Dell XCD35 (read as exceed 35) now comes at a highly competitive price of Rs. 8000 and this is why I am doing this review even though it has been a while since this phone is in market. With new price tag of Rs 8000 buying XCD35 has a whole new meaning now. There are new comparisons to be made. Competitors of this mobile are not the premium phones now. Dell XCD35 now competes with LG Optimus One P500 (Rs 9500) , Samsung Galaxy Fit (Rs 10500) , Samsung Galaxy Pop (Rs 8300) , HTC wildfire (Rs 10400).
So why you should buy Dell XCD35 when you have such plethora of choices? Before we start reviewing this android smartphone and go into the nitty-gritty of the phone, you should know one thing. Dell XCD35 is not coming directly out of research lab of Dell. This phone has been in Europe for a while now. Originally this phone has been made by ZTE and it is being sold in Europe with a brand name of ZTE Blade (also known as Orange San Francisco for some reasons).
Build Quality and Screen Display
In first glance Dell XCD35 looks pretty plain and simple phone. Nothing fancy about the design of this phone. But Dell XCD35 does not look bad at all. It has smooth edges and curvy bezel. Device is not at all thick, infact this phone is one of the slimmest in its category. It would easily slide in your pocket and will feel light. This phone is just 120 grams in weight. Body is made of plastic which has smooth finish. Back of this device has a monotonous grey shade which is only broken by slight silver bezel.
Screen of Dell XCD35 is superb. It has got a 3.5 inch multi-touch screen. This is a capacitive touch screen which gives you a decent touch screen experience. The WVGA Screen has a resolution of whopping 800×480 pixel. This is a TFT screen with 256 k colors. This screen is capable of reproducing real sharp icons and crisp text. You will not perceive any pixels while using this phone.
Camera And Video
XCD35 has a 3.2 mega pixel rear camera without flash. There is no secondary camera. There are very few 3G phones having front camera that come under Rs 10 k. That said, the rear camera takes decent photographs. It is not the best camera in its category but it does job pretty well. Video capturing capability of this camera is just ok. It takes VGA videos without any lag.
Interface and Operating System
This mobile has 3 small buttons just below screen.These “Home”, “Menu” and “Back” buttons. These are physical buttons are soft and responsive when you touch them. Besides these there is volume rocker on one side. XCD35 has android 2.2 (froyo) operating system. This is a vanilla install and no customization from Dell of any sort. Latest Dell android smartphone do have some customized theme over android OS. Now many people will ask if this android 2.2 can be upgraded to 2.3 (Gingerbread). Answer is yes, but it is not officially supported.
Interface is a standard android one, and you get standard android keyboard. Though there is a secondary keyboard provided by Dell which is named as Touchpal. Touchpal keyboard has more options and its predictive text can be real handy while you are messaging.
Network Connectivity and Hardware Interface
This is a 3G phone which is capable of download speeds upto 7.2 mbps. It has got Bluetooth 2.1 and WiFi b/g . It has microUSB slot.
Memory , Storage and Processor
RAM of this mobile is just 256 mb and this is primarily the reason why you should not install Gingerbread on this device. 256 MB RAM is just not good enough if you want to play multiple apps at the same time or if you want to play a memory hungry game. Device has an ARM11 600 MHz processor. This processing speed is on lower side as far as other android smartphones are concerned. But keeping in mind the price of this smartphone, this speed seems pretty reasonable. You can do all regular activities like running apps and playing videos and games very smoothly on this device. 600 MHz will not be a major problem unless you try to run a real huge game or application. XCD has 512 MB of flash memory and 200 MB internal memory can be used for user applications. You can expand this memory with a microSD card (upto 16GB)
Specifications in a glance
- 2G Network GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900
- 3G Network HSDPA 2100
- SIZE Dimensions 114 x 56 x 12.2 mm
- Weight 120 g
- DISPLAY Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 256K colors
- Size 480 x 800 pixels, 3.5 inches (~267 ppi pixel density)
- MEMORY Phonebook – unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
- Call records – unlimited
- Internal 200 MB storage, 256 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM
- Card slot microSD, up to 16GB, buy memory
- DATA GPRS Yes
- EDGE Yes
- 3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps
- WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
- Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
- USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
- CAMERA Primary 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus
- Video Yes
- Secondary No
- FEATURES OS Android OS, v2.2 (Froyo)
- CPU ARM 11 600 MHz processor
- Radio FM radio
- Colors Black
- GPS Yes, with A-GPS support