• Dell

When you think of Dell, the first thing that strikes us is XPS laptops, not a smartphone. But those days are gone, as now we have in our hands the Dell Venue smartphone. So is the Dell Venue going to be able to compete with all those smartphones out there?

If not for its candybar design, this phone could be easily be mistaken for its Windows Phone 7 counterpart Dell Venue Pro. The easiest way to differentiate them would be the absence of a keyboard on the Dell Venue. The phone is a pleasure to look at with its angular cutouts and chrome trim plated sides. Measuring at 4.76 x 2.52 x 0.51 inches, it’s not one of the thinnest phones out there neither is it the most compact phone.  However, the design is classy and that keeps our mind off the size. The 4.1 inch WVGA AMOLED display on the phone gave us some jaw dropping performance, but more on that later.  On the sides are the buttons and ports you find on all phones, like the power button, volume rocker as well as the shutter button. Also there were the 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB port and microphone. What caught the eye was the dedicated vibration mode switch on the left side which is pretty handy when you are in a meeting or class. Flipping the Dell Venue brings our attention to the 8MP auto-focus camera with LED flash. The Dell logo that we are so used to is also found on the rear.


I’ll say this again, Dell just reminds me of XPS laptops and I half wished that this smartphone was like no other smartphone out there and was as speedy as one of those XPS laptops. Sadly though, reality hit me in the face and this phone is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and is aided by a 512MB RAM to make it a pretty good phone in terms of speed.

Running on the Android v2.2 Froyo is always not a consumer favorite since the more advanced Android v2.3 Gingerbread is out there making waves. However, as in our previous reviews, sticking to the Android v2.2 is sometimes not a bad thing at all. The Dell Venue comes with Dell’s very own UI that is Dell’s Stage UI. Although HTC Sense UI is still the best in the game, but Dell should be given a pat on the back seeing that it’s relatively new in dealing with Android. The widgets that Dell provides are –although not all – likeable. However, the widgets take up the homescreen in entirety which is not really a great feeling.  Some of the widgets that are found on the homescreen are the ones for music, Twitter, Facebook, contacts, recently used apps and mail. They were all great to use as mentioned previously and there were no lagging effects that we noticed with them.
As promised, now we shall talk about the 4.1 inch WVGA AMOLED screen in length as it’s what makes the Dell Venue simply astounding. With support for up to 16.7 million colors -of which I’m not sure how many you will even see in your lifetime – the display is obviously capable of producing images that are sharp as well as providing great detail. Although the screen is not that perfect screen that we have been looking for outdoor use, but its viewing angles are impressive. What’s even more impressive is the fact that the picture quality remains the same when viewed from various angles.

There’s usually not much to complain when there’s an 8MP camera built in with a smartphone. That was almost the case here when taking photos but videos were a whole different story. In normal outdoor shots, the camera did well as it managed to get pretty good detail from the subjects and at the same time giving neutral looking colors. However, low light conditions were a disaster as the pictures were just plain bad.  Plus, the LED flash is no good even at 3 feet away. Recording videos at 720p HD wasn’t at all a jolly ride with the Dell Venue as the low 20 fps rate added with the hissy audio recording just made the video turn out bad.

Moving on, we will look at the web experience with the Dell Venue. There were highs and lows that gave us a love hate experience. The Flash support was an amazing thing but how do we use it when it’s hard to get steady internet connection? As almost every other smartphones now, the Dell Venue comes with all the needed connectivity features to stay connected these days like Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth 3.0.

Last but not least, the phone performance. The Dell Venue seems to have a slight issue with call quality. Voices heard on both ends are hollow. Adding to that, the background noise and static doesn’t help make things better. How about speakerphone you say? Muffled voices cause the output to be less audible. Signal strength on the Dell Venue however was decent and no serious issues arose.  The 1400mAH battery was a sweet deal too. It goes the whole day without needing a recharge with normal use like making phone calls, texting, sending out emails plus web surfing. When it came to solely making phone calls, it lasted about 7 hours before dying off.


Pros and Cons
For a smartphone that’s in the mid-range category, it’s well priced. Adding to that, Dell has made an effort in coming with a beautiful and sleek phone that is Dell Venue. The AMOLED display was a highlight as well.

The camera was somewhat a downer. With video quality turning out horrendous and the LED flash not doing its job even one bit.


In conclusion, with the Dell Venue, Dell has come up with a solid phone that will definitely last and beat a huge number of competitors in its class.  Well priced and a gorgeous phone that works smoothly, it’s a solid phone to have.

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