Dell Streak Android Tablet Review

Introduction & Specifications

When it comes to Android devices, there are two inevitabilities. The first is that its popularity is unstoppable. Twice as many Android smartphones are sold now than were only two months earlier; Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, claims that about 200,000 Android devices are sold every day. The second given is that an onslaught of Android tablets are about to descend upon us. There is already a smattering of Android tablet devices, but the choices are still few and far between. However, major manufacturers, such as Asus, LG, Motorola, and Samsung have their devices in the pipeline for later this summer, the fall, or early next year.

But Dell says, why wait? The Dell Streak Android tablet is available right now. (In fact, not only has it already been available in the U.K. since June, but we first got a glimpse of it back in January, when it was still being called the Dell Mini 5.) With an 800x480, five-inch (diagonal) screen, some might question the Streak’s claim as a tablet—especially when you consider that the current über-tablet, the Apple iPad, has a 1024x768, 9.7-inch screen. But a five-inch display is really too big for a phone—even the HTC Evo 4G has only a 4.3-inch screen. So the Streak really fits somewhere between a phone and a tablet—you could call it a “phablet.”

Check out our full, detailed review with benchmarks on the pages ahead!

Regardless what you call it, if you want one, you’ll have to plunk down $299.99 for a Streak with a two-year contract with AT&T Wireless, or $549.99 for an unsubsidized device. Taking a gander at the specs in the table below, the Streak appears to be a robust device that should be able to compete with nearly any other Android device currently available—except for one glaring omission. The Streak currently comes with Android 1.6 (Donut) installed. Most new Android devices come with at least Android 2.1 (Éclair), and many are already upgradeable to Android 2.2 (Froyo). Dell Promises that an Android 2.2 update will be available for the Streak sometime later this year.

Not only does Froyo bring new features, such as Adobe Flash 10.1 support, the ability to install apps directly onto SD cards, and W-FI hotspot support, but it also offers a significant increase in overall performance. But this begs the question, is the Streak still a worthwhile device with only Donut currently installed? That’s we aimed to find out...

 Dell Streak Specifications
 Specifications & Features
Processor  1GHz Qualcomm QSD 8250 Snapdragon ARM SoC
Operating System Android 1.6 (Donut)
Memory 512MB ROM + 512MB SDRAM + 2GB integrated NAND for system & applications files only
Storage 16GB MicroSD card
Dimensions 6.0 x 3.1 x 0.4 inches
Weight 7.7 ounces
Display 5-inch WVGA (800x480) in-cell TFT LCD with multitouch
Network UMTS 2100/1900/850MHz; GSM/EDGE 1900/1800/900/850 MHz; HSDPA/HSUPA:HSDPA 7.2 Mbps / HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, IM
GPS Internal GPS antenna
Sensors Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer, e-compass, Capacitive sensor keys
Connectivity WLAN 802.11b/g; Bluetooth  2.0 with EDR; USB 2.0; 3.5mm stereo audio jack; proprietary 30-pin interface/charging port
Camera Rear-facing, 5-megapixel (2592x1944) camera with autofocus and dual-LED flash; front-facing VGA camera
Audio Formats MP3, WMA, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR, MIDI, WAV
Video Formats H.263 / H.264, .3GP, MPEG4, WMV
Battery Rechargeable 1,530 mAh Lithium-ion

$299.99 with two-year AT&T Wireless contract; $549.99 without contract

In size order (left to right): HTC Legend, iPhone 3GS, HTC Incredible, Dell Streak, PSP1000
(Click to Enlarge)

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