Dell’s Venue Pro smartphone had its share of setbacks at launch, but we really grew to enjoy the device once the wrinkles were all ironed out. The build is outstanding, the design is sleek, the slightly curved display is unique, the 4.1-inch AMOLED display is nice and vivid, and we have big hopes for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform. On Thursday, Dell quietly launched a new version of its Venue Pro smartphone, this time with T-Mobile’s 3G bands swapped out for AT&T’s. Beyond that, the device has the same great look and feel, the same great build, and the same affordable price tag — just $99.99 with a 2-year contract. More →
Lionel Menchaca, a writer on Dell’s Direct2Dell blog, confirmed via his Twitter account that Dell will begin rolling out the “NoDo” Windows Phone update to Venue Pro owners today. NoDo will add copy/paste functionality to the Venue Pro, and user should also see speed improvements within applications — thanks to some smaller performance tweaks. Menchaca said that Dell will update its Direct2Dell blog later today with a post about the NoDo rollout. Venue Pro owners, let us know if you see the update. More →
Earlier this week, BGR exclusively broke news concerning a bug plaguing several owners of the new Dell Venue Pro smartphone. Users reported an inability to connect their devices to secured Wi-Fi networks. Dell issued an official response to the report on a company blog Thursday morning:
We have confirmed that the Wi-Fi connectivity issue that was reported in blogs like Boy Genius Report and Ubergizmo resulted from a software glitch during Dell’s manufacturing process. The issue affected some of our initial phone shipments and was not a hardware issue or a Windows Phone 7 one. Customers who purchased Venue Pro smartphones on Monday or Tuesday (November 8 or 9) at a Microsoft Store and who are experiencing the protected Wi-Fi network connectivity issue also have the option of bringing your phone back to the Microsoft Store for an exchange, beginning at the end of next week. Your new phone will fix the Wi-Fi issue as well.
Dell’s claim that the issue was neither hardware or software related is rather odd, but the important news is the solution. According to Dell, affected phones were all sold by Microsoft Store locations. Users experiencing the bug should return their devices to a Microsoft Store location beginning “at the end of next week,” at which time working replacement units will be available. More →
The Dell Venue Pro, which became available on Monday, may be affected by a troublesome bug. According to several BGR readers, the new Windows Phone 7 handset from Dell is unable to connect to protected Wi-Fi networks. Affected users report that when they attempt to connect to a secured Wi-Fi network using the standard Wi-Fi utility, they receive the following message: “your phone couldn’t reach the Wi-Fi network”. Users report no such problem when connecting to unprotected wireless networks.
Dell has been contacted for comment and we will update this post with any official statement we receive.
UPDATE 1: We’ve now received reports via email that some HTC HD7 devices may be affected as well. This unfortunately could mean that the issue is a WP7 bug that isn’t limited to one particular handset. Microsoft and HTC have been contacted for comment.
UPDATE 2: Several readers have emailed us wondering whether or not hidden Wi-Fi networks are the culprit here. BGR has confirmed that in all cases reported to us directly, users were not attempting to connect to hidden networks. We’ve also gotten word that some Microsoft store locations have acknowledged the problem. One reader even commented that a helpful store in his area swapped out his phone as a result of the bug.
UPDATE 3: On Thursday morning, Dell issued an official response to our report. Dell’s statement doesn’t explain the three confirmed reports BGR has received concerning HD7 units exhibiting similar behavior, but at least Venue Pro owners now know how to handle devices affected by this bug.
In an interview published Friday, Dell CFO Brian Gladden stated that the company would be ditching its cache of approximately 25,000 BlackBerry handsets and replacing them with Dell smartphones. The news comes ahead of Dell’s Venue Pro launch, which is scheduled to take place later this month in the U.S. Following Gladden’s comments that Dell would likely save 25% on communication costs by dumping BlackBerry smartphones and servers, RIM has issued a response. “We find it highly unlikely that they will actually save any money with this move and far more likely they were looking for a little free publicity,” RIM’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing Mark Guibert told Dow Jones Newswires in an email. The company’s response is short and to the point, though it doesn’t really address the fact that BlackBerry devices often require more expensive data plans than other smartphones. Businesses that use BlackBerry handsets also incur additional costs associated with BlackBerry Enterprise Servers. More →
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Dell CFO Brian Gladden announced that the company would be replacing current employee phones with its own devices. According to Gladden, approximately 25,000 Dell employees will soon ditch their BlackBerry smartphones in favor of company issued Dell Venue Pro handsets. The Windows Phone 7-powered Venue Pro won’t be employees’ only option, however, as Dell will also soon offer Android devices to its employees. Beyond obvious reasons for the switch — Dell competes with BlackBerry maker RIM now that it is in the cell phone business — Gladden also claims the company will save roughly 25% on communication costs by eliminating the need for BlackBerry servers. Dell’s push to move people from BlackBerry devices to its own line of handsets isn’t just internal, either; the company plans to offer services to its business customers within the next two weeks that will assist them in transitioning from BlackBerry phones to Dell’s own devices. As to what Dell plans to do with 25,000 soon to be unused BlackBerrys, Gladden joked that the company is toying with the idea of selling them on eBay. More →
It may have come as a surprise to many smartphone enthusiasts — it definitely surprised us — but Dell announced what many believe to be the most attractive Windows Phone 7 launch option when it unveiled the Venue Pro. The sleek device features a portrait-orientated sliding QWERTY keypad, a 4.1-inch capacitive touchscreen, a 5-megapixel camera and the WP7-standard 1GHz processor. According to a PCWorld report, however, Windows Phone 7 users might not be the only group that can look forward to this slick smartphone. Dell is said to have plans to launch “a smartphone resembling the Dell Venue Pro” that runs Android. We would certainly welcome an Android-powered Venue Pro look-alike, but the news is all but confirmed for the time being. When reached for comment, a Dell spokesperson told BGR that the company has not announced anything at this time. More →