Hands-On With the Dell Venue Pro

We just did one hell of a hands-on marathon with all of the Windows Phone 7 handsets. First up: the Dell Venue Pro, previously known around the rumor mill as the Dell Lightning.

Of the three keyboard-packin’ handsets I dabbled with today (this one, the LG Quantum, and a mostly non-functioning prototype of the HTC HD7 Pro), the Venue Pro’s keyboard is probably my least favorite — but to be honest, I’m just not a big fan of portrait QWERTY sliders. The keys were a bit cramped, and really didn’t just feel like something I’d be comfortable blasting away on for hours.

With that said, the rest of the hardware is some of the most thoughtfully designed stuff I saw today. The sheer edges on the top and bottom and the subtly curved gorilla glass on the face give the whole thing a really polished feel, and the sliding mechanism was pure butter.