Dell introduced Venue 7 and Venue 8 Android tablets powered by a dual-core Intel Atom Clover Trail+ processors along with the Venue 8 and Venue 11 Pro Windows 8.1 tablets powered by quad-core Intel Atom Bay Trail processor last year. Both the Venue 7 and Venue 8 tablets were launched in India earlier this year. We had already reviewed the Venue 8 Pro Windows Tablet even before it launched in India. Here we have the Dell Venue 8, an 8-inch Android tablet from Dell. The design is completely different compared to the Venue 8 Pro Windows tablet. Is it worth the price? Can it compete with other tablets in the similar range? Let us find out in the complete review.
We unboxed the Dell Venue 8 (3830), the WiFi variant of the tablet recently. Check out the unboxing video below.
The box contents include a
- Dell Venue 8 Tablet
- USB wall charger
- micro USB cable
- Quick start guide and other information booklets
The Venue 8 has a 8-inch IPS display with a pixel resolution of 1280 by 800 at a pixel density of about 189 PPI. Even though the pixel density is low, the display is bright and offers decent viewing angles. It also has decent sunlight legibility, which could be better. Overall the display is pretty good for watching videos, playing games and other use.
Since the display is glossy, it is prone to fingerprints. The bezels on the sides are huge, making the tablet hard to hold for single hand usage. It weighs about 380 grams, bit heavy if you compare it with other 7-inch tablets.It has a 2-megapixel front-facing camera above the display. There is an ambient light sensor next to it, that is hardly visible.
The tablet doesn’t have hardware buttons, instead all the actions are carried out using on screen touch buttons.
On the top there is a 3.5mm audio jack, a microphone hole and a power button. Again, the power button on the top is hard to access when you hold the tablet in a single hand. So you have to hold the tablet in one hand and unlock it by pressing the button using the other hand.
On the left side there is a micro USB port for charging and data transfer. The volume rocker is present below that. The tablet is 9.5 mm thick. Both the volume rocker and the power button have chrome finish.
On the right side there is a micro SD card slot protected by a plastic flap. Since this is a WiFi-only variant, it doesn’t have a SIM card slot.
There is a loudspeaker grill on the bottom. Since the speaker is located on the bottom, audio doesn’t get muffled when you place the tablet on a flat surface.
It has a 5-megapixel auto focus camera on the back. The back has matte finish, making the tablet easy to hold without slipping from your hands. There is a huge dell branding in the centre along with a Intel branding in the bottom.
The 5-megapixel auto focus camera is just average. Daylight shots and macro shots were decent, but the low light shots have a lot of noise. It lacks touch focus option, so you have to press the on-screen shutter button to focus something. Some parts lose focus in an image.
The camera UI is stock with minimal options. You can swipe to the right to view the previous photos or videos you have captured. You can change the image storage location, picture size and white balance from the settings. You can also switch to the front-facing camera. The 2-megapixel front-facing camera is good for video chats. Check out some camera samples (click to view the full resolution).
It can also record videos at 720p HD resolution. Video quality is just average and it lacked details. Check out the HD video sample.
It runs on Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean), which is pretty much stock. It has lockscreen widgets, Daydream, Quick Settings, Option to create multiple user profiles, Photo filters in the gallery and lots more features. You can launch Google now from the lockscreen by swiping up from the bottom, but you cannot launch the camera by swiping to the right.
Out of 16GB of internal storage you get 12GB of user storage. Out of 2GB of RAM, about 1.3GB of RAM is free when the table is idle. The tablet also supports micro SD card, but it doesn’t have an option to set the default write disk or move apps to the SD card.
It comes with the usual set utility apps and Google Apps. It comes with PocketCloud app for remote desktop access that also offers 2GB of free cloud storage. PocketCloud Explore lets you search and manage other computers in the same network once the companion app is installed.
Video and Music Player
The tablet has multi-format audio and video support. It plays any video or audio formats you throw in. It can play 1080p full HD videos smoothly. Audio from the loud speaker is pretty good, but it had slight distortion when you play music in full volume. Audio from earphones could be better. You can use Google Play Music app to play music since it doesn’t have a separate app.
In terms of connectivity options, it has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and also has GPS. It also has USB OTG support. Since the tablet has Hotspot and Bluetooth Tethering under network settings, it might support 3G USB dongles, but we didn’t test it. Dell also sells Venue 8 tablet with HSPA+ connectivity in some countries, but it not available in India.
Performance and Benchmarks
The Venue 8 is powered by a Intel Atom Z2580 Clover Trail+ dual-core processor clocked at 2GHz with PowerVR SGX 544 MP2 GPU. The performance is smooth without any lags. It doesn’t get heated even during intensive gaming. Thanks to 2GB RAM, multitasking is smooth. Check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.
It scores 10658 points in the Quadrant benchmark, better than the Sony Xperia Tablet Z powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 pro processor.
AnTuTu Benchmark 4
In the AnTuTu benchmark is scores 23011 points and lies just behind the LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition.
Vellamo 2.0 HTML5
It scored 1989 points in Vellamo 2 HTML5 browser benchmark. Check out the complete set of Dell Venue 8 Benchmarks here.
The PowerVR SGX 544 MP2 GPU is not the best for gaming. We tested several games including Asphalt 8, N.O.V.A 3, Riptide GP2, Gangstar Vegas and Modern Combat 2. Even though the performance was decent in most games, some game lacked details. Check out the Asphalt 8 gameplay.
Check out the complete gaming review to know more about gaming on the Dell Venue 8 in detail.
Coming the battery life, the 4100mAh battery lasts for less than a day with average use. Dell promises 7.9 of battery life with continuous use. If watch movies or play games, battery would run out pretty quickly. It doesn’t have any power saving apps.
Overall, the Dell Venue 8 is a decent tablet in this range. At a price tag of Rs. 17499, it is a bit costly compared to other WiFi-only tablets in the market, but this has GPS that is commonly not seen on WiFi-only tablets. If you are looking for a large-screen tablet with good build and performance, but can compromise on the camera and the size, go for it.
- Good display
- Solid build
- Good performance
- Decent battery life
- Average camera
- Bit heavy and bulky
- Lacks HDMI out
- Priced a bit on the higher side