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  • tipoo - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    The code names were cooler than the final names. Thunder, Lightning, Flash, and Smoke sounded awesome. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    I completely agree with that, hence the title. How awesome would it be to carry a phone called the Lightning? Woulda gone well with the HTC Thunderbolt too. Reply
  • aegisofrime - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    For some reason those codenames reminded me of Warcraft 3 Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    So awesome. :) Reply
  • zipz0p - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Yes! This is exactly what I was thinking - I actually happened to be playing the soundtrack myself as I was reading it, totally coincidentally. Good work Vivek! Reply
  • magicrog - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    I don't care what the phone is called - I have an iphone and to be honest the signal pick up is worse then when I had my nokia 6310 and battery life is awful.

    If it has a great name - lets hope the phone lives up to it.

    http://www.rogerlapin.co.uk/magician-surrey.html
    Reply
  • FATCamaro - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Lousy speed, lousy camera, lousy battery life, lousy screen compared to Android devices and iphone. Yet the author thinks this could be a winner. Amazing! Reply
  • Flunk - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    He says the screen is very good and most people don't care at all about the camera. If they did they wouldn't be using a phone because all phone cameras are worthless.

    IE really is a big problem but at least they're trying to fix it.

    On another topic, there are no IM clients for Windows Phone 7 because sockets support hasn't been released yet so it's not possible to write IM clients unless you're tunneling through a HTTP connection which is far from ideal.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    The screen is good - it's a little bit dimmer than the Focus and Nexus one, but it's not a bad screen at all. Battery life on the AMOLED devices really depends on how much white is being displayed on the screen - that makes a huge difference in how much power the displays consume, and in our battery life test, that puts AMOLED devices at an inherent disadvantage compared to LCD screens.

    Also, as much as I hate to say it, when I said winner, I meant relative to other WP7 devices. Which lowers the bar for a successful device significantly.

    Microsoft really needs to fast track their updates and get the second generation devices out as soon as possible. The faster they can gain back ground on Apple and Google, the faster they get some meaningful marketshare. Nokia will help with that, but MS shouldn't be depending on them, they need to get some success with the rest of the partners too.
    Reply
  • NoSoMo - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    I have to say, you guys could have done much better on the pics....I've come to expect so much more from ya..... Reply
  • VivekGowri - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Yeah, sorry about that. I had to rush the pics, so they got taken in non-ideal lighting conditions and such. They'll be improved next time around though. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    At least the R8 V10 is a much more interesting subject than the usual smiley mug Reply
  • VivekGowri - Sunday, March 20, 2011 - link

    I live right next to an Audi dealership, so my camera samples usually end up being of new Audis. Last time I think it was a 2011 A8, before that a TT or something. I try to keep it interesting :) Reply
  • earle36 - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    When this phone came out, it was THE phone I wanted to get. Love the form factor, love WP7. I went to the Microsoft store and played with it a bunch, and decided this was the phone I was going to get. Then, I started hearing about issues with the device. Camera issues (mentioned in the review), device crashes, blue tooth issues, wifi issues, engineering battery sample shipping with the device, SIM card failing, replacement devices completely failing, and so on. In fact there was a thread detailing the issues on the dell support site:

    http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/mobile...

    Some of the points are very picky, and the list has grown quite a bit over time, but there were really some serious issues. Dell has been incredibly slow to respond, but they did respond. What remains on that issues list is mostly "nice to haves", but I thought it was worth mentioning.... Also, a lot of people had terrible luck with the customer support...vague responses about timelines for replacements, fixes for the issues, and so on.

    Thought it was worth mentioning.
    Reply
  • BaronMatrix - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Have no fear. I have ZERO problems. I use the 4G and not WiFi but call quality is great with the included headphones and email is VERY FAST. I needed to get my personal email off of work PCs and this does the job PERFECTLY.

    The KB lets me type long emails easily with ZERO errors.
    Reply
  • Wizzdo - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    "I have ZERO problems"

    Can you explain in more depth the issues you are having with ZERO?
    Reply
  • BaronMatrix - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    It keeps looking like an O. Reply
  • Faruk88 - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Would have been nice to see a section on the phone's reception capabilities, like in other recent phone reviews on anandtech! Reply
  • TareX - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    An AMOLED screen that dim would be virtually unusable outdoors. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    While I still can't stand the UI look and could never purchase a WP7 phone on that basis alone, I love the hardware look of this phone.

    Brandon
    Reply
  • eddman - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Then you might be interested in Venue, if you don't want the keyboard.

    http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=3281...
    Reply
  • eddman - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    EDIT: "if the lack of keyboard isn't a problem for you." Reply
  • takumsawsherman - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    More importantly, there seems to be no point in buying this phone. What would make it compelling? WP7? Big and bulky? Poor battery life? Camera that sucks? Few apps? No successful history? Made by a company that specializes in making poor quality computers that are a sad attempt at "Me, too"? Why don't you just buy a Dell Adamo while you're at it.

    Give me a good Android or iPhone, and I will be fine. I don't think someone can survive on a "Venue Pro". What exactly is a "Venue Pro", anyway? Even the name sucks.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Hmm, I actually have an Adamo...This might explain a lot. What I will say is that Dell can turn out some really well designed, high quality devices when they try. Unfortunately, only about one in ten Dell products are actually designed at that level, but the ones that are generally are quite nice. The Venue/Venue Pro is one of them.

    The camera isn't any better or worse than the other WP7 devices, most smartphones are pretty close these days as far as camera quality goes. Good pictures in well lit settings, terrible low light pictures, passable video camera. Other than the stuff about the camera button, I could have basically copied/pasted that section right out of my last smartphone review.

    If you're looking for a WP7 device, this has some compelling features, namely the keyboard and design/build. Most of the WP7-related issues will go away over time (look how far Android has come in the last 18 months - Microsoft has the money and developers to do something similar).
    Reply
  • neogodless - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    I've had the phone a week. I love the screen. I do agree it's a tad too dim for some outdoor activities, although, that's usually only a problem if I'm trying to walk while using it. The screen is also a huge magnet for smudges. I'm considering trying out a protector.

    My 8GB unit has been very stable. The camera is very tricky to use - I'd love to see a software shutter release in the future. The power button is a little hard to get to, but a quick quarter slide open/close is kind of nice for seeing if there's anything new. And seeing updates fed to the lock screen means you don't have to go any further (unless you want to check out live tiles.) The apps I've used generally load pretty fast. Facebook app is unimpressive but workable. Kindle is awesome. Haven't tested Netflix yet. I like the games (Bubble Birds and Ice Balls are neat to play with.)

    Really love the Gmail and Outlook email interfaces. And also love Office. Mostly just use OneNote for jotting things down.

    The browser seems just great for anything I've used it for, which I guess hasn't been anything too fancy.

    Love all the Zune stuff. Never had a Zune... really love the music player, the marketplace integration, and I like how you can use it as an MP3 player, tap a volume button and then pause or skip tracks. And the top audio jack is nice for sitting the phone in the car (though if I have to plug in a USB cord for longer trips on the bottom, that will be much less ideal!)

    Here's a list I made for a friend that asked about it (this was after 2 days use.)

    Minor annoyances
    • No way to sync Facebook calendar/events with main calendar as of yet (can view them from Facebook App though)
    • Copy/paste not supported… supposed to be here THIS WEEK though
    o (also can’t forward OneNote files or share them in any way, so lack of Copy/Paste a bummer for that purpose…)
    • Doesn’t charge very well from computer/USB – if battery is critically low, doesn’t charge at all. Does charge fine from wall charger
    o Battery life is pretty bad so far, though I’ve been using the phone a lot…
    • Physical keyboard… is kind of a waste of space for me, touch screen keyboard is actually great, and my fingers are HUGE
    • Poor t-mobile signal at my house, and unlike blackberry and some newer Androids, doesn’t support UMA or WiFi calling (does support WiFi for all data services though)
    • Have to slide open a bit or hit power button to light up screen, no notification LEDs, so have to do this to check for updates
    • Facebook Messages aren’t integrated, have to open Facebook App
    • Camera pretty bad in less than ideal lighting, button a little hard to press, too.

    Things I like or love
    • Everything is so smooth
    • Tons of high quality free apps and games
    • Tons of ways to access free music / streaming radios (even an FM radio built in, though you need headphones, but then, duh)
    • Love the Email and Texting interfaces
    • Actually like having work email and calendar on here, it’s unobtrusive and helps me get to my meetings on time
    Reply
  • neogodless - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Corrections:
    You can email OneNote files. You may have to exit completely, then re-open so you are only in "View" mode, not "Edit' mode - you'll have Pin and Email icons.
    Battery Life has been pretty good now that I don't play with the phone every waking moment.
    It does charge OK though slowly from a USB port, but you can't let the battery get to "critically low" or you'll need the wall charger.
    Wait, when is Copy/Paste getting here?

    A little nuisance I found today was that I have some friends with multiple phone numbers... there was no way to see which one they used to text me, so I had to play around a little to figure out which one they use for that. Can't say that's a typical use case, though.

    And it would be nice to start seeing more apps released by companies... banks, fuelly.com, etc... hopefully it will come with popularity. I'm hoping to learn how to write my own in the meantime... especially if they provide open APIs :)
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    That update was supposed to be there at the end of Jan, middle of Feb, beginning of March. I'll believe it when I see it. Reply
  • mados123 - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Now if they could just have the DELL logo less obvious - maybe just remove the outer circle. Reply
  • BaronMatrix - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    and it's better than EVERY one of my friends' phone (Android or IPhone). The Keyboard is so smooth I can type FAST. I DO hate that it doesn't allow you to go back without deleting text, but you can use the suggestions.
    The MP3 player is great - not as good as a dedicated one but MP3 players won't let you track yourself on a map.

    Texting is a JOY. It's SUPER-EASY to get to any apps. The People Hub pays for the whole phone. It allows you to add all of your contacts from Facebook, Live, Yahoo in one place. Selecting emails and phone numbers is so easy you don't need Copy and Paste.

    The Phone is VERY FAST opening the apps I use - haven't gotten any new ones. The animations are super smooth.

    Silverlight is the best platform for visual computing as it's easy to program and does everything that Flash AND JavaScript do using a high level language.

    MS doesn't always do it right but they did this time.

    Anyone looking for a first phone - GET THIS. Anyone unhappy or even happy with their existing phone - GET THIS. if they really improve the speed, it will dust off Android and iOS.

    IOW - GET THIS PHONE. You'll thank yourself.
    Reply
  • halcyon - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    1. Last year's CPU and really tired GPU
    2. Performance that is sub-par against the best of breed - from last year
    3. Battery life that is not up there for a hard core use business phone
    4. Windows Phone 7, which is still so behind and needs the Mango update to start to shine

    Pass. Thanks for the right form factor Dell, pity about the wrong selection of innards (hw) and the OS (WP7).

    Maybe the next iteration, with Android, please.
    Reply
  • monty1854 - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - link

    Hi I am from India and I had recently bought the Dell Venue Pro with NO-DO update the problem which is not mentioned in this review is that the 16GB variant has issues of hanging up Freezing and even rebooting this is by far the worst performing phone I have come across. I had mailed this to Michael Dell directly and after which a replacement unit was arranged even that had similar issues i have posted videos of this on youtube.http://www.youtube.com/user/monty1854#p/a/u/1/WvdU... Please post the real review Reply
  • cj100570 - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - link

    Although I'm currently firmly entrenched in the Android camp I've historically been a Windows Mobile user and have owned numerous WinMo devices. I've used a WP7 device extensively and I think MS made way too many sacrifices with the platform and has done a lousy job at selling it to the public. The Venue is a very nice phone but ultimately it's doomed to failure because of WP7. Dell should have thrown WebOS or Android onto this fabulous piece of plastic and metal. Reply
  • Crono - Thursday, March 17, 2011 - link

    I've named my phone "Lightning" under Zune.

    Though not entirely original, they really should have kept that name, like they did "Streak" for their tablet.
    Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, March 17, 2011 - link

    i think it's a stretch to call WP7 a first effort for microsoft mobile.

    but i guess it sounds too sarcastic to congratulate them for finally getting it right, huh?
    Reply
  • synaesthetic - Sunday, March 20, 2011 - link

    I don't understand this.

    Smartphone keyboards are hard enough to use landscape. Why voluntarily make them EVEN SMALLER?
    Reply
  • SkuLLyRT - Saturday, March 26, 2011 - link

    I've had my 16GB DVP for 2 weeks, and it has crashed while downloading/streaming things off WiFi almost every time. I get at least 2-3 crashes a day, easily. From reading the Dell / XDA forums, I'm not alone.

    You didn't encounter anything like that during your time with the review unit?
    Reply
  • crisscross - Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - link

    How can you do a review of a phone and yet write nothing on the phone's talktime, reception or speakers? Reply

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