The Dell Venue 8 7840 was released in early 2015, and it was a pretty good tablet. It's certainly the best Android slate Dell has ever made. It was slightly annoying to have the device launch with KitKat back then, but it still doesn't have Lollipop all these months later. That hasn't stopped Dell from updating its product page to claim the Venue 8 does in fact run Lollipop. Here's everything we've learned from Dell about this mess.
Let's just get one thing out of the way first. Delayed updates are nothing new—this kind of thing happens to plenty of devices. Even the Nexus 9 is currently languishing as it waits for a 5.1.1 update. However, the Dell Venue 8 is in a somewhat more problematic situation. Not only is it still on KitKat while the N9 is at least on 5.0.2, Dell has announced several dates for the rollout, all of which were missed.
When the device came out, the Dell mobile support rep on the official forums told buyers the update was scheduled for February. Then a few weeks later, it was set for late March. When we hit April, Dell's rep updated the original post with word that April 21st was the big day, and that the OTA would be 5.0.1. A few days after that deadline came and went, the rep (you really have to feel sorry for this guy—poor, Terry B) announced that a last minute bug prevented the update from going out.
So where are we at now? We've reached out to Dell on a few occasions to see what they had to say. The company is now refusing to give a date for the update, saying only that it's expected "soon." Dell appears to have learned its lesson, at least insofar as missing a hard deadline makes it look worse than if it just says "soon." As for the website change to list Lollipop, Dell's PR says the web team "jumped the gun" because the company had planned to have the Lollipop update available by now.
Dell says the delays are occurring because "customer experience is most important." Sure, there's something to be said for that, but this is an awfully long wait for customer experience improvements. Other OEMs like NVIDIA, LG, and Samsung have pushed Lollipop out to their flagship tablets, and they seem to work well enough. When you play the "customer experience" card, it might get you a little slack, but it also means you need to deliver when the time comes. Dell has gotten a few extensions, so now it's time to come through.
- Dell Forums