Dell Venue Pro Windows Phone 7 Smartphone Review
Not too long ago, we took a look at Dell's Venue smartphone. A slate-styled phone with Android 2.2 along with the company's own Stage UI. But it's arguable that the Venue is the quiet brother compared to the boisterous Venue Pro. Those who closely follow the smartphone space will likely remember Dell's early ambitions, and while the Aero never posed much of a threat to any other Android phone, the Venue Pro -- once known as the Lightning -- always seemed like a formidable competitor.
At a glance, the Venue Pro looks just like the Venue. And specifications-wise, they're largely the same as well. The Venue Pro has the same 4.1" AMOLED display (800 x 480 resolution), 1GHz QSD8250 Snapdragon processor, 5MP autofocus camera, 8GB of internal storage space, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, GPS, an FM radio tuner and no extra microSD card slot -- an unfortunate staple of numerous WP7 devices.
However, the Venue Pro's dimensions are somewhat different. The Venue Pro is 2mm thicker than the Venue, thanks to the slide-out QWERTY keyboard that is included here. There's a virtual keyboard for those who'd rather not use the physical buttons, but having a keyboard could be a major selling point for those who may be interested in trying WP7 but are coming from a BlackBerry world.
|Processor and memory
||1 GHz QSD 8250 processor
1GB internal ROM, 512MB internal RAM
8 GB internal memory included (non-expandable)
||Windows Phone 7 ("NoDo" updated)
||GSM/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
HSDPA 7.2 Mbps / HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
GPS with navigation capability
||4.1-inch WVGA AMOLED Screen (480x800)
|Size and weight
||121 x 64 x 14.9mm
|Cameras and multimedia
||5 megapixel rear-facing camera with HD camcorder
No front-facing camera
Internet Explorer (no Flash support)
3.5mm headset jack
||Available for T-Mobile USA ($449.99 [8GB] / $499.99 [16GB] direct from Dell; $99.99 [8GB] / $149.99 [16GB] on 2-year contract)
Also of interest is the fact that the Venue Pro has already received the first major WP7 update, known as "NoDo." This update adds enhanced Facebook integration, copy-and-paste and a slew of performance enhancements to make the system smoother overall. It's also worth pointing out that the Venue Pro is a T-Mobile USA phone, and that's your only option, for now. However, the Venue Pro has slipped into the FCC in recent months with AT&T bands, so there's some foreshadowing that it could be available for America's other GSM carrier in the coming months (update, 5/16: it's available now on AT&T and unlocked!). Our test unit, however, was a T-Mobile unit. Is the Venue Pro tough enough to take on today's major smartphones from HTC, LG, Samsung and Apple? Is Windows Phone 7 a mobile OS that's capable of really giving iOS and Android (and webOS 3.0, soon) a run for their money? Find out in the pages to come.