Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

Summary: I wanted to see what the problems might be with the Dell Venue Pro so I searched around and it seemed they were related to the microSD cards. I swapped out the 8GB card and inserted a 32GB one that is performing like a champ so far.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Dell, Mobility
29

You all know that I am a major Windows Phone 7 fan and you may know that I haven't been very kind to Dell and their Venue Pro device. I read several reports and heard directly from readers that the device has some pretty major hardware issues. I also read a lot in the forums that is leading me to believe the Venue Pro issues may be more related to the microSD card in the device rather than the WiFi radio. In order to test out my theory a bit and get another piece of Windows Phone 7 hardware that runs on T-Mobile I just purchased my own Dell Venue Pro and quickly turned it into a 32GB model.

Reports of resets, lockups, and microSD cards

The support forums and people who make comments online are the vocal group that is having problems while those who are happy with the device generally don't chime in that often. I searched through the Dell forums, comments in various reviews (such as the one at Pocketnow), and everywhere else I could find in my search results to see what people were experiencing. It sounded like there were wireless radio connectivity issues, WiFi issues, Marketplace freezes, and other random lockups and resets. It also seemed like the majority of people having issues were those with the 16GB model while most 8GB model owners were not having issues.

Dell has been replacing Venue Pros for people that complain, but it sounds like the same type of devices are being shipped back out. Some of these connectivity issues may be fixed with the upcoming WP7 update that might include some Dell fixes too. I am not convinced it is a WiFi issue or hardware issue and am suspicious of the microSD cards. The 8GB and 16GB memory in the Dell Venue Pro is simply a microSD card so if Dell happened to have installed a batch of problematic 16GB microSD cards then all of those device could have issues since the microSD card in Windows Phone 7 is critical to the operation of the device.

How did I turn my 8GB Dell Venue Pro into a 16GB Venue Pro?

Since I suspect that some of these issues may be related to the microSD card I decided to put my money where my mouth is and paid $450 for the 8GB model. I know that if you mess around with the microSD card then your warranty is void, but I have yet to use my warranty on a phone and I have had hundreds of them so I was willing to take the risk. Please be aware that what I write below is not to be taken as something you should do and I assume no liability if you end up breaking your device.

After my Dell Venue Pro arrived, I pulled out a Sandisk Class 2 32GB microSD card that I had in my Nokia N8 and wiped it clean. You can find that card I used on this Amazon page. I then followed these steps below to install the 32GB card in my device. I found these directions from DeekoVB5 over on XDA Developers.

  1. Open Settings-> About menu in phone
  2. Tap on "reset"
  3. Tap "yes" twice. The phone will start to reboot.
  4. Wait until the phone shuts down and begins to reboot, and take the battery out. NOTE: If you take out the battery too early, it will not work correctly. I waited until I first saw the Dell logo pop up and then pulled the battery, and that worked.
  5. Remove the old SD card (I used a very small eyeglass screwdriver to gently pry it out since it isn't spring loaded)
  6. Put in new card, replace battery, restart phone
  7. Go through the setup process

To find the microSD card you look up from where the SIM card goes (under the battery) and you will see a small piece of black tape. When you take that off (it is stamped with VOID) you will see the microSD card. I then followed the directions and used a small eyeglass screwdriver to flip out the card so I could put in my own 32GB card.

I have now been using my Dell Venue Pro with 32GB microSD card for about five hours and it has been performing like a champ. At one time I had 20 applications from the Marketplace downloading and installing and NEVER had the Marketplace lock up. I have been using it via WiFi and T-Mobile 3G without issue and all I can say is "Why did I wait so long?"

Do I like the Dell Venue Pro now?

It is still early in my usage, but the display is awesome (as you can see in my video above), the keyboard is actually very useful, and having 32GB on a Windows Phone 7 device may just keep me happy for quite some time. I do miss the kickstand from the HTC HD7, but the Dell Venue Pro hardware is much better quality with solid buttons, stylish back, and much better stereo speakers.

I didn't think the keyboard would be anything special, but it is actually quite well designed and you can even access all of the alternate keys simply by pressing and holding them down. There is are primary characters/buttons for a period, comma, and .com entry and you can even find an emoticon button. When you slide up the display to use the keyboard the one on the display is minimized so you get more viewable screen area when you use the hardware keyboard.

I look forward to spending many more hours with the Dell Venue Pro and will try to get my full review of it up by the end of next week. It is mine now as I have voided the warranty by swapping the microSD card, but if it continues to perform like this then my HD7 may be on the chopping block soon.

Topics: Dell, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

29 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Surely the warrany isn't voided?

    ... pop out 32GB SDcard, put back the 8GB ... problem solved ...
    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • Sticker is stamped VOID

      @Adrian Kingsley-Hughes The sticker covering it up is stamped void and while it is possible to put the card back in, Dell may not cover it since it is not intended to be swapped out.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

    Too bad you're a fan of a phone with a dead OS.
    Ron Burgundy
    • Grow up

      @Ron Burgundy

      You are acting like a 5 year old.
      Economister
      • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

        @Economister

        No he isn't. I have a five year old and a three year old granddaughter living with me, and the five-year-old is *much* more mature.
        fairportfan
    • Where do you losers come from?

      @Ron Burgundy

      So you don't like it, but feel the need to insult those that do?
      So what's you're problem against choice? Better yet, how bad is your life that this is what you feel is enjoyable?

      Let me guess, you have never tried it. I'm taking a stab here that you purchased the iPhone 4 years ago, upgraded to every new version of it each year, have never even tried any other phone/OS, but are an "expert" ;) on all of them.

      Tell me if I'm close.
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
  • Dell Venue Pro

    This is an awesome phone in my opinion, that has only this WiFI/SD card flaw as its only glaring issue.

    I am going to give what Matt has done a try...32gb on a WP7 device would be pretty awesome anyways. Not sure I care too much if the warranty is voided either.
    cashcar1979
  • DELL???

    Why are you still using any Dell product??? Dell is so 1990's.... welcome to 2011!! ever heard of Apple??
    Hasam1991
    • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

      @Hasam1991
      Irrelavent. DVP is Windows Phone 7 and Apple is iPhone and both are different OSes and technologies. Please.
      Ram U
    • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

      @Hasam1991
      I'll bet you walk around in Nike trainers too.
      You are so ........ brand name aflicted that reality does not exist.
      To be so brand name aflicted is a sickness.
      Learn to use your mind.
      woja
  • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

    What about Dell's claims that the phone would not work with a new memory card because the phone's OS is stored on the original card? Not true?
    potus415
    • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

      @potus415
      Nope, not true at all. They are trying to cover up their issues with bad batch of cards they put into their phones. My neighbor has DVP and I have HD7 on T-Mo and I haven't seen any issues on those with any regards. BTW, we both have 16GB models.
      Ram U
  • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

    So glad you finally picked up this device, Matt! The DVP is THE best looking WP7 device out right now, in my opinion. The materials that Dell used i.e. rubber, chrome, gorilla glass, and the design pattern on the back as well as on the back of the display when you slide it up, is impressive. I don't need the physical keyboard, but I almost purchased this anyway since the on screen keyboards are excellent. Hopefully, the SD card solution continues to work for you, and hopefully, the update from Microsoft and/or Dell will alleviate the issues some users are experiencing with the device. Looking forward to your review.....
    1019902735
  • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

    This is cool Matt. I have Samsung Focus and HD7. on Focus I upgraded the device by adding 32 GB Sandisk MicroSD and never ever had any freeze up. My HD7 of course has 16 GB and both work like champ.
    Ram U
  • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

    MM, where did you learn English? Quote from the article "I poured through the Dell forums". You "pour" liquids not forums.
    bd1235
    • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

      @bd1235 <br>
      I learned my English grammar in England way before you were probably born. We would then as students till do pour over all sorts of learning information. So quite simply sir or madam you are very wrong and need to brush up on your English Grammar and be less quick to judge when you are yourself devoid of the requisite skills and informed knowledge to do so.
      However and FYI, There is debate in the "real World" outside of the USA as to the usage of the word Forums. Most scholars and most English speaking media in the world in many other countries, use the term Fora as one would and should expect.
      In fact I know of one TV show in Australia on the well informed Government owned and funded ABC and ABC World Service, which covers most of the Asia Pacific Area of around 3 billion souls as it's audience with the simple name "Fora".
      woja
      • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

        @woja
        A very good response. thanks.
        Ram U
    • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

      @bd1235 Yes, "pored" is the correct word. Wow! Are you ever smart? It added so much to the discussion.
      radar_z
    • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

      @bd1235 http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pour

      ?verb (used without object)
      4. to issue, move, or proceed in great quantity or number: Crowds poured from the stadium after the game.

      Pour is not restricted to liquids.
      Sharkor
  • RE: Are Dell Venue Pro issues related to microSD cards? I turned mine into a 32GB model

    Matt - how is the 32gb working for after a week or so? I received an update from Dell that assumes the issues are still OS/firmware related, and that they expect to have a fix out in a month or so.

    I am glad Dell is being responsive and answering questions, but if a new SD card remedies the issues I may just go that route. Like you, I am really not concerned about violating any warranty terms.
    cashcar1979