In the specifications department, the Dell Venue stands as tall as some of the other big names in the industry, such as HTC’s Desire HD or the Samsung Galaxy S.
It’s an impressive looking piece of hardware — very refined, aesthetically sound but slightly on the heavier side. The 4.1-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen sports a resolution of 480x800, making it ideal for viewing videos and surfing. Since it’s encased in Corning’s scratchproof Gorilla Glass, there’s no need to use a screen guard.
Offering Google’s latest
Under the hood of this beast running Android Froyo, is a 1 GHz processor and 1 GB of ROM. A drawback we noticed regarding the user interface was that the accelerometer was just a tad off its game, irrespective of overall speed of operation for most functions including very responsive pinch-zoom capabilities. Response time while switching orientation was not fluid enough either.
Audio too soft
Regardless of the handsfree kit, earphones and headphones you may use, the audio quality is not up to mark. The decibel levels are annoyingly low even in the quietest of times. While the Android app RockPlayer plays 720p MKV video files spectacularly, we wish the dialogues were louder. Dell does include a few, handy multimedia apps for the Venue, but all of them don’t make up for the low output via the audio out option. However, the built-in speakers are more than suitable for having a conversation.
3G and Wi-Fi are the modes of connectivity available on the Venue. Dell has also preloaded CoPilot Live for GPS navigation, or you can always stick to Google Maps (with turn-by-turn navigation) if required.
‘Social’ is a widget on Dell Stage that allows you to connect with either Twitter or Facebook, but not to both simultaneously. It utilises a full page for either — so you’ll end up using two desktops for both. The native browser supports Adobe Flash 10.1 so web browsing is a complete experience. However, Flash-heavy websites don’t run fluidly.
Camera with LED flash
Strapped onto the rear is an eight megapixel camera with an LED flash and a touch-to-focus feature. Settings include scene modes, effects and a panorama function. The image quality is quite impressive. Colours are well retained and details remain intact. The Venue can also capture HD video at a smooth 30 frames a second.
Low battery power
The Dell Venue can deliver over five hours of talk time. That’s not too impressive considering the price tag, but it’s better than average. On a single charge, you can use the handset for roughly one and a half days.
Bearing a price tag of Rs 28,990, the Venue could have been a serious contender in the Android space if it weren’t for its ridiculously low volume for multimedia. The speakers simply don’t make the cut. The bottom line though is that we’d recommend the Samsung Galaxy S for this price. It’s got everything and more than what the Venue offers and is available at nearly the same price.