The First Windows Phone 7 Smartphone Leaks–and It’s From Dell

The very first Windows Phone 7 handset just leaked–but it’s not coming from any of the usual suspects. Yes, the amazing-looking Lightning is from Dell, of all companies.

Dell Lightning


Just when you thought it was safe to write Dell off in the mobile world, they come out with this bombshell of a leak, published first by Engadget. Take the leaks with a grain of salt (some of the images are clearly mockups), but don’t dismiss them outright–these look very possibly real, and very exciting. Check out this post for the leaked Android phones.

The Lightning maybe the most interesting of all the phones, since it’s the first real prospective Windows Phone 7 phone (man, that doesn’t get any less awkward, does it?) we’ve seen that’s more than just a square with three buttons. And it’s a bit of an oddball by modern smartphone standards, in that it’s a vertical slider like the Palm Pre. Some may say that’s a weakness, since the keys are smaller than a horizontal slider like the Motorola Droid–but I actually prefer the vertical layout, since my thumbs have less distance to travel to hit the next key. BlackBerry users should feel right at home with this layout, as well, giving Microsoft a chance to poach some more users.

The Lightning’s guts are damned impressive. It’s got a 4.1-inch OLED screen, which is huge–current Android 2.x phones (like the Droid and Nexus One) have 3.7-inch screens, and the iPhone’s is only 3.5 inches. The only phone with a bigger screen is HTC’s upcoming Evo 4G, with a 4.3-incher. The Lightning has a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 5MP camera, and will work with AT&T and T-Mobile 3G. Even better, it looks like it’ll see an upgrade to LTE, the next-generation wireless network, next year. Internal storage is a bit confusing–it has either one or two microSD slots, and will come with either 8GB internal memory or an 8GB microSD card. That won’t matter so much, considering you can stream Zune’s entire, massive catalog wirelessly.

Speaking of Zune, it’ll have an FM radio, like all Windows Phone 7 phones (and all Zune portable media players) and will possibly have Adobe Flash support. That part is really unclear–this is a launch device, yet Microsoft said Windows Phone 7 would not launch with Flash. It’s possible they mean Flash Lite, which is a cop-out (you still can’t watch Hulu). Still, the Lightning looks amazing, overall–if this is what’s coming with Windows Phone 7, we’re in for a treat.

About the author

Dan Nosowitz is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Popular Science, The Awl, Gizmodo, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. He holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University and currently lives in Brooklyn, because he has a beard and glasses and that's the law.