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Absolutely gorgeous, but is that all?

Dell’s new phone looks good, but fails to make noise.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2011 15:05 IST

In the specifications department, the Dell Venue smart phone stands as tall as some of the other big names in the industry, such as HTC’s Desire HD or the Samsung Galaxy S, but it has its shortcomings.

It’s an impressive looking piece of hardware. 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 in the user interface is 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.

Soft on the sound

Regardless of the hands-free kit, earphones and headphones you may use, the audio quality is not up to mark. The decibel levels are annoyingly low. 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. GPS ready. 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 stick to Google Maps.

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.

Low battery power The Dell Venue can deliver over five hours of talk time, which is not too impressive considering the price tag. Verdict Bearing a price tag of R28,990, the Venue could have been a serious contender in the Android space if it weren’t for its ridiculously low volume. The speakers don’t make the cut. The bottomline is, we’d recommend the Samsung Galaxy S for this price. It’s got everything and more at nearly the same price.