Early prototypes of the Dell Thunder, Dell's latest Android handset, have turned up at Engadget's offices ahead of an official launch expected to be sometime before Christmas.

Although the handset, according to an un-named source (read someone working at Dell), was actually yanked out of the production programme back in April, that hasn't stopped the website having a good sniff around the handsets (strangely they got two) that were delivered.

What they could gather from their brief play, and it's worth pointing out none or all of the details could change before the official launch, is that its "completely curved chrome sides make it feel like an original iPhone in the hand, but with completely recessed hardware buttons that give the handset a touch of class and a gorgeous curved glass screen".

The phone looks to tick all the usual elements of a modern day smartphone - 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-USB port for charging and three buttons on the front; home, menu and search.

Around the back, Endgadget is reporting that it has an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and a 4x digital zoom, plus a bright single-LED flash right under the camera module.

Inside there is a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor and not much else, with Engadget suggesting that much of the tech had yet to be put in there.

The phones where running Android 1.6, but you just know that is likely to be 2.1 or Android 2.2 by the time it launches, if not they won't be worth bothering about from the get go.

It's clear that this is an incredibly early draft of the handset, akin to discovering you half out of bed with only your pants and socks on. While that gives you a good idea of what you are going to look like when you step out of the front door, it doesn't give you the full picture, just yet.

What do you think of the Dell Thunder? Will you be snapping it up if it gets stocked in your local mobile phone shop?

Let us know in the comments below.