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Dell's Venue 7: Budget tab offers straightforward experience

| Updated on: Feb 18, 2015
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BL19_newtech_Dell1.jpg

BL19_tech_Dell1.jpg

BL19_tech_Dell1.jpg

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BL19_tech_Dell2.jpg

Dell's Venue 7 is one of the many fish in the budget tab sea. Is this bargain buy the right device for you?

Dell has thrown its hat into a very competitive and populated ring with the Venue 7. There are scores of options in the small- and mid-size tablets space, so let us see if the Venue 7 holds its own here.

Design The Venue 7 feels nice to hold thanks to its unique back cover that has concentric circles that originates from the Dell logo, located at its usual bang in the centre. At 290 grams, its lightweight and is a boon for the "weight" conscious. The front of the tablet sports a piano black finish that lets the screen blend in seamlessly. The default home screen sports concentric circles too, mirroring the back of the tablet.

The tab has phone-calling facility and the sim card slot is housed on the right side of the tablet, along with the SD card slot. The other wing of the tablet plays host to the volume buttons and the microUSB port. Finally, the top holds the lock button and the headphone jack, and the speaker is placed at the base of the tablet.

Specs The Venue 7 is powered by Android 4.4.4 KitKat and the processor inside is an Intel Atom Z3460 Merrifield with Burst frequency up to 1.6 GHz. It is equipped with 1 GB of LP DDR3 and 16 GB of built-in storage, expandable with microSD up to 64 GB. The Venue 7 has a 5-megapixel snapper with LED flash at the back and a 1-megapixel shooter for the front. The tablet is available in both Wi-Fi only version and 4G with LTE support and we, at Technophile, got our hands on the latter. It has a wonderfully right IPS display with 1280 x 800 pixels supporting multi-touch. Graphics are courtesy Intel HD Graphics (Imagination PowerVR G6400).The tab gets its juice from a mammoth 4,550 mAh battery. Both versions support 802.11ac WLAN which offers fast wireless networking. Bluetooth 4.0 for file transfer, Wireless Display with Miracast, and micro-B USB2.0 are the other connectivity features on this tablet.

Performance The 5-MP rear camera delivers reasonable performance with photos looking quite good. The details and colours aren't what we'd call eye-opening, but the overall image quality is quite impressive, considering it's a budget tab. The camera is capable of shooting HD videos. Users should be vary of smudges as the rear camera's lens is prone to fingerprints.

The 1-MP selfie shooter is best used for video-conferencing only. The images from the front camera are very grainy and lack detail.

The 7-inch display is bright and is decently sharp for streaming video and looking at high-quality images.

Audio performance is above average. The Waves MaxxAudio Mobile app, which appears as a small widget in the upper-left corner, lets you change audio profiles from Movie, Music, Speech, and Gaming. Opening the app also lets you create custom EQ settings. The difference in reproduction when the app is enabled is subtle yet noticeable. The playback is loud, with clear lows and highs. However, since the speaker is at the base of the tab, the audio is directed sideways.

The OS feels modern and easy to use thanks to its minimalistic UI. Navigating the tablet is a breeze and felt simple and neatly organised.

The notification screen is split into two. Swiping down from the top on the left side gives easy access to the MaxxAudio sound presets. A swipe down from the top right opens the quick-settings tray for adjusting things such as brightness, battery and airplane mode.

There is also a shortcut to the full-settings menu. The Keyboard is standard but it isn't rigid. You can switch it with the one from the Google Play Store where there are options galore.

Basic tasks such as browsing the web, checking mail, streaming videos on YouTube and playing the odd game weren't a burden, even with multiple apps open in the background at the same time. The tab only starts huffing and puffing when you use a large, graphic-heavy app when other apps are still running. My race in Asphalt 8 was interrupted a couple of times, which cost me a podium finish!

But these hiccups weren't persistent enough to spoil the user experience.

Battery life was pretty good with the Venue 7 lasting a day with moderate to heavy usage and a day and half on light usage.

Verdict The Dell Venue 7 delivers unassuming, stable performance whilst giving a sense of sophistication with its minimalist, non-fussy looks.

Powered by a previous version of the Android, it isn't the most up to date device out there in the market but you need to put things into context considering its standing in the segment. Strong audio, bright display and strong battery life make it a worthy contender in the budget tab segment but you just wish it had higher resolution cameras. Also, users might find it uncomfortable holding the tab pressed against their ears for voice calls. A hands-free will definitely be advisable. The Venue 7 is perfect for everyday use and is an excellent choice for those looking for an affordable, hassle-free 7-inch Android tablet.

If you want a pure Android experience, however, you'll have to stretch the dollar to get your hands on the Nexus 7, which is still the ultimate 7-inch Android tablet.

₹14,999

Love: Easy to use, uncluttered UI, strong overall performance

Hate: Speaker placement, both cameras could have been better

Published on March 10, 2018

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