A good-looking, sturdily built handset, the chrome-trimmed Dell features a slightly curved, super-bright screen and swish diamond-patterned backplate. Gorilla Glass protects the display from scratches.
A four-line qwerty keypad with domed buttons slides out smoothly in portrait mode, making this phone an incredible 162mm tall. We were surprised by this stylish handset’s dedicated smiley button, however, and that it featured a ‘ $’ rather than ‘£’ function key.
At a hefty 193g the Venue Pro is big and bulky, and makes its appearance noted in a pocket, yet it remains comfortable to use in one hand.
Although it isn’t as bright as the Super AmoLED version found on the Google Nexus S, the screen is sufficiently vibrant to add impact to the otherwise so-so 5Mp images and 720p video captured using the Dell’s built in camera with autofocus and LED flash. You get 25MB of free online storage at Windows Live SkyDrive, and are able to upload images directly from the Camera app.
Hardware buttons include a flush volume rocker, a power switch that’s useful for sending the power-draining screen to sleep, and a camera button. At the top is a standard 3.5mm jack for attaching your favourite headphones (although Dell does supply a set in the box); at the bottom is a microUSB charging port.
The Windows Phone 7 interface is pleasingly attractive and follows simple logic. The home screen features large tiles for accessing applications, such as Hotmail, various hubs including People and Pictures, and any other menu items you want to pin here. You press the right arrow to access the full menu – a list of all your apps (excluding games, which are grouped in the Xbox Live hub), as well as links to Settings, Alarm, Calculator and so on. The more you have stored on the handset, the longer and more confusing this list will become.