Windows Phone 7 Dell Venue Pro Headed to ATandT?

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2010-12-20
 
 
 

A version of the Dell Venue Pro appears to be headed for the AT&T network.

While the smartphone was introduced Dec. 1 in conjunction with T-Mobile, documents on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Website show approval for a version of the Venue Pro with radios for connecting to AT&T's 800MHz and 1900MHz 3G bands. The earlier version, PocketNow points out, had a 1700MHz 3G radio, compliant with T-Mobile.

The Venue Pro is one of the first devices to run Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. A vertical device with a 4.1-inch AMOLED display, slideout QWERTY keypad and 1GHz Snapdragon processor, it's also the first Windows Phone 7 device designed with enterprise users in mind.  

"No matter how you slide it, the Dell Venue Pro with Windows Phone 7 brings a fresh new approach of doing more with less," Michael Tatelman, Dell vice president and general manager of consumer sales and marketing, said in a statement. "We're continuing a path of creating smart, innovative and new mobile experiences to help people discover new ways to enjoy the Web, connect with friends, and navigate their lives."

To view images of the Dell Venue Pro and other Windows Phone 7 smartphones, click here.  

The Venue Pro offers single-button access to a user's most-used applications, has (like the Apple iPhone) a rugged Gorilla Glass display, a 5-megapixel camera and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, along with 3G. Instead of static icons it features Live Tiles, which refresh automatically and show pending messages, friends' status updates, weather updates and more. Outside of the office, the Venue Pro can access Xbox Live for games and Zune for music and videos.

With a new two-year contract and qualifying data plan with T-Mobile, the Venue Pro is priced at $150 for a 16GB version or $100 for an 8GB version. Activated as an upgrade, the 8GB model is $200 and the 16GB is $250. Without contract, it's priced at $450 and $500 for the 8GB and 16GB models, respectively.

By the time AT&T gets around to rolling out the Dell smartphone, it's likely that Dell will have figured out the glitches that plagued the device's launch.

In a Nov. 11 post on the Direct2Dell blog, Dell's Lionel Menchaca acknowledged that some customers who purchased units through Microsoft retail stores discovered that batteries that were labeled "Engineering Samples." However, he said, these were "indeed production quality-they were simply mislabeled at the factory."

Additionally, some Venue Pro handsets were unable to connect to protected WiFi networks, which Menchaca said was the result of a "software glitch" in the manufacturing process.

"The issue affected some of our initial phone shipments and was not a hardware issue or a Windows Phone 7 one," he wrote.

Anyone who purchased a Venue Pro on Nov. 8 or 9 at a Microsoft store and was experiencing WiFi problems was invited to bring back the phone for an exchange. Same goes for those with the improperly labeled batteries.

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