dell venue pro

Just when you thought the Dell Venue Pro was being relegated to being a Wikipedia page, it looks like the Windows Phone with a bottom slide keyboard is making one more swan song.  We received a tip that the unlocked, unbranded Dell Venue Pro was getting updated to Windows Phone 7.8 and sure enough, it is!  

It was a pleasant surprise seeing this old, no longer in production, Windows Phone getting the update.  The Dell Venue Pro joined the HTC Arrive and LG Quantum as the only Windows Phone with a slide out keyboard.  The Dell Venue Pro is a decent Windows Phone and it's a shame the other devices aren't getting the same level of attention.

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It’s been a little over two years since Windows Phone landed in the market. One of the first devices at that time was from Dell. The Venue Pro was one of the most unique handsets at launch, it was the only device with a portrait-oriented slide out QWERTY keyboard. That device had a small, loyal fan base for being really great at pounding out emails the old way. If you were hoping for Dell to release a follow up to that stoic phone, it’s time to move on as Dell has no plans to reenter the smartphone market.

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TechSoup, a nonprofit organisation offering technological assistance to other nonprofits, is offering the discontinued Dell Venue Pro Windows Phone to nonprofit organisations for just $31 through the Dell donation programme. The device itself is locked to AT&T, but TechSoup have since enabled those who make a purchase to unlock the device for use with other operators with GSM networks.

The Venue Pro is a unique Windows Phone as it sports a QWERTY keyboard that slides out from beneath the display (as opposed to sidewards like the HTC Arrive and other smartphones). We reviewed the Venue Pro favourably with its solid feel and great display. Sporting a 4.1" AMOLED screen, 1Ghz chip, 16GB storage, and a 1400mAh battery makes it worthy of heavy usage. 

If you're interested in purchasing a Venue Pro or two from TechSoup and introduce a nonprofit to Windows Phone, be sure to head on over to the product page for more information. Once purchased, the Venue Pro can be unlocked by entering the IMEI number on TechSoup's website.

Source: TechSoup; thanks, Aaron, for the heads up!

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While the Dell Venue Pro has been discontinued, we were surprised to see the Windows Phone receive the 8107 update pushed out to the phone.  It was equally surprising today to see the Tango update hit the unlocked Venue Pro. While forcing the Tango update on the Samsung Focus S, we connected the Dell Venue Pro up to the computer and sure enough, the update notices appeared on the screen.

There was no need to force the Venue Pro to recognize the update and the previous updates to Tango (7740, 8107, etc) were installed first. Needless to say, it has been a while since my Venue Pro had seen the light of day...

When all was said and done the OS version on the Dell Windows Phone is 7.10.8773.98 and the firmware version is 2250.1800.7720.219. Because the process dealt with several updates, for me, the entire process ran about ninety minutes. If you have been using your Dell Venue Pro more regularly than I, the process may be shorter.

The Dell Venue Pro is a decent Windows Phone (still can't get used to the buttons) and it's nice to see the Venue Pro getting a little update attention.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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For those hoping for a sequel to the Dell Venue Pro Windows Phone, the stars don't seem to be in your favor. In a recent interview with Forbes, Michael Dell re-affirmed his companies position discontinue smartphone sales and development.

But what would it take to get Dell back into the smartphone business? When asked, Dell's response was,

"If the market changes so that a vendor like Dell can compete with smartphones more successfully we’ll likely reenter but, until then, our focus is going to be on managing, securing, and keeping these devices fed."

While conditions may develop to see Dell re-enter the smartphone market, there's no telling what OS they would choose. On the plus side, Dell thinks Windows 8 is exciting and we can expect to see a lot of activity when Windows 8 becomes available.

Seeing that Dell is enthusiastic about Windows 8, could we eventually see a Windows Phone 8 device from Dell?  Or should Dell concentrate on computers and tables, leaving the Windows Phones to others?

Source: Forbes; Thanks, Tryggr, for the tip!

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Fare thee well, Dell Venue Pro.  That's right, Dell has discontinued sales of the vertical-sliding Windows Phone handset in the United States, along with the rest of its smartphones, effective immediately.  The smartphones have been removed from the website for users in the U.S., but will continue to be sold in Japan, India and China. 

PC World reports that Dell has decided to shift its focus to emerging markets and higher-margin items.  A Dell spokesperson told them that the smartphones had run their course saying, "mobility products have shorter lifecycles than laptops and desktops."  He said that Dell will be offering new mobile products later in 2012, but did not specify whether that would include smartphones.

The Venue and Venue Pro join a long list of other mobile devices, like the Streak line of tablets and any number of netbooks that have seen their last days.  They have been unable to keep pace with the plethora of consumer-minded manufacturers and has chosen to focus instead on enterprise-based mobile devices that can be used for both work and home.

So... will Dell be missed?

Source: PCWorld; Via: Business Insider

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Looks like Buy.com merchants are starting to get a little WP7-happy.  First, we saw the Samsung Focus on sale for a cool $215, and now you can find the unlocked Dell Venue Pro for a low $269.  This is nearly 30% less than its usual $379 and $30 less than Dell's own website.  The DVP is the only Windows Phone with a vertical-sliding QWERTY keyboard.   And...Dell just released the 8107 OS update, so what's stopping you?!

Source: Buy.com; Thanks for the tip, santacruz20000!

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In what is undoubtedly a very pleasant surprise if you're an owner of an unlocked Dell Venue Pro, you can now reportedly upgrade your device to OS 8107.

For those unfamiliar, OS 8107 addresses the disappearing keyboard issue as well as other security fixes and patches. In addition, prior to receiving 8107 the user will be prompt for 7740, a previous update which also addresses some bugs e.g. voicemail notifications and Exchange 2003 email errors.

We received numerous reports of the DVP getting the update (although our is just showing 7740 as being the latest).  If accurate, this is great news for Dell owners, especially as the OEM has unceremoniously dropped out from further smartphone development for the foreseeable future.

Hit us up on comments if your DVP has received 8107 in the last 24 hours.

Thanks, Arnout and Sven Z., for the tips!

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The Venue Pro, Dell's poor first generation Windows Phone, has found itself in trouble being plagued by issues (as well as lagging behind OS updates), been at the front of some good deals, and is tagged as Dell's only contribution to the platform for the foreseeable future. Should you be after the handset which sports a 4.1" AMOLED display, 1Ghz processor, 5MP camera, and a vertical slide-out QWERTY keyboard, you can pick one up for $299 unlocked. If contracts are more your scene, T-Mobile is offering the Venue Pro on a two-year plan for just $.99, not bad. 

While it's a solid deal for a Windows Phone that runs Mango smoothly, do note that there's no tethering and the compass is out of service. Be sure to check out our review for more information, and head on over to the source below to take advantage of the deals.

Source: Dell, thanks Kyle for the heads up!

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While Dell gets (and deserves) much criticism for some aspects of the Dell Venue Pro, the unlocked version gets pretty decent update schedules. We were just told by reader Clifton Thomas that the DVP was getting 7740. Sure enough, we fired up our ol' trusty slider, plugged her in and 7740 was waiting for us. It does not, however, add tethering or fix the compass, so don't expect any surprises.

As previously noted, the 7740 OS update fixes an Exchange 2003 email and voicemail notification bug, alleviating two potentially large problems for people. The update is mostly dictated by OEMs (unlocked) and carriers at this point and US markets may be left out. It is unclear if AT&T branded Dell Venue Pros (who just received Mango) will be getting this update, let alone the T-Mobile version. If any of our readers are getting it on their branded DVPs, let us know in comments.

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Although just about everyone in the world has managed to get the Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" update, there was one straggler left: the AT&T Dell Venue Pro (see review) While not a significant share of the Windows Phone market (the DVP was never sold directly by AT&T), it was still a black eye to those who own that phone, as one could argue that Mango greatly improves the Venue Pro (it breathed new life into ours, that's for sure).

The good news is that you should be able to plug in your DVP to Zune and fetch Mango right now to get your phone on the latest and greatest. Sure, you won't have the compass feature and tethering is uncertain, but the build of the OS is hopefully worth waiting for.

Source: Windows Phone Blog; Thanks, Grant, for the heads up

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The website Daily Steals is offering the T-Mobile compatible Dell Venue Pro with 8GB of storage for $229 for the next...oooh 18 hours. Though the DVP gets some criticism, including no compass with Mango, it is still a solid phones in many ways and if you have some extra cash, $229 ain't so bad.

Or you could go to Dell and just buy the 16GB version for $299, making this an okay-but-not-amazing-deal. Or neither. Your choice.

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Bad news for you die-hard Venue Pro users, Dell has seemingly confirmed that no compass-support will be coming to the device. It was  about a month ago after the unlocked and T-Mobile versions of the DVP received their Mango updates did we noticed that no compass support was on board. From Lionel Menchaca, Dell's chief blogger:

"@HotmailAlias The update hasn't yet happened on the AT&T version of the #dellvenuepro. The compass function will not be supported."

At the time, it looked like an error on installation where the driver was deleted. But now it appears that this is on purpose. As far as we can tell, the hardware should support compass but for some reason, Dell has opted to not enable it. We're unsure how OEMs make decisions on these matters and whether they have to license and pay for access to that hardware (much like back in the day with aGPS and Qualcomm), but between the Radar (see review) and Venue Pro, it's a bit unsettling to have a fairly basic smartphone feature disabled in our hardware.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Daniel R., for the tip!

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Not the best news in the world for AT&T Dell Venue Pro owners but it's a start. Microsoft has updated its "Where's my Phone Update?" page and it indicates the Mango update for the Dell Venue Pro has joined the Focus 1.4 by entering the testing phase.

There is no telling how long it will take for testing to be completed. It is solely dependent on AT&T but we can only hope the testing moves to scheduling sooner than later. Once in the scheduling phase, the update should be pushed out within ten days.

via: wmpu

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In order for our Windows Phones to ever tether via WiFi, it needs at a minium specific hardware--a BRCM 4329 chipset. A few days ago, via XDA, it was reported that the Dell Venue Pro had a BRCM 4325 chipset and therefor was completely out of the running for ever having Internet Sharing/tethering even hacked on, let alone officially granted.

Now some contradictory information has appeared, information which we are much more likely to believe due to the source, which is the official service manual for the Dell Venue Pro aka Dell Lightning.

Scrolling down to hardware specifications and looking under the WiFi/Bluetooth/FM area on page 7, we can clearly see that the BRCM 4329 chipset is listed, meaning in fact the Dell Venue Pro can have WiFi tethering/Internet Sharing--in theory, at least. Assuming that info is correct, and we have little reason to doubt that it isn't, then all that is needed are the correct drivers--no small feat for such a  unique phone. Still, there's little technical reason as to why Dell couldn't offer the Internet Sharing capability of Mango, if they chose.

Download the service manual here and take a look for yourself. Big thanks to Tom for the tip and the file upload!

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Anyone who's used the Dell Venue Pro know its a love-hate relationship. And  just as things were looking up for the device with Mango and some new firmware, a new issue has cropped up, one that has been bothering us too.

The compass doesn't work. For any app. No Stars 3D, no compass, no augmented-reality, nothing.

The compass drive and API are up to the OEM to provide which is why when you update to Mango you get two updates: the OS and the firmware. And while Dell did deliver the firmware (jumping from 212 to 219) they evidently botched it with the compass driver, as is becoming obvious for many users.

Now at XDA, some sleuthing has in fact shown this to be the case. Mitchell S., has taken a look at the log during the Mango setup and found this:

**** Starting IMGFS Update @ 16:46:58 ****

Deleting file compassDrv.dll.  &$^4?!

CustomSettings.cab.pkg->5E542BF4-046F-41AA-8BB7-FFB031E0F024.rgu @ 16:46:59

Setting invalid OS state

QC_8x50_OS_SHIP.cab.pkg->D3F0E60E-DE7C-11DF-930A-3D26E0D72085.rgu @ 16:46:59

CustomIcon.cab.pkg->05E12A31-F993-40A4-8A58-136879E5CCEC.rgu @ 16:46:59

Even if that wasn't the reason, it still doesn't explain why our compass is locked at 100 degrees. What say you, Dell? Are we going to have to wait another six-months for this to be fixed?

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There has been some confusion surrounding tethering (Internet sharing) in Mango, but a list of supported handsets has been compiled over at the XDA Developer forum. OEMs and carriers have the choice to enable tethering for customers should firmware allow it, for example Orange has recently alerted customers to a tethering add-on, but work has begun for workarounds in enabling the feature. Unfortunately, tethering depends on LAN chipset used and we have bad news for Venue Pro owners.

In one hand we have the handsets that run on the Broadcom 4329 chipset and have tethering functionality, whether it be via OEM activation or by third-party hacks. In the other we have handsets that sport the same chipset but require either the carrier to enable tethering, OEM to support the feature or for workarounds to be posted. So, what devices are able to use tethering and which are still pending?

Supported

  • Samsung Omnia 7
  • Samsung Focus
  • HTC Mozart
  • HTC Titan
  • HTC Radar

Waiting

  • HTC HD7
  • HTC 7 Pro
  • HTC Surround
  • HTC Trophy
  • LG E900

You may have noticed we mentioned the Venue Pro in the title and above, this is because the Dell handset sports the Broadcom 4325 chipset, which apparently doesn't support AP mode. There is light at the end of the tunnel however, as reports suggest that the Mango USB tethering hack works.

Source: XDA Developer forum, via: WPSauce

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Earlier we reported that the HTC HD7S has received the Mango Update ahead of schedule. We are now learning the Dell Venue Pro wasn't too far behind and is also receiving the official Mango update.

The update process, in my case, was a three step process. First the Mango Update was applied, then the Beta Cleanup was applied and finally a Dell Update was applied. As with the HD7S, I was running the Beta Mango on the Venue Pro.  You won't see the Cleanup portion of the process unless you were running the Beta.  The Dell portion of the process updates the Venue Pro's firmware.

When all was done (about thirty minutes) the OS version is now 7.10.7720.68 and the firmware is 2250.1800.7720.219. There is one caveat to share. My Dell Venue Pro is unlocked and we're not sure if this update is being pushed through to the carrier branded (T-Mobile and AT&T) models. If you have a branded Dell Venue Pro, feel free to share in the comments if you're seeing the update as well.

Thanks goes out to Aaron for the tip!

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We can't believe we're writing this because for some odd reason we thought it already happened. But evidently, those on AT&T with a locked/branded Dell Venue Pro are finally getting the v2.12 firmware update aka the one firmware to fix 'em all (seriously, it does make the phone a winner).

We've had two reports now from readers telling us they've plugged in their DVPs to Zune and got a nice firmware update. Biggest change? No more dreaded WiFi lockups.

This is great news though for two reasons: sounds like AT&T is still prepping this phone for Mango (it will get it, just a matter of time) and two, like we said v2.12 will restore faith in your DVP. Any other readers confirm the change?

Thanks, Roël F. and Timothy, for the tips!

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Dell Venue Pro and the Mango update

Dell has finally released some information about the upcoming Windows Phone Mango update and their Venue Pro. In a nut shell all unlocked handsets (in supported countries) will be updated when the roll-out begins and those with T-Mobile and Cincinnati Bell SIM-locked units will also be supported.

There's no word on AT&T SIM-locked while plans are still being finalised, hopefully more details will be released sooner rather than later. Keep tight everyone.

Source: Dell, via: @DellUK

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