Windows in a Windowless World.

on June 3, 2011

I am a die-hard mac user. In fact, everyone I know is. I live in a world without Windows.  Period. And it has been glorious…at least up until now. I recently had to retire my iPhone due to a carrier switch and was temporary relegated to an antiquated Motorola flip-phone. One of my colleagues, however, took pity on me and loaned me his Windows driven Dell Venue Pro smart phone. After I got over the initial shock to my formally Macintosh saturated system, I settle in and have been able to reasonably assess the pros and cons of this device. Here they are:

Pro: The interface is gorgeous. It’s an art piece. Every function renders beautifully on the screen and tumbles in and out of view with each app you enter or leave. Don’t know whether to make a call on it or to hang it on the wall and stare at it. Love it.

Con: This thing won’t synch with anything that has the Mac name on it. No contacts, iTunes, apps…nothing. I have had to bounce my .Mac contacts off a variety of Gmail accounts and apply the appropriate amount of backspin to get my contacts in my phone. I did it, but it was huge pain.

Pro: The Venue Pro is lightening fast. This phone can bark the tires in third gear. No complaints there.

Con: No apps. Or at least no familiar apps. There is an entirely different eco-system for buying and downloading apps that I have found clunky and hard to deal with. Thumbs down.

Pro: You can “pin” the key apps and contacts you want to use on the phone’s homepage. This give’s you a large icon / shortcut for any function on the phone. This replaces speed dial and is a pretty useful feature.

Con: No visual voicemail. Booo! Visual voicemail is amazing and one of the things that makes the iPhone the iPhone. Not having that on a smart phone is like not having a stereo in your new sports car. Sure…it’ll still work…but driving it just became less fun.

Pro: There is a built in maps app that’s killer. That was a surprise. It’s accurate, gives you street address as you move down the road and has a great variety of street views. Check-plus.

Con: You have to download a YouTube app to watch anything on YouTube?! Really? Fail.

Pro: I’m out of pros. Cons from here on out…

Con: You can shoot videos on it, but you can’t email them. What’s up with that?! My videos are trapped.

Con: Camera isn’t that easy to use. Photo galleries are hard to get to and if the settings get adjusted, it is a cosmic impossibility to take a clear picture.

Con: We mustn’t forget that at it’s core, a smart phone is…well…a phone….Dell seems to have forgotten this. The phone is awful. Poor signal. Drops calls. Honestly, my Motorola flip phone dominated the Venue Pro in its ability to just make a simple phone call.

Con: Every time the battery on this phone get’s low and I plug it in, the Venue Pro shuts down. Total reboot. This is wildly annoying when I’m in a hurry or in the middle of a call. Seems like a pretty basic idea to be able to plug your phone in when you get a low battery warning and not miss a beat, but not with the Dell. Fail.

Con: It’s a Windows phone. It good, but at the end of the day it’s RC Cola in a world of Coke. It’s Lee jeans in the face of Levi’s. It’s MySpace not facebook. You can use it, but come on…You’re that guy. And who wants to be That Guy…except me who is currently That Guy, rocking the Venue Pro. I am, however, content. Sure I might not be able to synch my phone with any other devices I own, but it beats the Motorola flip-phone…unless of course I need to make a phone call.