Today we’re making it available to customers in the United States. Customers can order via Dell.com, calling 1-800-308-DELL or by visiting one of Microsoft’s retail stores. Like we’ve said before, in the United States we’re offering the Venue Pro with T-Mobile USA service. Also like the Dell Streak, this smartphone will be SIM-locked to T-Mobile USA’s network.
While we are not currently supporting it on other networks in the United States, we’re definitely aware of the feedback from customers wanting the Dell Venue Pro on other networks. When we do roll it out in other countries, we will offer the Venue Pro through additional carriers. Venue Pro availability and carrier details will vary by region. In some locations, we do plan to sell an unlocked version outside the United States. I’ll have a subsequent post on that topic to explain more when I have more details. I'm also going to work to keep folks informed on other issues they have raised.
Here are the pricing details:
- Carrier: T-Mobile USA, with two-year contract and qualifying data plan are required
- New Activation: 8GB = $99.99
- New Activation: 16GB = $149.99
- Upgrade Activation: 8GB = $199.99
- Upgrade Activation: 16GB = $249.99 Without Contract: 8GB = $449.99
- Without Contract: 16GB = $499.99
So what makes this phone cool? Several things in my opinion… the slick Windows Phone 7 interface, the 4.1” AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass for added durability come to mind… but one that’s really getting noticed is the portrait slider keyboard. In my limited time with one, I can say that the physical keyboard works well. And I definitely agree with Engadget’s take on the virtual keyboard—Microsoft nailed it. I can see myself using the slider keyboard for cranking out e-mails and longer texts, then switching to the virtual one for web browsing and shorter texts, or tweets.
Windows Phone 7 uses a different approach than compared to other smartphone OSes that you may be familiar with. Wired recently published a good post that shows how Microsoft started over with Windows Phone 7. I also think Walt Mossberg did a good job articulating that approach in his review. WP7 organizes information in Live Tiles. For example, the People Hub will show multiple ways you’ve connected with a friend—you will see phone calls, texts, and even status updates from that person’s Facebook feed all in one place. In my view (and Wired’s Tim Carmody), it’s the most seamless mobile Facebook integration I’ve seen yet.
When you look at the tight Office integration and other things like the Music Hub and the Games Hub that features Xbox Live integration, you’ve got a pretty versatile phone. Check out the Windows Phone 7 page to dig into the other hubs in more detail. Beyond all the Windows Phone 7 basics, other pre-loaded applications from Dell including PageOnce, Telenav, and T-Mobile’s Family Room.
If you want to read about the Windows Phone 7 experience in a bit more detail, here are a few others that come to mind:
- Engadget Windows Phone 7 review
- Gizmodo Windows Phone 7 review
- Ars Technica Windows Phone 7 review
- Anandtech Windows Phone 7 review
Dell Venue Pro Specifications
- Portrait slider with QWERTY keypad
- 4.1” WVGA AMOLED multi-touch display
- Windows Phone 7 operating system
- Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon solution with integrated 1GHz processor
- 3G + Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
- Bands/Mode: UMTS 900/1700/2100/AWS, GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900; HSDPA 7.2Mbps/HSUPA 5.76Mbps
- 5MP auto-focus camera
Thanks to all of you who have been waiting for the Dell Venue Pro. Feel free to ask questions in the comment thread here or on Twitter—just be sure to use the #DellVenuePro hashtag.