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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
A fix has surfaced for those having trouble sending or receiving MMS messages on the Dell Venue Pro using the AT&T Network. As one would suspect, it's a settings issue but you first have to pull up the diagnostic screen.
While we've haven't heard of any horror stories in tweaking these settings, please keep in mind that you proceed at your own risk. Here are the steps.
From your Dell Venue Pro, bring up the dial pad and enter ##634# to bring up the diagnostic screen.
Tap on MMS Settings.
Scroll to the MMS Settings section.
The settings should be Name: ATT MMS (all caps), APN: wap.cingular, MMSC: http://mmsc.cingular.com, MMS Proxy: wireless.cingular.com, MMS Port: 80, Username: (leave blank), Password: (leave blank).
Scroll up to the Auth Type, tap CHAP, and then Apply.
You should then get a "Success, Setting is Done!" message. Tap OK, then tap HOME and you should now be able to send and receive MMS messages from your Dell Venue Pro. There have been some reports that you need to restart the phone to get the settings changes to take hold.
Good news Venue Pro users! Lionel Menchaca, from Dell, has announced that their Windows Phone handset on T-Mobile U.S will be receiving updates within the next few hours after being delayed for a week. The v2.12 firmware brings with it a whole load of fixes for the device, something users have been enjoying on unlocked handsets. Let us know in the comments when you receive the notifications.
Dell made a shaky entrance into the Windows Phone 7 market. You had supply issues, quality control issues and software headaches. Slowly but surely these problems are getting ironed out with the Venue Pro but does it leave consumers with a quality Windows Phone?
While some may see this as being late to the table (Dell isn't that generous with review units), we decided to take advantage of the $299.99 sale and ordered a few on our own. Out of the box, the Venue Pro makes a nice first impression. The 4.1" AMOLED Screen has a good bit of pop to it with vibrant colors and sharp contrast. But does the positive first impression last?
Just make the jump past the break to see if the Dell Venue Pro continued to shine or dulled a little after several days of use.
Here's some speculation that sort of makes sense: we just reported that the AT&T Venue Pro is available to purchase again direct from Dell. What's odd (and what we missed) was the expected ship date: 8/30
Looks like Dell is still either trying to push the DVP (see first impressions vid) as much as possible, or they're trying to ditch them. Either way, you can benefit from their price cuts, so long as you sign a contract. Previously, Dell was out of stock on the AT&T version, but now they're back for the buyin':
New unlocked devices are shipping with it. Non-U.S. customers are getting it. But T-Mo users...not so fast. Yes, while the famed 2.12 firmware for the trouble prone Dell Venue Pro finally starts to be pushed out, T-Mobile users who were supposed to receive it today will have to wait till "next week".
Delays and more delays should be a familiar situation for frustrated DVP users. The good news is that v2.12 really does fix a lot of the remaining issues with the DVP, but the bad news of course is more waiting. Plus there's the AT&T users...
The tweet from Dell says it all. The Venue Pro's firmware update is due to start rolling out to the Windows Phone today for T-Mobile Customers in the U.S. as well as other Venue Pro customers outside the U.S. There is no mention on the AT&T updates.
With Dell offering the Venue Pro for $299.99 out of contract, it was a Windows Phone deal too hard to pass on. So, we ordered one (actually two). Over the next few days we'll put it through the ringer and give you our thoughts on Dell's Windows Phone but as far as first impressions goes, the Venue Pro isn't too shabby.
The Venue Pro has two standout features; the 4.1" AMOLED screen and bottom slide-out keyboard. The screen looks really good. It's bright, full of contrast and has a bit of a pop to it. Compared to the Super AMOLED screen of the Samsung Focus and SVGA screen of the HTC HD7S, the Venue Pro holds its own.
The fit and feel of the phone is comfortable in the hand. The jury is still out on the power button though. It's tiny and sits back on the top of the phone. Not the easiest to access and might have been better off on the side of the phone. The Venue Pro has a solid feel about it but does feel a little awkward when you extend the keyboard. Maybe a little top heavy. Speaking of which, the keyboard reminds me of the front facing keyboards we saw on Windows Mobile phones such as the Samsung Jack. It'll do but after handling the Venue Pro for a short time, I'm beginning to wonder if Dell would have been better off by scrapping the keyboard and opting for a thinner phone.
As far as software is concerned, the Venue Pro is running the current version of Windows Phone 7 with copy/paste and Firmware version 2.12. For the record, the OS version is 7.0.7392.0 and the firmware version is 2250.1800.7392.212.
I've been spoiled by the thinner Windows Phones so the thicker Venue Pro will take some getting used to but all in all, the Venue Pro makes a nice first impression. We'll charge the Venue Pro up, slap in the SIM card, take it out for a test drive to see how well that impression lasts.
We will get a full review and a few additional posts up on the site in the coming days. If there's anything in particular you would like us to look at, feel free to ask in the comments or use the contact page.
We received lots of inquiries about the status of the firmware of this device--specifically is it the latest, greatest firmware to rule them all (v2.12)? Well, Dell did claim all unlocked phones would ship with 2.12 starting at the end of June and true to their word, they do.
As you can see in the picture, the 2.12 firmware and OS version 7392 are on board, making these device as up to date as you can get (without flashing Mango). So far, we've had no lockups or WiFi issue and we have a reported 15+GB of storage available and 512MB of RAM (480 available).
But what about T-Mobile and AT&T branded phones? The former was suppose to get the 2.12 firmware update "around the middle" of July and we're just a bit past that with no update yet. Still, Dell has some wiggle room here so perhaps in the next few days? That's at least better than AT&T branded phones which have no release schedule publicly posted, though we heard some rumblings about August. Neither situation is doing anything to win over current Venue Pro owners though, so here's to a quick fix.
We'll have a hands on with the DVP soon. Until then, we're going to try to figure out to get AT&T data to work on ours--we get "H" for HSDPA, which sounds awesome and promising, but nothin's coming in...
True to his word, Lionel Menchaca from Dell has taken to the Dell blog to detail the February and March Windows Phone update aka pre-NoDo and NoDo for the Venue Pro. Adding some transparency to the process, something we know all of you like, they explain a bit of their method going on with the update and when you can expect it. While nothing earth shattering is revealed, it's nice to see some info direct from Dell on the matter, as we know many of you are anxiously waiting for NoDo (unless, of course, you forced the update, cough).
Last week, we started a phased rollout of the Microsoft Copy and Paste update in EMEA and India.
On March 29, we began a phased rollout of the Copy and Paste update to T-Mobile customers in the United States.
There will be a Dell update that will provide additional enhancements/ fixes coming after this Copy and Paste Microsoft update. I don't have an ETA for the Dell update just yet.
While the Copy and Paste update rollout started yesterday, it will happen in a phased rollout over the next few weeks.
Unfortunately while the pre-NoDo/NoDo updates are discussed in detail, the big upcoming Dell firmware update, which is expected to address some system instabilities and bugs on the Venue Pro is not. But, it is confirmed that it IS coming and that it exists, which, we really like the idea of and we're sure you do too. They'll post more when they can, but we've heard mid-to-late April for this firmware update--we wouldn't bet our life on that date though. Regardless, we'll be anxiously awaiting--the DVP is one sexy device and if Dell can iron out those remaining bugs, found mostly in the 16GB versions, we'll be very happy.
Looks like there has been some confusion regarding the Dell Venue Pro and the NoDo update, which started coming out today for the HD7. Many users have successfully received the pre-NoDo February update, but few if anyone has received the big NoDo one itself. As Lionel Menchaca, Chief Blogger for Dell Inc. states, users can expect NoDo to "rolled out...over time starting today" and a second firmware update from Dell "coming later".
That second bit hints at something we've been hearing--a firmware update that will fix some outstanding issues that DVP has been plagued with since launch. What exactly this firmware update will fix is not clear yet, so we'll be awaiting for details in Menchaca's Dell post which should be forthcoming soon.
Source: Twitter; Thanks, pjfan75, for the heads up
What is obvious is that the HD7, but not the Dell Venue Pro is getting NoDo today. The DVP did receive the February pre-NoDo update but we've heard, but not confirmed, that NoDo will be hitting the Dell phone in mid-April (April 18th?)--has to do with more "fixes" being on board in addition to NoDo. Hopefully we'll hear more about that later.