Dell aren’t necessarily known as one of the biggest players in the smartphone market, but they still managed to be an early adopter of the Window Phone 7 operating system. That means the Dell Venue Pro 8GB had to meet some fairly strict minimum requirements, but how does it do as a phone when compared to the rest of the initial Windows 7 line-up?
The phone has a rather stunning 4.2 inch display, which is one of the largest screens offered by any of the phones running the operating system. Unfortunately, this can lead to the phone feeling a little bit cumbersome, whether it’s in the pocket or the hand. As such, if you are going for comfort over size it is probably best to look elsewhere.
Having said that, it is still fairly easy to handle and the slim design makes it much more attractive than bulkier phones that feature similarly sized screens. There is a little bit of weight to it, so don’t go expecting anything too lightweight, but it’s nothing that should cause you any problems and it serves to make the phone feel that much sturdier as a result.
The phone is also the only Windows Phone 7 that features a sliding design, which means you can just slide it up to access a physical keyboard. For those who don’t like messing around with touchscreen equivalents, or simply want to avoid smudging the screen with their fingerprints, this can be a great touch but it again adds to the overall size of the phone for people who prefer something a little more compact.
The phone has to meet the minimum specifications for running the Windows 7 operating system, so you can expect the overall performance to be as smooth as you would find on any other Windows Phone 7 device in terms of speed and the way that the phone handles the operating system.
The major issue we had with the phone was the slightly sketchy sound quality. It is most noticeable when listening to music, particularly if you are using cheap headphones, as there is very noticeable static in the background. This can’t be blamed entirely on headphone quality, as it is also noticeable with better sets as well.
It also offers a decent battery, with an advertised 7 hours of talk time, plus 14 days of battery life if the phone is left on standby. This makes it one of the better Windows Phone 7 offerings in this respect.
The phone comes with many of the standard features that you would expect, such as conference calling and a speakerphone, but it is unable to connect to 4G networks.
The camera is pretty good, offering 720p video capture and a range of editing options that will be great for the amateur photographer in you. Just remember that you are going to have to be wary of running out of space before too long, particularly with the 8GB model.
The Bottom Line
The only real negative is the sound quality produced by the speakerphone and the fact that there is noticeable static when using headphones with the device. However, these are fairly minor quibbles for many people, meaning the phone should definitely be considered if you are looking to try out Windows 7 and want a phone that is a little bit different from the rest of the offerings.