Hands-On: Dell Venue
Dell had the Venue, its slab-style Android phone, on hand in Mobile World Congress. We check it out.
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The Dell Venue is a non-discript, slab-style handset that runs Google's Android platform. It reminds me a lot of the first-generation Xperia handset from Sony Ericsson in that it has curved sides with a flat top and bottom. It is clothed in shiny — but cheap-looking — plastics. It is about as vanilla as they come in terms of design and styling. Chrome and black. Classy, but a bit boring at this point.
The profile of the Venue is slim enough that it it will slip easily into a pocket, but those edges along the top and bottom might make their presence known.
The controls are mostly well-placed along the outer rim of the phone. The 3.5mm headset jack is along the top, and the USB port is on the right side, covered by a hatch. The volume toggle is on the left. The Android controls are represented by capacitive, and not physical buttons below the screen.
As far as the user interface is concerned, it is Dell's take on Android. Dell has made some very minor changes to the appearance of Android, mostly to the home page and how widgets are arranged and controlled. It's not obtrusive, nor does it get in the way of usability. One thing I like is that it places recently-used apps in a widget on the home screen, so you can always go back and jump into an app from that widget.
The Dell Venue is a simple Android phone, that isn't exciting, but it's not terrible, either.