There are automobiles more compact than the Dell Venue Pro. And typically, when convertibles transform, they shed volume. The Venue Pro expands to the length of a small banana. But it’s perhaps the most interesting Windows Phone out there. It’s the only one with a usable keyboard for now, at any rate.
Surprisingly well balanced, once you stop concentrating on how gawky it looks and realise it feels pretty OK in your hands. Windows Phone 7 doesn’t really do very much in landscape mode, so the portrait keyboard is handy, and the keys are juuuust big and raised enough that the keyboard’s genuinely easy to type on. It’s speedy enough running Windows Phone 7, too. The Windows Phone software is still fairly dandy, though we’re long overdue for the next update with copy and paste and whatnot.
Careful weight balance aside, the Venue Pro is still a meaty, meaty brick of a phone. The back is covered with a cheesy texture that attempts to be classy in the way cheap Korean cars strive to emulate BMWs. The way the camera button’s set into the enclosure means it’s hard to press without accidentally shaking the whole phone, ruining your shot. The camera itself ain’t great regardless.
$US100 on a two-year contract [Dell]