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Windows Phone 7: Hands-On

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HTC HD7 Dell Venue Pro  

The Dell Venue Pro is the only vertical slider in the bunch of new Windows Phone 7 devices. It offers a similar screen size and resolution to the competition, but pops up to reveal a compact QWERTY keyboard underneath.

Dell Venue Pro  

The overal fit and feel of the Dell Venue Pro is pretty good, though the form factor increases the thickness of it somewhat. It was probably the thickest of the WP7 devices announced today. The materials felt good, and the rounded edges make it feel good in the hand.

All WP7 devices have the same three buttons on the front: Back, Home and Search. Each does what it says, and mimics the buttons' behavior on Android devices. The controls on the outer edge all felt good, though they are a little bit on the small side.

As for the keyboard, the buttons were a wee bit cramped, but typing on it didn't feel bad at all. I would have preferred to see some more specialized keys, such as "www" and ".com" but it wasn't difficult to interact with the function keys or shift keys, which are key.

The display looked great. Dell didn't spell out too many details about the display's specs, but in person is dazzles. The glass over the front is unique in that it's a curved surface. This could lead to glare issues, although we didn't have enough time with it to verify this. Dell claims it's ultra-tough Gorilla glass, which makes it the only curved example of that material we're aware of.

The Dell Venue Pro will be available direct from Dell later this year. It's compatible with T-Mobile and you'll be able to get a T-Mobile contract discount, but T-Mobile won't be selling it through their own channels.

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