There’s been a lot of interest in our Dell Venue Pro smartphone that runs Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS since Bill first shared official details last month.
Today we’re making it available to customers in the United States. Customers can order via Dell.com, calling 1-800-308-DELL or by visiting one of Microsoft’s retail stores. Like we’ve said before, in the United States we’re offering the Venue Pro with T-Mobile USA service. Also like the Dell Streak, this smartphone will be SIM-locked to T-Mobile USA’s network.
While we are not currently supporting it on other networks in the United States, we’re definitely aware of the feedback from customers wanting the Dell Venue Pro on other networks. When we do roll it out in other countries, we will offer the Venue Pro through additional carriers. Venue Pro availability and carrier details will vary by region. In some locations, we do plan to sell an unlocked version outside the United States. I’ll have a subsequent post on that topic to explain more when I have more details. I'm also going to work to keep folks informed on other issues they have raised.
Here are the pricing details:
So what makes this phone cool? Several things in my opinion… the slick Windows Phone 7 interface, the 4.1” AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass for added durability come to mind… but one that’s really getting noticed is the portrait slider keyboard. In my limited time with one, I can say that the physical keyboard works well. And I definitely agree with Engadget’s take on the virtual keyboard—Microsoft nailed it. I can see myself using the slider keyboard for cranking out e-mails and longer texts, then switching to the virtual one for web browsing and shorter texts, or tweets.
Windows Phone 7 uses a different approach than compared to other smartphone OSes that you may be familiar with. Wired recently published a good post that shows how Microsoft started over with Windows Phone 7. I also think Walt Mossberg did a good job articulating that approach in his review. WP7 organizes information in Live Tiles. For example, the People Hub will show multiple ways you’ve connected with a friend—you will see phone calls, texts, and even status updates from that person’s Facebook feed all in one place. In my view (and Wired’s Tim Carmody), it’s the most seamless mobile Facebook integration I’ve seen yet.
When you look at the tight Office integration and other things like the Music Hub and the Games Hub that features Xbox Live integration, you’ve got a pretty versatile phone. Check out the Windows Phone 7 page to dig into the other hubs in more detail. Beyond all the Windows Phone 7 basics, other pre-loaded applications from Dell including PageOnce, Telenav, and T-Mobile’s Family Room.
If you want to read about the Windows Phone 7 experience in a bit more detail, here are a few others that come to mind:
Dell Venue Pro Specifications
Thanks to all of you who have been waiting for the Dell Venue Pro. Feel free to ask questions in the comment thread here or on Twitter—just be sure to use the #DellVenuePro hashtag.
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I ordered the 16 Gb this morning for $199, free 2 day shipping, with a 2 year T mobile contract extension (upgrade price). Thanks to Damian posting on TmoNews.com, I got $50 off with the coupon code FMQLSTFF34SVV5 (good until 12/2)
Hey Lionel/Dell, great news!
I was wondering if you have any information regarding the release date in Sweden?
You mentioned that you can't give any specific info, but have you heard anything? Quarter, or in worst case year?
I'm a big fan and i would really appreciate an answer as soon as possible.
Norberg: Unfortunately, I really don't have dates to share at this point. I will definitely make sure to keep customers informed when we launch in additional countries either here on Direct2Dell or at he #dellvenuepro hashtag.
I need a phone on the AWS 1700/2100 band but not locked to T-Mobile. I was really hoping that I would be able to purchase an unlocked phone directly from Dell and then connect it to a Canadian carrier. Your article says that "smartphone will be SIM-locked to T-Mobile USA’s network". You also say that there are plans to "sell an unlocked version outside the United States". If I am understanding this right and I cannot connect a phone RIGHT NOW to a Canadian carrier, please let me know and I will mournfuly succumb to the android devices available up here.
Will your reportings let us know if Dell ever has a Canadian release date?
@shayneneal: Thanks for the comment, and your interest in the Dell Venue Pro phone.
Your understanding is correct: Right now, you cannot buy a version of the phone that will work in Canada. As we roll out in other countries, I will definitely plan on writing more posts and will work to keep folks informed via the #dellvenuepro hashtag on Twitter.
Hi Lionel. I have a couple of questions that maybe you could answer. Is there a chance that the Venue will be available to purchase in other retail stores such as T-Mobile or Target? I would like to take a look before purchase as I do not live near a Microsoft store.
Also I do not plan on storing music and maybe very little in pictures on the phone so would an 8gb phone suffice? Do apps take up lots of memory? Thanks!!
Lionel, Does the Venue Pro (or will it in the NEAR future) have UMA or the ability to make calls via wi-fi, as do Blackberries with T-Mobile? I really would like to know soon, as I want to order one, but coverage out our home is frustratingly spotty (regardless of carrier). Thanks!
I've been trying to purchase this phone with new activation for the past two days, and I keep getting an error during the credit check phase of the activation process. Nobody in the sales department has been able to help me with this. This is beyond frustrating. Has anybody else had problems activating a new T-Mobile account?
Is the $499 version only locked to T-Mobile insofar as that's the only network whose bands it will work on, or is there an additional lock? I'd like to buy the Venue Pro to use in the UK on a network with the right bands (e.g. O2) - but am unsure whether it's physically locked to accept only T-Mobile SIMs.
@Jaimo: Unfortunately, the Dell Venue Pro is only available through Dell.com and 7 Microsoft Stores. I'm not aware of any near-term plans for that to change.
Regarding your question re: memory... no apps don't take up much space. 8GB will be plenty if you are not worried about storing lots of pictures, videos or music locally.
@hcxsystems: Believe the answer is no. I don't have a unit though, so will need to check.
@cb5555: We are working with T-Mobile to resolve an activation issue that is tied to employee discounts. See my tweet here.
Thanks for the reply Lionel! To be clear, the Blackberries use built-in UMA capabilities to make wi-fi calls, but, unless I'm mistaken, T-mobile also has Android devices that can now make wi-fi calls using an app (or update) that I believe was developed by Kineto. If the Venue Pro does not have the capability built-in, might I suggest Dell please consider something similar? You can check out the link below to Kineto's press release regarding the T-Mobile Android app. Thanks!
There does not seem to be a mechanism for transferring a number from a different carrier with this phone. I went through the motions of purchasing and when I got to the end I cannot transfer my number. I contacted Dell support and they said it cannot be done by Dell. Does one have to take a brand new number? Kind of a deal breaker for anyone running a small business.
When is it coming to india? And please release an unlocked version or tie it up with AIRTEL. I cant wait for more than a month though
I really like the look of this phone. one question, t-mobile is starting to make available "4g" service, why buy a "3g" phone? people have have to make two year commitment, 4g service will surely spread over the next two years. is there not that much difference? Is there something I'm missing?
I'm not trying to tear down the phone, but trying to understand.
Lionel, will the Venue work just as a WiFi device without the Sim Card installed like the Streak, or must a activated Sim Card be installed to use the non-phone functions on the device?