Among Dell's mobile device announcements at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show was the introduction of a second Venue smartphone, this one running the Android 2.2 operating system. While the new Venue features the same 4.1-inch Active-Matrix OLED touch screen as the Microsoft Windows Phone 7-running Venue Pro, it does without its predecessor's slide-out keypad, making for an overall slimmer, lighter device.
Unlocked and based on GSM technology, making it a fit for AT&T or T-Mobile, the Venue also comes preloaded with Dell Stage software, a new user interface that Dell announced it is extending across its entire consumer product portfolio.
While the Venue is geared toward consumers, again unlike the enterprise-focused Venue Pro, it's hardly a lightweight. It runs a 1GHz processor and includes support for business features such as ActiveSync and QuickOffice, as well as an input technology called Swype, which is said to make for quick cruising through documents and Web pages. The curved display is made of Gorilla Glass; an 8-megapixel camera is included, and so, of course, is access to Google's Android Market.
"A few months ago, we set out to refocus our efforts on helping our customers do more with Dell products and services so they can achieve their personal and professional dreams, and we're well on our way toward achieving that goal," Paul-Henri Ferrand, Dell's chief marketing officer, said in a statement.
In November, Dell did some internal housekeeping that resulted in the elimination of its communications solutions group and so the resignation of the group's head, Ron Garriques. Garriques was brought on board to guide Dell's entry into the mobile consumer product space. The devices that emerged during his tenure, however-among them the Adamo notebook and the Streak tablet-failed to elicit major enthusiasm. The Streak, for example, was widely panned as being too big for a smartphone but too small for a tablet. A Dell spokesperson, however, told The Wall Street Journal at the time that Dell's restructuring simply pointed to the devices' ability to reach beyond just the consumer space.
At CES, the president of Dell's Consumer, Small and Medium Business unit, Steve Felice, said that Dell is "committed to delivering new dimensions in entertainment, mobility and gaming, and is leading the industry in advancing new technologies like 4G solutions and 3D-capable laptops."
With the introduction of the Venue smartphone, Dell also introduced a second Streak tablet, the Streak 7, with 4G capabilities and a 7-inch multi-touch display. In a press statement, Dell called it "small enough to carry, yet big enough for the whole family to gather around."