS, the Mini 3i runs a modified Android system called Open Mobile System, although with roots in Android, some enterprising hacker could probably modify the phone to run on the real deal, rather than a government censored version of Google’s open platform OS. The phone will be launching ‘soon’ on China Mobile although pricing details have yet to be detailed. For the right price, it could well mean that more people will get to enjoy a true capacitive touchscreen experience, instead of the more common resistive touchscreen common in most China phones currently on the market.

Meizu M8

But of course, we are ignoring the giant elephant in the room: the Meizu M8. The iPhone knockoff boosts superior features including WiFi and dual-sim, with a nice packaging and application platform already mature in the market and can be had for about half the price of an iPhone 3G. Looks like Dell may have to price it well below the Meizu if they want to see people actually buying these units.