Dell Venue vs Dell Venue Pro

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Venue is a pretty weird name for a smartphone, but despite odd naming conventions Dell has stepped from the world of desktops and laptops and into mobile handset territory with some rather snazzy devices. We take a detailed look at two of them here.

Form
Dell Venue – 121 x 64 x 12.9 mm, 164g
Dell Venue Pro – 122 x 63.5 x 15.2 mm, 192.8g

As part of the same range, and one being and enhanced model of the other, these two handsets are very similar visually, the Venue Pro’s dimensions are a little larger than the regular Venue but this is to accommodate the slide-out ‘BlackBerry style’ keyboard.

It seems very peculiar to have a slide out keyboard which comes out lengthways and is squashed into this smaller space rather than the usual side-on variation with bigger keys and more room, we’re all for trying something knew but as the saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke…’.

This does seems to be some sort of leaning towards the BlackBerry and ‘Facebook phone’ crowds.

Design wise these handsets both look fantastic in our opinion, very sleek, thin and modern, we’re all in favour of this visual style.

Winner – Draw

Display
Both phones feature 4.1-inch Amoled capacitive touchscreens at 480×800 resolution, the displays use toughened Gorilla Glass to resist and prevent scratches and cracks.

Other features for both phones include multi-touch, accelerometer and gyro sensors. The Dell Venue also uses the Dell Stage user interface.

So, virtually identical on display then, at least Dell is consistent.

Not much to compare here, both handsets have the same setup which is rather good, the Amoled screens provide bright, vivid colours with a lower than average power consumption, multi-touch is nice to have and Gorilla Glass means the display won’t be getting all scratched up any time soon.

Winner – Draw

Storage
The regular Dell Venue has 512 MB of RAM and
Clearly the Pro is the higher grade model here and the storage capacity is where this starts to show with a lot more available than the standard Venue model, which is definitely a plus point for the handset and pushes it into favourite for this category.

Winner – Dell Venue Pro

Processor
Identical setups once again with both handsets sporting a handsome
A very competitive setup with which will stack up well against other contemporary smartphones on the market, these will run plenty of apps, games and multimedia with very good performance all round.

There’s nothing to distinguish them from each other though so we’ll have to call this one a draw.

Winner – Draw

Camera
Well this is an odd one, you would think the camera would be an area where the Pro would get to show how it earned its extra stripes but actually the roles are reversed.

The Pro has a 5-megapixel primary camera in 2592Ñ…1944 resolution and recording video at 720p. The Pro’s camera features autofocus, geo-tagging and LED flash. There is no secondary camera.

Not bad, but nothing to make a song and dance about.

The Dell Venue, on the other hand, has a pretty impressive setup with an 8-megapixel primary in 3264×2448 resolution and 720p, features include autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging and face detection.

Again there’s no secondary camera to be found. Despite what we would’ve expected the Dell Venue has emerged as the better of the two when it comes to cameras.

Winner – Dell Venue

Operating System
Again, not what you might be expecting here, usually manufacturers keep handsets from the same range on the same OS, maybe not the same version but at least they tend to release a batch of Android phones or a batch of Windows Phone 7 handsets. Not the case here.

The Dell Venue is an Android based handset and runs on 2.2 Froyo while the Venue Pro is a Windows Phone 7 device.

While Android is great there is still room for improvement and we’re waiting for the next handset iteration with baited breath, 2.2 Froyo certainly isn’t the pick of the bunch, there were improvements in 2.3 Gingerbread in multitasking, the keyboard and the user interface which will be sorely missed if using Froyo on the Dell Venue.

There has been no official word from Dell as to whether they will offer an upgrade to get the Venue onto Gingerbread.

Windows Phone 7, on the other hand, is a great choice for the Pro, it’s a fantastic system and an absolute joy to use.

Granted it isn’t perfect, and the unusual interface design might not appeal to everyone’s tastes but on a phone with decent processing power and RAM like the Venue Pro it will run very smoothly indeed.

We have to side with Microsoft on this one and vote for the Dell Venue Pro.

Winner – Dell Venue Pro

Apps
The Venue has access to thousands of apps via Android Marketplace but the range of apps for Windows Phone 7 is increasing all the time, there is now quite an extensive range the Venue Pro can tap into.

Microsoft has previously said it is going for ‘quality over quantity’ with apps on WP7, which is nice in theory but from what we’ve seen so far it’s doubtful it will work out that way in reality.

There are some brilliant and very professional, tidy apps on WP7 but to say there isn’t any dross at all would be false, but then it’s not all flowers and sunshine on Android either.

Although the range of apps on Android is extensive not all of them are designed for, or indeed compatible with, 2.2 Froyo, being developed instead for 2.3 Gingerbread, even if from a processor and RAM standpoint the handset can probably run them.

There should be no such compatibility issues with the Venue Pro. Further to this the available storage space on the Venue means you’re not going to be able to keep so many apps installed at any given time as you could on the Venue Pro.

The Venue has sheer quantity on its side when it comes to apps on Android but in this case we feel that’s not enough, there should be no compatibility issues on the Venue Pro and there are enough apps on WP7 to find one for almost any purpose, plus it has the storage capacity to keep many of them installed at once.

Winner – Dell Venue Pro

Final Thoughts
Overall we feel there’s more to recommend about the Venue Pro, the differences between the phones generally aren’t huge as there is no difference between processing power and display and little difference in visual design.

The Pro is more attractive, however, due to a more up-to-date operating system, bigger storage capacity and the slide-out keyboard which is always a nice feature to have.

The Venue’s camera is better, but then if you’re after a camera centric phone there are better handsets on the market to choose from and the low storage capacity and outdated OS on the Venue make it difficult to recommend.

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