The update process for the Samsung Focus 2 is rather lengthy and includes four updates that ultimately brings the Focus 2 to the 8862 OS version. It also includes one Samsung firmware update. The whole process takes about forty minutes and in the end, the update gives the Focus 2 multiple Live Tile sizes, more theme color choices, and lockscreen support for rotating Bing wallpapers.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
With the help of one of our readers we have learned that Dell is still offering the Venue Pro on contract with T-Mobile. You just have to hunt for the listings.
You see Dell has a T-Mobile and AT&T page that lists all their electronic gadgets that operate on those respective networks. Listed amongst the tablets and connected laptops on the T-Mobile page is the Dell Venue Pro (here's our review). You can purchase the Dell Venue Pro for the low, contractually discounted price of $.99 after agreeing to a two year contract with T-Mobile.
You can find the T-Mobile version of the Venue Pro with contractual discounts here.
Oddly, the unlocked version is going for $334.98 on the Dell T-Mobile page but over here on Dell's main smartphone page, the DVP is going for $299.99. All of which makes us wonder if Dell forgot to update these pages when they took the contract discounts off the main page.
Either way, contract or not, the Dell Venue Pro is a nice Windows Phone (that grows on you) at a decent price.
Update: It has been brought to our attention (thank you Andrew) that the AT&T phone listed is not the Venue Pro but rather the Venue (android). At a glance, with one eye closed and squinting the other, the two phones look similar. We've updated the post to reflect that only the T-Mobile version of the Venue Pro remains available under contract.
Speaking of September 15th, the AT&T branded Dell Venue Pro was suppose to re-launch on that day. Speculation at the time implied that perhaps it was to re-launch with a Mango update of its own. That would have been welcomed too because to be honest, we're using that phone as our daily driver (and we have about five to possible choose from) and it's pretty great.
However, when we just zoomed by the Dell page to see what did happen, we were surprised to note that there are no AT&T nor T-Mobile contract phones available for purchase at all--they're completely gone. The only option is for the unlocked version, which is still a heck of a deal.
So what gives? We're not sure and Dell is pretty quiet about these things. Perhaps this is just temporary while Microsoft and Dell regroup for Mango? On the other hand, could we be seeing the continued winding down of Dell from the Windows Phone camp? So far, no new Mango phones from them have shown, despite their earlier leaked roadmap. We hope that's not the case, but we have a bad feeling.
The UK Dell Swarm for the Venue Pro has finished within 90 minutes of launch. The device was priced at £179.50 (about $285 US), a half price steep drop from the usual £359.00 and a reported 60 units were snapped up in an expected rush. We saw a similiar price reduction on Dell's U.S. website some months ago.
Featuring a 4.1" AMOLED screen, bottom-sliding QWERTY keyboard and SD card compatibility, it's been a crowd favourite, regardless of the software issues. It's a Windows Phone that grows on you.
This could be a move by Dell to clear out inventory and get out of the Windows Phone market. Hopefully, it's a move to clear the stock shelves to make room for a 2nd generation handset from Dell with FF camera and a smarter rear camera? One can only dream.
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
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...