Tuesday, April 10, 2012

HP Pre 3 and Dell Venue Pro Review

This will be a quick rundown on the hardware of the Pre 3 and Dell Venue Pro. As you all know, the HP Pre 3 was the latest and last WebOS powered phone from HP while the Dell Venue Pro seems to be Dell’s last as they apparently also just discontinued sales of the Venue Pro (but not their smartphone business)

You already know my take on these two slider phones. So I’ll write my impressions on both devices and what makes them great. Read on and remember to click the photos to see a larger version.


Dell Venue Pro

When the Dell Venue Pro was announce, I already told myself that this is one Windows Phone that I would want. Even during it’s rumored stage (remember Dell Lightning) I was already impressed with the hardware. I’m a fan of physical QWERTY keyboards and this one, along with HTC’s Arrive, are the only ones that have Windows Phone OS and a slide-out keyboard.

The DVP is really no slouch when it comes to specs. It has a 4.1” AMOLED Gorilla Glass display with 1Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with Adreno 200 GPU. 8 or 16GB of storage option and a 5MP Camera with 720p HD video recording – you know the works.


The keyboard was expectedly good to type on but the top rows can be hard to press sometimes due to the narrow space between the top screen and the top row. There is also no need to flip open the physical keyboard if you’d prefer to use the on-screen keyboard. The OS detects a closed phone so it pops up a virtual keyboard in lieu of the physical. It’s a great option to have for quick SMS’s or notes (unlike the Pre 3 below)

Nevertheless, the solid construction of the DVP, along with some sweet additions like the AMOLED display and tough Gorilla Glass makes this a very serious contender as one of the top first-generation Windows Phones, if not the best due to it’s dual nature of touch and type.

HP Pre 3

I’m a fan of the Pre line mainly because of WebOS and the keyboard (again of course). such a shame that a good looking device was sent down the drain just like that. It didn’t even had the chance to be released!

The Pre 3 answered most of my pet-peeves with the Palm Pre Plus, the small screen, the low-res camera and the battery life. The HP Pre 3 now has a 3.58” display with 480x800 resolution. It also now sports a 5MP camera with 720P HD video. The processing power was bumped from 500Mhz to a whopping 1.4 Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon with with Adreno 205 GPU. So when you think about it, it’s more powerful than the DVP above.

The default OS was WebOS 2.2 with some minor and continuing updates from HP (and hoping in the future – from the homebrew community) The camera, keyboard and overall build of the phone stayed the same. They are still great to use. One thing to note though, the storage space of 16GB from the Pre Plus is now only 8GB for the Pre 3. Minor issue for me.

I’m now seriously promising myself to keep this phone and avoid selling it (or be enticed to sell it to interested buyers :) mainly because I like the form factor and the rare combination of a good multitasking OS and the possibilities of it in the future now that WebOS is open-sourced to the dev community.

By the way, Touch-to-Share on the TouchPad is cool.


While I’m still riding on the Android train as my daily driver, I’m rooting for other mobile OS’ to succeed because I believe that the mobile sector is too large for only 2 players. WebOS may be considered dead right now but Windows Phone is slowly gaining traction. They might not be there yet, but Microsoft is know for its resiliency.

Without these choices, we would be stuck with limited hardware options from vendors (don’t can’t expect Apple to come up with sliding phone anytime soon, or ever)

It’s also ironic that these 2 awesome phones came from a PC company, HP and Dell, both of which are not really into mobile phones as their primary businesses.

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