Dell Venue Pro Review: Aaron's First Impressions

Aaron Baker
member from Dallas, TX
Published: December 31, 2010

Overall, Dell did a nice job with the Venue Pro, and after an hour of working with it, I'm amazed at how much of a drastic improvement it is over the train wreck that was the Dell Aero.  The build quality is solid, the phone is fast, and despite some launch issues, it seems to run relatively well.  It packs the usual specs: 1 GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera, and Windows Phone 7, but ups the ante by offering a physical QWERTY keyboard and a 4.1-inch AMOLED display.  I've spent a day with it, and here's what I've found thus far:

  • The phone is aesthetically pleasing, and I have to give it to Dell - they did a nice job with the design.  While The battery door is texturized, and while it borders on gaudy, I suppose it's a change from the drab black back that comes on most of today's devices.
  • The 4.1-inch AMOLED display is very nice.  It's less washed out than the Samsung Focus, and it doesn't have the over-saturation issue.  The colors are crisp without being blindingly vibrant.  The size itself is nice as well; it strikes a nice balance between the 4.3-inch HD7 and the 3.8-inch HTC Surround.

  • The Venue Pro is BIG.  Really big.  When closed, it's the same size as the HTC EVO 4G.  Slide it up, and you're dealing with a giant phone. 
  • While I need to do further testing, it has some minor quirks that get under my skin. 
  • The phone comes with a physical QWERTY keyboard, and while it won't compare to a BlackBerry, it gets the job done.  It's tactile and is able to keep up with my typing.  It's a nice alternative for when you're tired of using the ol' on-screen keyboard, but in the 24 hours that I've been working with it, I've been so pleased with the on-screen option that I haven't really used it.  The on-screen board is responsive, and I was able to bang out several e-mails without missing a beat.

  • Like the other Windows Phone 7 devices, the Venue Pro comes with a 5-megapixel camera.  Picture quality has been good thus far; the flash works well in low-lit situations and thanks to the physical camera button, using autofocus is a breeze.
  • Call quality has been good thus far, and the speaker volume is great.  I tested the speakerphone on two calls this morning, and it's loud and will work well in noisy environments.  I haven't had the chance to take it to a T-Mobile dead zone yet.

Check out the unboxing, and stay tuned for more coverage!

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