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Dell Venue Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Interface and Functionality:

Indeed considered to be high-end 6 months ago, its 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8250 processor is more akin to fit the mid-range market nowadays – but still, it’s capable of performing decently with normal tasks. However, its performance isn’t as responsive as we’d like mainly due to some presence of lag when trying to navigate between its homescreens. Beautifying the Android 2.2 Froyo experience, the handset is graced with Dell’s Stage UI, which is in use with the Dell Streak 5 & 7. Naturally, we like the functionality with some of Dell’s widgets, which take up the entire space of a single homescreen, but it doesn’t feel as practical for the Venue’s smaller display. Even though it doesn’t compete at the same level with HTC’s Sense UI, it’s an admirable offering from a manufacturer that is still relatively a small player in the Android game.

The Dell Venue comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and Dell’s Stage UI - Dell Venue Review
The Dell Venue comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and Dell’s Stage UI - Dell Venue Review
The Dell Venue comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and Dell’s Stage UI - Dell Venue Review
The Dell Venue comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and Dell’s Stage UI - Dell Venue Review
The Dell Venue comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and Dell’s Stage UI - Dell Venue Review
The Dell Venue comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and Dell’s Stage UI - Dell Venue Review
The Dell Venue comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and Dell’s Stage UI - Dell Venue Review
The Dell Venue comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and Dell’s Stage UI - Dell Venue Review

The Dell Venue comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and Dell’s Stage UI


Presented with an adequate amount of real estate, speed typing with its on-screen keyboards is no problem at all thanks to its tight responsiveness. At the same time, buttons are moderately sized to offer plenty of room to accommodate even the largest of fingers. Obviously, its landscape options are more preferable in typing out long posts, but you even have the Swype keyboard on board as an alternative.

On-screen keyboards - Dell Venue Review
On-screen keyboards - Dell Venue Review
On-screen keyboards - Dell Venue Review
On-screen keyboards - Dell Venue Review

On-screen keyboards


Thanks to its sizable display, there’s less scrolling required in reading emails entirely with the Gmail experience, which so happens to be feature filled of course like any other Android smartphone out there. In terms of setup, it’s the same usual process by providing your email address and password for automatic setup. With less popular services, it’ll require you to add more information, like server addresses and ports, to completely set up.

Gmail - Dell Venue Review
Gmail - Dell Venue Review
Gmail - Dell Venue Review

Gmail


Being an Android device and all, we’re treated to the usual assortment of Google apps, but we also find some third party ones preloaded as well. In fact, we find apps like AccuWeather, Amazon MP3, Assistant Free, Backup & Restore, CoPilot Live, Evernote, Facebook, Kindle, Quickoffice, TuneIn Radio, and Zinio Reader. Additionally, Dell’s presence is known on the handset with apps like Dell Video Stage and Dell Sync.  

Preloaded apps - Dell Venue Review
Preloaded apps - Dell Venue Review
Preloaded apps - Dell Venue Review
Preloaded apps - Dell Venue Review
Preloaded apps - Dell Venue Review
Preloaded apps - Dell Venue Review
Preloaded apps - Dell Venue Review
Preloaded apps - Dell Venue Review

Preloaded apps



Camera and Multimedia:

As a whole, the Dell Venue’s 8-megapixel auto-focus camera manages to dish up some sub-average looking shots. In sunny outdoor conditions, it does manage to capture a fair amount of sharp details and neutral looking colors, but, conversely, it fails miserably in low lighting conditions mainly because it’s riddled with hazy visuals and subtle amounts of noise. Sadly, the LED flash lacks any potency and doesn’t even remotely illuminate the scenery – even at 3 feet away!

Camera interface - Dell Venue Review
Camera interface - Dell Venue Review
Camera interface - Dell Venue Review
Camera interface - Dell Venue Review
Camera interface - Dell Venue Review
Camera interface - Dell Venue Review
Camera interface - Dell Venue Review
Camera interface - Dell Venue Review

Camera interface


Outdoor samples taken with the Dell Venue - Dell Venue Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Dell Venue - Dell Venue Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Dell Venue - Dell Venue Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Dell Venue - Dell Venue Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Dell Venue - Dell Venue Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Dell Venue - Dell Venue Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Dell Venue - Dell Venue Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Dell Venue - Dell Venue Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Dell Venue - Dell Venue Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Dell Venue - Dell Venue Review

Outdoor samples taken with the Dell Venue


Strong - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Dell Venue Review
Medium - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Dell Venue Review
Low light - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Dell Venue Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

3ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Dell Venue Review
5ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Dell Venue Review
7ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Dell Venue Review

3ft

5ft

7ft

Darkness with flash
Indoor samples


Regrettably, its high-definition 720p video recording is rather unappealing with its soft looking visuals, choppy 20 frames per second capture rate, and hissy audio recording. Moreover, there’s a noticeable amount of artifacting present when panning quickly or recording fast moving items. In any event, it’s not pretty by any means.

Dell Venue Sample Video:




Finding the traditional stock Android music player, it’s undoubtedly functional in playing songs – but don’t expect to find any glitzy looking visuals. Surprisingly, the Dell Venue’s speaker is seemingly deafening at the loudest setting, and tends to sound rather irritating too. However, setting it down a few notches makes the experience a bit more pleasant to the ear.

The stock Android music player - Dell Venue Review
The stock Android music player - Dell Venue Review
The stock Android music player - Dell Venue Review
The stock Android music player - Dell Venue Review

The stock Android music player


Thanks to its luscious looking AMOLED display, we’re able to enjoy watching a video encoded in MPEG-4 1080 x 720 resolution with no issues at all. Not only does it move swimmingly at a consistent rate, our eyes are fixed squarely to the popping colors produced by the AMOLED display – not to mention its sharp details too!

Video playback - Dell Venue Review
Video playback - Dell Venue Review
Video playback - Dell Venue Review

Video playback


For something priced at $99.99 with a contract, we’re thrilled to find a 16GB microSD card preloaded with the smartphone. However, if that’s an inadequate amount, then you can double it by switching it out with a 32GB one.


Internet and Connectivity:

As much as we love that it offers Flash support, the Dell Venue struggles at times to provide a steady web surfing experience to make it lovable. In fact, its performance with navigational functions, like kinetic scrolling and pinch zooming, seems to be strained when Flash content is present – but when it’s not, the handset swimmingly functions well. Nonetheless, setting the browser to “on demand” with plugins, its performance is much more tolerable to accept.

The Dell Venue offers Flash support - Dell Venue Review
The Dell Venue offers Flash support - Dell Venue Review
The Dell Venue offers Flash support - Dell Venue Review

The Dell Venue offers Flash support


Seeing that Dell also sells the handset as an unlocked model, this GSM smartphone is able to place voice phone calls in almost any location around the world. In the US though, it’s enabled to run on AT&T’s 3G network – with EDGE support only with T-Mobile. Much like most other contemporary smartphones, it features connectivity features like 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and aGPS.

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Dell Venue

Dell Venue

OS: Android 2.2
view full specs
Display4.1 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (228 ppi) AMOLED
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm MSM8250, Single core, 1000 MHz
Size4.76 x 2.52 x 0.51 inches
(121 x 64 x 12.9 mm)
5.78 oz  (164 g)

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