Mar 30 AT 3:01 AM Taylor Wimberly 12 Comments

Disappointment: Engadget goes hands on with AT&T Dell Aero

We feared the worst last week when Dell announced the Android-powered Aero for AT&T, but would not let anyone in the media film an actual working device. What were they hiding?

According to Engadget, the Dell Aero was missing Gmail, Google Maps, and Android Market. We already know AT&T plans to lockdown their Android phones, but it was a shocker to read the carrier might actually remove Google’s app store.

Thankfully an AT&T spokesperson was quick to point out to Engadget that the final device will ship with the Android Market. No word was given on the other Google apps, but Google is beginning to place more of their native Android apps in the Market so users can still download them.

Engadget reports that the Aero is definitely loaded with AT&T bloatware which the user is unable to remove and they feel Dell wants to turn this device into a glorified feature phone.

Another notable feature is the combination of the back and home keys into a single button located on the side of the device. Users must long press for home and short press for back.

Some people have complained that Android is too complex for beginners, so maybe AT&T is intentionally dumbing down their Android phones to attract the feature phone crowed who are intimidated by smartphones.

Check out the video and let us know what you think of the Dell Aero’s UI.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Byron

    That shouldn’t even be considered “Android”. wtf was Dell thinking?

    • http://Website fryhole

      WTF is AT&T thinking? I’m sure Motorola meant well with the Backflip but we saw what AT&T did to that

    • Todd Sieling

      It’s quintessentially Android because it’s part of being open source that vendors are able to take and tune Android as they see fit. Don’t get me wrong, this phone sounds like a real non-starter, but it’s part of being open that people will do things you don’t like with the OS. Saying you’re not going to call it Android unless it conforms to your checklist would mean it’s a closed OS.

  • http://Website Nack

    Seriously? I think it depends on your preferences, 1st time I saw this last week, I’m sure reactions will be timid against this one. I know the bezel is thick, but for me? I think one of its greatest weakness is ‘it’ being tied to ATT. Opinions:

    Hopefully the next model will be different. (Dell Aero 2)

    • http://Website Ben

      I think AT&T is trying to either
      A.) Imitate the success of the iPhone by locking all its smart phones down the way apple does with the iPhone or
      B.) undermine the Android platform by massacring everything that we all love about Android….or both, which doesn’t make sense….but that is AT&T for you…

  • http://Website sinan

    It comes down to one simple thing; don’t be at&t customer.

    • http://Website Dan

      Well, my choice in not being an AT&T customer means that I’d have to pay for it myself, as opposed to it being taken care of by where I work at. So, I think I’ll stick with AT&T for now. I’d like an Android phone, but the offerings available now are just not very attractive. And no, I’m not going to fork out $500+ for a N1 when I can get a subsidized smart phone for free, so I’ll wait, and hope that AT&T comes up with a decent Android phone, or I’ll replace my iPhone 3g with the the supposed iPhone HD in June. Sigh.

  • http://Website Tom

    I really expect more carriers and manufacturers to gimp android until we don’t recognize it any more. It’s the sad side of openness. I think Google is going to lock down Android or fail falling victim to even more fragmentation – like Microsoft did with Windows Mobile. We’re seeing more and more of these gimped Android stories lately. disturbing!

  • http://Website Aeikozz

    Life without AT&T is wonderful. When people get these gimped phones hopefully it will encourage them to leave.

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