Dell Venue Pro WinPho 7 smartphone
Does the business?
Review When the first wave of Windows Phone 7 handsets washed up on our shores back in October one handset was noticeable by both its absence and its form factor - the Dell Venue Pro. Now however it's finally made it to Blighty if only through third-party suppliers rather than from Dell itself.
Boardroom coup: Dell's Venue Pro
As far as looks go, the Venue has a lot going for it as its certainly is a handsome and well made bit of kit. Dell has gone all out to make it look and feel a boardroom quality item with a gloss black body, chrome edging and stylish patterned back. The bevelled edges and slightly curved screen glass add to its aesthetic appeal.
The look and feel come at the expense of size and heft though – at 192g it's very heavy for a mobile phone and the 15.2mm thickness will further help ruin the drop of your suit. Like the Palm Pre and Blackberry Torch, the Venue Pro is vertical slider, a form factor with a lot going for it if you want to swap back and forth between keyboard and touch screen while still holding your phone like a phone.
The backlit four-line keyboard features 38 hard plastic keys each with a slightly domed profile. Though a cold and little lifeless to the touch the keys have a pleasant and solid action when pressed. Being fairly compact you can reach them all with your thumb if you are doing things one-handed.
Keyboard spacing allows one-handed use
The slide action that moves the two halves of the phone apart is nicely weighted and free of play. The opening push requires a fair amount of force but I'd rather that than something that slides open too easily.
Next page: Update wait
Aha! I see what they've done... By not Fn mapping on the comma and period keys, they've had to forgo a + and a _.
I used to have Windows smartphones, including some of the giant sliders, until my gf read me the riot act and said I Iooked the geek with my suit hanging or jacket hanging down on one side, or a holster on my belt. Actually bought a shoulder holster (like a gun holster) that carried it for a while, but unfortunately twice people thought I WAS carrying a gun, so that got dropped.
Then I bought an iPhone, and I've never had to worry about how to carry a phone again. I think that is a point of view that manufacturer's are losing, as they begin to compete in a "spec war" on biggest screen size, largest battery, etc. Some of us just don't want to have to lug a big hunk of metal and plastic...
OK, can it do typical business applications?
Can I access the PDF-files on a Windows share, so I can read documents on the fly?
Can I open and edit Microsoft Office files from Windows shares?
Can I log into my desktop computer via SSH?
Can I execute Windows applications?
The point is, WP7 might be better than a lot of what's being offered today, however it's still far from useful.
Microsoft would have the possibility to just slim down Windows and port it to phones, adding an x86 emulator for standard applications. That would have had serious value in a business world.
It's not weak arms that are the issue, it's that when you put it in your inside suit jacket pocket it makes it look like you can't dress yourself or stand up straight!
Have to say...
Im a solid WM6.5 user and more recently have done Android too and they both are great, for various reasons, WM for its seemingly endless abilities and Android for its ease of use.
Then i Jumped on WP7 to see what thats all about, expectations very low i got to task with it, the UI "Looks" after all a pile of poo, then something happened that, quite frankly, flipped my whole idea of "Smartphones" on its head. I used WP7 for about a week and not once did i get the urge to mod the crap out of it, yeah i changed the tile colour a bit but that was it, i just dont have this urge to fiddle with it, it just works, does what it does and does it very very well, as mentioned on the article Sat-nav is a serious thorn in the side, and i'd like memory map to get their act to gether too, but is this microsofts fault? nope, these are third party apps, Bing is a pile of crap tho, which can thankfully be easily changed...so make that mod number two but that really is all ive done. 2 months later and here i am, and im not going back.
This phone looks the piece, having options in the market for keyboard and standard phones makes sence and this is a viable HD2/7 contender, by the sounds of it the hardware is probably the same too, just thought id get in there before all Anti Microsoft folk jump on slagging it off.
I am in no way saying its better tha anything else, it doesnt have the abilities of WM it doesnt have the looks of android, but its definitiely a broadside at Iphone and i think they nailed it....pending a couple of patches that is :)