The crew at Engadget got to play with 2 Dell Thunder prototypes.  These are early prototypes so the final retail version could be significantly different.  Here are the main highlights from Engadget’s preview, for the full preview as well as a video, click the source link.

On the hardware front, the top and bottom of the device is coated with soft-touch plastic, which I’m glad to see manufacturers are finally adopting over ugly glossy plastic.  The power and camera buttons were apparently too stiff but hopefully these will be fixed before release.  Engadget reports that, “the [curved] glass is awesome” but the LCD underneath it completely sucks.  They guess that the LCD underneath is not the planned OLED screens and that they will be swapped out closer to release. Both were powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon QSM8250 processor.  Benchmarks showed that the Thunder performed slightly slower than a Nexus One on 2.1.  A 3-axis magnetometer and 3-axis accelerometer were found on both devices as well.

On the software side, one Thunder was loaded with Android 2.1 while the other with Android 1.6.  The camera app couldn’t be launched but most everything else seemed to work fine. All in all I think this looks like it will be a big hit, assuming Dell fixes the screen issue(which I’m sure they will). I wouldn’t mind having a WP7 device like this to compliment the Lightning that was leaked before. 

 

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