A Closer Look at the WP7 Dell Venue Pro from T-Mobile

T-Mobile certainly annoyed AT&T when it held its own Windows Phone 7 launch party by itself on Monday. While AT&T is getting three Windows Phone 7 (WP7) models, T-Mobile surprised everyone by coming out with not one, but two of its own WP7 phones despite AT&T being the preferred carrier or some other such nonsense.  What is interesting about T-Mobile’s launch was that it showed off a Dell made smartphone that no one was really expecting to make an appearance.

The Dell Venue Pro was codenamed the Dell ‘Lightning’ and has been a pretty mysterious device. It has a big 4.1” AMOLED touchscreen at 480×800 pixels and the screen is even made from Gorilla Glass. Inside a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 8 GB of storage and a 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording abilities. What is interesting about the Venue Pro is that Dell went with a vertical slider. The keyboard slides out from the bottom and those lucky enough to have gotten to touch one already are reporting that the whole smartphone feels solid. In fact, Dell’s new WP7 phone is already being compared to the iPhone 3G because of its chrome edges.

Microsoft made the decision to force manufacturers who wanted to load WP7 onto their devices to follow strict standards. All five of the WP7 smartphones announced yesterday are solid and professional feeling. None of the problems that have plagued lower end Android phones and damaged the brand have cropped up yet. Only problem is, there are no lower end WP7 phones. Microsoft may allow screen resolutions lower than 480×800 in models next year, but until then, every WP7 is going to be high end. That is where the money is anyway, and Microsoft is already is going to guarantee money for companies that develop WP7 apps.

Microsoft’s tactic of throwing money until it sticks—like it did with its Xbox console systems—just might work. After all, companies throughout the world rely on Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office. Not to mention Microsoft server software and Microsoft powered PCs.  A huge business market is there and many are already Microsoft’s customers. Now if the consumers can just come along.

Let me know what you think of the Dell Venue Pro. Just too tall looking? Anyone used to typing on a vertical keyboard anymore that is not a BlackBerry? Does this have enough polish to be WP7’s Torch killer? It certainly has much better specs and a brand new operating system.

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