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    Here begins your journey into the mind of everybody's favorite asian, and I don't mean Jet Li.
What follows is the somewhat inane, mostly irrelevant, and self-important ramblings of a man on the brink of madness.
Welcome... to the Chu.

Saturday, December 25, 2010
 Dell Venue Pro vs HTC HD7    [L]

After having the DVP for 48 hrs, I have some quick observations to make. I've also had an HTC HD7 for 4 weeks, so i'll mostly be comparing the DVP against it. I won't comment too much on the Windows Phone 7 OS other that I think it's pretty great, and Microsoft has done what they can to ensure a consistent experience across all WP7 devices.

The DVP wins hands down, the overall fit and finish is great, and feels more substantial. The quality and craftsmanship of the device is phenomenal. It looks and feels great in the hand.

The physical keyboard works well, but the onscreen keyboard is more difficult to use than on the HD7, due to the smaller screen size.

The overall dimensions are pretty much the same as the HD7, but a tad thicker and heavier.

Also of concern is that the DVP seems to have 256mb of RAM, despite all pre-release information indicating it would have 512mb like all the other WP7 launch devices.

The DVP AMOLED screen looks better and really pops, but the HD7 LCD is more color accurate.

The HD7 screen touch sensitivity is more responsive and accurate, while the DVP seems to have detection issues near the edges. The DVP also has gorilla glass, making the screen less susceptible to scratches.

The DVP has a 4.1" screen and the HD7 a 4.3", but you can't really tell the difference unless they're side by side, and even then it's barely noticeable.

Here is the achilles heel of the DVP - it crashes ALL THE TIME, sometimes while locked. The HD7 was much more stable. My DVP has crashed on me more in the past 24 hours than the HD7 did over 4 weeks. This is not a WP7 issue, as the HD7 is very stable, so it's got to be due to Dell's software and drivers.

On the DVP, the capacitive buttons often have a delayed reaction, if they react at all. They also don't light up as much as on the HD7, nor have haptic feedback. It makes the DVP feel a lot less responsive than the HD7.

Custom apps included with the HD7 are of better utility and quality than those on the DVP.

I haven't compared picture quality yet, but the DVP takes 5-10 seconds between each shot. The DVP also takes awhile to take the shot after the button has been pressed, resulting in blurry and badly timed photos. The HD7 camera operation is much more polished, stable, and usable.

There is a lot to like about the DVP - but until Dell fixes the software / drivers, the DVP is unreliable for daily use. Hopefully all that requires is a software update, which could possibly be done over-the-air and not a device replacement.

Of more concern is the 256mb RAM - are the system stability issues due to having half the RAM? Will the lack of RAM become a limitation when WP7 moves to multithreading in 2011?

Can we consider the lack of RAM a defect, since everybody thought it was going to be 512mb? Will Dell fix it and replace the defective units?

So many questions, and throughout the entire launch fiasco, Dell has been very tight-lipped and not very communicative, other than infrequent and uninformative tweets from their online crew. From watching #dellvenuepro, one gets the feeling that the various Dell representatives @LionelAtDell and @AmyAtDell are doing the best they can, but are not being allowed to tell or are not being told any information.

The bottom line is, unless you like being an early adopter and can stick out the stability issues, stay away from the DVP. Although a beautiful piece of hardware, it's too unstable, and Dell's behavior to date casts serious doubt that they'll address any of these issues in a timely or satisfactory manner.

If I had to sum it up, it's like having a beautiful Lamborghini with a busted engine. It looks great, and has great components, but it runs like crap, is in need of a serious overhaul, and the local dealer hates its customers.

Additional notes
I have the 16gb, and have been mostly at home using the wifi connection. Some have said they've noticed freezing issues only when wifi is enabled - i'll take notice of the wifi during future freezing episodes to see if there's a correlation.

Also, in my stability comparison between the DVP and the HD7, it wasn't completely similar conditions, as I still had all the live tiles that came preinstalled on the DVP - so I've removed them and made the DVP start page the exact same as the HD7 - this will help narrow down the possible causes of the DVP freezing.

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