Sometime back we reviewed Dell high-end Android offering – Dell Venue. This time we have put together our thoughts on the Venue Pro that runs on Windows Mobile 7.
The Venue Pro looks almost identical to the Venue. We bet 9 out of 10 people would not able to differentiate it with its younger sibling, however, with the presence of the vertical slide-out QWERTY keypad you can tell it is the Venue Pro.
As mentioned earlier, the phone is powered by Windows Mobile 7 and we admit that the new OS is pretty no-brainer. It is also one of the most user friendly OS to come across after the IOS. The phone runs on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor that we see in many of the current generation smartphones. Besides this the 4.1-inch WVGA AMOLED capacitive Gorilla glass display is gorgeous even under sunlight.
There are capacitive touch-screen buttons located at the bottom of the front face of the phone. These are Back, Start and Search buttons. The power button and the 3.5mm audio jack are located at the top of the phone. While the right side features the dedicated camera and volume buttons. The rear of the phone sports the Dell logo at the top and Windows Phone logo at the bottom.
The build quality of the phone is top quality, however as compared to other Windows 7 devices; the Venue Pro is a bit stout.
The Windows 7 mobile OS has a clean and pretty easy to navigate interface. You can personalise the interface of the phone by changing its theme colour, moving tiles on the homescreen and by changing the wallpaper. There is an on-screen touch keyboard as well if you do not want to slide out the physical QWERTY one. For setting up generic emails like Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail and others, all you have to do is just type in your email address with the password. Rest everything will be taken care by the phone.
The social hub in the Windows 7 phone is in the form of ‘People’ hub where in it integrates your contacts telephone number and Facebook status. For any smartphone to be useful and functional there has to be support for ample of apps. At the time of review, Microsoft had not launched the Windows Marketplace in India and hence we had to create an UK account to access the same. Unlike IOS or Android there are not much many apps and games that can be boasted of, but whatever we tried using were decent and functional.
The 5-megapixel shooter of the Venue Pro captures average shots. The pictures look somewhat hazy, however outdoor pictures look fine as compared to indoor ones. The 720p video shooting capability of Venue Pro is good. However, a gripe that we have is the lack of auto focus in video shooting mode.
One must be aware that the Zune capabilities of the Windows Phone are good in Dell Venue Pro. This is complemented by the neat Zune interface and the sound output of the phone. Thanks to the AMOLED display the videos on the phone look great. In terms of video playback, Dell Venue Pro clearly beats some of the best smartphones in its category. It supports playback of Divx, 3GP, MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and WMV. On the storage front the Dell Venue Pro is available in 8GB or 16GB capacity with support of expanding the memory using HD microSD card up to 32GB.
Connectivity and Battery
This 3G compatible phone, also offers connectivity in the form of Wifi and Bluetooth. The web surfing is a good experience with the phone. However, it does not support Flash Player 10.1. The Venue Pro is powered by a 1400mAH battery that gave us a battery life of around 19 hours with EDGE continuously on with moderate talking and messaging.
Although Windows 7 mobile phones have not much caught up in India, but it surely is a worthy contender to the smartphone battle. With Symbian going down and Nokia signing up with Microsoft for their Windows 7 mobile platform we will see a flurry of devices in the market. As of now, if you are looking at a simple to use smartphone powered by Windows 7, the Dell Venue Pro makes a good option. The phone retails in India for a price tag of around Rs.25,000.