Goodbye, Dell XCD35, You Served Well
My first Android smartphone even was a Dell XCD35. I’d bought it for a $150, which, at the time, was an excellent purchase. I had a look at LG Optimus P700, if I’m not mistaken, which, although similar to the XCD35 in many ways, was inferior to the XCD35 in the screen resolution, so I ended up buying the XCD35, for a lesser price than the LG offering.
I’d used these Dell offer codes, rather, to save some money on the purchase, which brought down the price of the phone by $25. All in all, I was excited to have my hands on my first smartphone after a Blackberry. This was also my first ever touchscreen device, so there was that excitement, too.
It ran on Android 2.2 Froyo when I bought it, but soon after, I realized how there’s so much that can be done on these Android phones, that I looked at some custom ROMs to try newer versions of Android. The Android update scene at the time wasn’t anything to write home about, so I ended up rooting and flashing custom ROMs in 2 days.
While Dell had abandoned the phone at Froyo, I managed to initially update it to Gingerbread courtesy of CM7 from CyanogenMod. But soon after, Google announced Ice Cream Sandwich, and when CM moved to ICS, the CM devs left the XCD35 behind, as well. Nonetheless, there were some excellent devs at XDA and Modaco who salvaged the device, updated the GPU binaries first, all on their own, and then porting CM9, then CM10 and later, CM10.1 and CM10.2 – the Android versions being 4.0 ICS, 4.1 Jelly Bean, 4.2 Jelly Bean and finally 4.3 Jelly Bean. Quite excellent, actually.
The phone managed to run them all just fine, but it was showing its age. The low internal memory also meant that I couldn’t continue to use it for much longer, so I ended up selling it. I did get $50 for it (surprised? I was, too), but the money wasn’t what I was after. It would end up rusting (not really) in my desk, so I thought it better to give it away. The money was a bonus, though.
One of the best value for money phones I’ve ever owned.