The upcoming Dell Mini 5 has all the makings of a great smartphone. It has a powerful 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, 3G connectivity, a multitouch touchscreen display, and the ability to last most of the day on a charge, and Google’s Android operating system. There’s just one catch: It’s kind of huge for a smartphone, thanks to the 4.8 inch, 800 x 480 pixel display.
You can hold the Mini 5 like a phone and make calls. And at 8 ounces, hopefully you won’t strain your arm while doing so. But it will look a bit like you’re holding a small book up to your head rather than a phone.
The folks at Engadget got a chance to spend some time with a pre-production version of the Mini 5, and they were pretty impressed with the form factor and performance.
But there are still a few issues to work out. Right now it’s running Google Android 1.6, which is starting to look a bit dated. And the Mini 5 has very limited support for video codecs… even more limited than other Android devices at the moment. Both of those things could change by the time the Mini 5 is available for purchase.
The bigger question is whether people are going to buy the Mini 5 instead of a smartphone, or in addition to one? Or would you rather just pick up a WiFi-only dedicated internet tablet with Google Android like the Archos 5? Archos is expected to launch two new tablets at CeBIT in March, including a 7 inch tablet and… something else.