Isn't it fun when you hit the right place at the right time? We just happened to be chillaxing in Hong Kong when Dell chose the city for the Venue's global launch (and it's actually hitting the shops slightly ahead of South Korea), so a quick hands-on is inevitable. As we've seen previously, this HK$3,999 (US$514) handset is essentially the Venue Pro's Android 2.2 cousin, sporting the same curved (or "Shear Design") vibrant AMOLED display at 4.1 inches and 800 x 480, but missing the slide-out keyboard. Under the hood lies a 1GHz Snapdragon with 1GB ROM and 512MB RAM, along with the usual microSD expansion, 1400mAh battery, 8 megapixel AF camera with LED flash, Bluetooth 2.3 EDR, WiFi and AGPS.

There aren't any surprises in terms of software -- the Venue shares the same snappy Stage UI and Swype keyboard with the Streak, except for the lack of landscape orientation for the homescreen (and that's with orientation enabled in system settings). As for hardware, the killer feature here is the screen, and we found its curved Gorilla Glass to be surprisingly nice for our thumbs while swiping across it. The AMOLED panel underneath is also vibrant with great viewing angles. Elsewhere, build quality is almost solid bar the squeaky battery door, but at least it provides some grip. That's all we got for now -- we'll delve into more details in our forthcoming review, so stay tuned.

Dell Venue hands-on

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DELL'S LATEST SMARTPHONE IS THE PERFECT "VENUE"
FOR WORK AND FOR PLAY


· Dell Venue smartphone makes global debut in Hong Kong
· Dell sets the "Stage" with its new Android UI to enhance the browsing experience
· The shear, sexy and sleek design fits perfectly into the palms of creative explorers as well as affluent professionals

Hong Kong, December 21, 2010 – Making its global debut, the 4.1-inch Android™ 2.2-based smartphone Dell Venue (codename Thunder), was launched in Hong Kong today. Based on Dell's new Stage User Interface (UI) and coupled with Dell's Own Shear Design Concept, the Venue is the perfect companion for trend-setting creative junkies as well as business professionals who are always on-the-go. The Dell Venue is priced at HK$3,999 and available immediately through Broadway, Fortress, Suning Citicall and Wilson retail shops across Hong Kong.

Things that Matter, Always Accessible
Venue is based on Dell's new "Stage" UI, a customizable user experience that simplifies access and usage of content. Users are a click or touch away from finding and enjoying their favorite content, be it streaming YouTube videos, browsing the web with Flash10, reading eBooks or the latest news on the 4.1" AM-OLED display. The dedicated camera key enables instant access to the 8MP camera, so users can capture life as it happens and with perfect clarity. Sharing photos and videos on social networking sites is also just a tap away.

Shear, Sexy and Sleek
The top and bottom surfaces of Dell Venue are angled, looking as if they have been sheared off. This is Dell's Own Shear Design Concept that enables the front face to be larger, maximizing the display area and enhancing the user interface experience. Looking from the top, the elliptical shape of the Venue not only houses the optimal form factor for its internal components, but is also smooth and comfortable in the hand. Attention to detail is further reinforced by the smartphone's single, unbroken surface. The back of the phone is simple and pure and echoes the same look and feel as the front.

Not All Looks & Play
The Venue was designed to do more than just keep people entertained and connected to their friends and family. The smartphone also is equipped with email services such as ActiveSync, HSPDA interface and integrated Wi-Fi, and compatible with Microsoft documents, so professionals can take care of business on the go. In addition, the predictive text feature and innovative Swype text entry provides a faster and easier way to input text, significantly improving productivity on portable devices for mobile workers.

Quote:
"Whether you are a creative explorer seeking for the latest online entertainment or a business professional working on-the-go, the Dell Venue smartphone is your ideal companion, keeping you closely connected to those who are most important to you. The customizable Stage UI also helps make your life simple, as everything that matter to you most is just one click or touch away," said Michael Yang, Dell vice president and general manager for Greater China consumer. "The Venue is Dell's second smartphone launched in Hong Kong this quarter, demonstrating the strong market demand for Dell's mobile products. The fact that the Venue is making its global debut in Hong Kong also reinforces the company's commitment in the Greater China region."

Key Features at a Glance
· Premium look and feel with Dell's New Shear Design Concept.
· The Stage UI provides a customizable user experience that simplifies access, usage and sharing of content.
· Stunning 4.1-inch WVGA AM-OLED display frames a suite of apps for movies, books and music.
· 8.0 megapixel auto focus camera with LED that can capture life's every moment in clarity.
· Equipped with a full complement of email services, including POP3, IMAP, ActiveSync, Push Email, Web mail and Microsoft Exchange.
· Preloaded with Swype text entry system, making editing and emailing work documents a breeze.

Specifications
Form Factor: Touch Screen Bar
Dimensions: 121mm x 64mm x 12.9mm
Display: AM-OLED 4.1" 800x480 pixels, 24 bit- 16M colors
Bands/Modes: GSM 850/900/1899/1900
GPRS Class 12, EDGE Class 12
WCDMA 850/2100/2300 or 900/1700/2100
HSDPA 7.2Mbps ; HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
Weight; 164g
Memory Internal: ROM 1GB; RAM 512MB
Memory External: Available with micro SD up to 32GB
OS: Android 2.2
Messaging/ Web / apps: POP3 IMAP, ActiveSync, Push Email, Web mail, Microsoft Exchange, SMS, MMS, Native IM
Connectivity: Sync to PC, USB Mass Storage, USB Support, Wi-Fi, AGPS
Bluetooth: 2.3 EDR, A2DP, AVCRP, others
Ecosystem: Android and Widgets
Internet: Web 2.0 full HTML, WAP support
Audio: Standard codecs
Video: H.264/ MPEG-4 AVC, WMV
Camera: 8MP Autofocus, Digital Zoom 4x, Video and Audio Record, Dedicated camera Key
Connector: Micro-USB; 3.5 mm HSJ
Other: Predictive text, GMS HW Compliant with G-sensor, E-compass, Virtual Keyboard
Price: HKD 3,999


Following the success of Streak, Venue is Dell's second Android-based smartphone launched in Hong Kong. Existing Streak customers can now upgrade their smartphone to the Android 2.2 OS with Dell Stage UI.

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Dell Venue launched in Hong Kong, we go hands-on