Folks have been clambering over themselves to praise the new 7 inch Samsung Tab after its launch at IFA last week, but I have been playing with Dell’s 5 inch screen entry in the tablet game for a month already, so I thought I should get a few notes down for context.
- Display – truly outstanding. I have an HTC Desire with its amazing AMOLED screen and the Streak is comparable.
- Rugged- talking of screens – I had a portable hard drive and the Streak in the same pocket in my bag when I went on holiday. Somehow the drive got all bent to hell, but the Streak is fine. Funnily enough I dropped the Desire and cracked the screen on the same holiday. Seems the Streak was the only gizmo to come back whole. That said I know some UK users have had problems with the screen.
- Performance – the specs of the Streak are such that even though its only running Android 1.6 it runs FAST. Very responsive, no sluggishness between a gesture and a function. Hardware does the trick.
- Specs – 1GHz Snapdragon ARM-based mobile processor from Qualcomm (see 3. above)
- Android – Dell has got hammered for making a machine based on an older Android version – but companies like Dell don’t sell beta technology, and they have to integrate all kinds of partner stuff. A Dell tablet that didn’t do a good job with Microsoft Exchange would always be a non starter, for example. Anyway – I understand that if I go to 3G today O2 is provisioning Android 2.1 to the Streak.
- Design- the device is pretty yummy looking.
- That said about design, The sharpness of the lines on the device are not ideal for holding and typing. It seems to me that the Dell designers could learn from the PSP with some bevelling and angling to make it more natural in the hand: rounded edges might seem “weird” on a tablet screen. But how you hold the device is just as important and rendering the Wide Screen Web. Just because the screen is a rectangle doesn’t mean the device have to be.
- Unfortunately the device bricked during the OTA update, so I have some fun ahead fixing that. I actually don’t blame Dell or 02 for the problem. I will finish/rewrite this review when I fix it, and I will be more of an Android dork by the time I have worked it out. Android at Modaco here I come.
All in all I like the Dell Streak quite a bit so far. It makes a good TV companion. I like the form factor. But then I don’t wear skinny jeans (I thought this was a pretty good gag but it seems so did everybody else).
Considering this is one of Dell’s first such devices I am pretty impressed with the design and build. Disclosure: The streak is a loaner from Dell, which is a client.