Hands On With The Dell Streak: Five Inches Of Fun

Dell first showed off their five-inch, Android running tablet/smartphone hybrid back at CES. This morning, the guys from Dell Australia gave me the chance to have a play with the device. And I have to say that over the 30 minutes or so I was playing with it, the Streak really grew on me.

It's an interesting proposition - bigger than any other smartphone on the market, yet smaller than all the other tablets you've seen. The Streak easily slides into your pocket, yet feels kind of clunky when you put it up against your ear. Not impossibly clunky though - just a bit bigger and awkward compared to the past trend of constantly shrinking mobile phones.

The device is running Android 1.6, with only minor customisations from Dell. They claim that this will make it much easier to upgrade the device to Froyo, should they decide to do that some time in the future. There are six customisable home pages, and adding apps is as easy as the Android Marketplace.

One of the most striking aspects of the device itself is the screen. WVGA at 480 x 800 pixels, the screen looks fantastic with both SD and HD content. But what impressed me the most was when playing back a standard 4:3 ratio YouTube clip, the vertical black bars on the screen blended in seemlessly with the phone's black aesthetic, as though there weren't any bars on the screen at all.

The 5MP camera takes both stills and video - using it is kind of awkward given the device's size, yet not to the point that it's too difficult to use. Having a 3.5mm headphone jack on the side could be problematic though. Dell showed me an optional docking station that includes an HDMI output, stereo line out for a pair of speakers and USB connections. And that's very clever - considering the device's large screen and powerful Snapdragon processor, the Streak suddenly becomes a great tool for people on the road regularly.

The guys from Dell made it exceptionally clear that the hands on they gave me this morning is not an indication that they're planning on launching the device in Australia. Yet the language they used seemed to indicate that they want the device to launch, and they want it to launch soon. And you can see why - in a crowded smartphone marketplace, the Streak stands out for its size. Sure you need to compromise, especially when making or receiving phone calls and placing the device up against your head, but the added screen size could make it all worthwhile.



    whats wrong with mainly lol

    I'm watching a video on a screen of a screen playing a video.

    It's like googling google (or googling "recursion" heheh...)

    That said, looks good! More tablet(-ish) devices on the market means more innovation & improvement - and more competition - so people hopefully won't run out and buy the first iProduct that springs to mind. Also gives makers of iProducts reason to keep improving & evolving their devices. You know... so long as they feel like it...

    that thing looks like a hybrid of HTCsomehting + Eee...
    and come on 1.6 even for demo ....
    "They claim that this will make it much easier to upgrade the device to Froyo, should they decide to do that some time in the future."
    that bit got me worried...so it might not? and stay on 1.6?

      eeerrr "HTCsomehting + iPad…" that is

      As someone running 1.6 at the moment:

      I wish 1.6 would die already.

      That was phrased poorly, I guarantee you Dell is well underway upgrading it as we speak - this leaked months ago (around 4 months!) as the Mini 5 and they said they would be upgrading it to 2.1 then. An update should be out within a couple of months.

    I want this monster:)

    5 inches of fun? Thats what she said! *snap* =)

      lool ... yeah to you she did...

      to everyone else she says 8" or more! :D


      this thing looks only a lil bigger then the phones htc are bringing out... might aswell go with their big ass thing (if they get here)and get more use out of that black tile!

    it is so cool!

    Enough of the sales "teasers", just release it already Dell!!! Dell will get my money if they beat HTC Evo equivalent to the ozzie market.

    I was texted and emailed by dell reps from their facebook page and they said Froyo would be OTA'd before years end

    I have been waiting for a smartphone with this size screen (I want a single pocketable UMPC device that will not be too big for occasional use as a phone).

    However I am disappointed in the resolution of the Streak screen. I already have 480 x 800 resolutuion on my 3-inch SE Xperia. I would have thought a 5-inch screen could manage 1,024 pixel width.

    With my aging eyes and fat fingers this would be perfect. Roll on some real choice in the marketplace. And two devices for the price of one.

    I am wondering how realistic the release in Australia? I am looking at buying off a uk website and wondered if I should hold off?
    Dell Streak in UK not run 850 mhz, but does run 2100/900 ( still like to have choice of Telstra if I could).

    Reading this review on my Dell streak is pleasurable experience lol imported from the UK

    so when is the Streak coming to Aus
    Whats the hold up
    I want to chuck my iphone in the bin as soon as posible

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