Saturday , June 24 2017

Dell Streak — Review

The Dell Streak, I have been looking forward to trying out this little beauty, and I know a lot of you have been eager to read a review of it. I am extremely impressed with the device and everyone else that played with it (specifically at the HTC Wildfire Launch Party) also liked the look and feel of it. I hope I cover most things in this here review, if not, please leave a comment so we can get a discussion going 🙂

Click “Read More” to get into it!


Pros

  • Desktop browsing (no mobile sites needed)
  • Quite fluid
  • Great on-screen keyboard
  • It looks sleek
  • Well designed UI
  • Front-facing Camera

Cons

  • Android 1.6
  • No trackball/trackpad
  • Multitouch only in the Browser
  • Proprietary USB connection
  • 1530mAh Battery (LG Optimus has 1500mAh)

Unboxing & Design

The Box!

Dell has done everything they can to make everything about this device look sleek yet playful. The box is larger than the typical box as it needs to accommodate the larger device. As you will find with everything related to the device (box & accessories), it’s all dark and sleek . The use of a dark background and vibrant colours looks ver nice.

In the box are the following:

  • Dell Streak
  • 1540mAh Battery
  • Proprietary USB Cable
  • Wall Charger
  • In-Ear Earphones (w/ Call Answer/End button & mic)
  • Instruction Manual/Health & Safety Manual etc..

Physical Design

The Streak is extremely sleek, as I keep saying, and fits very well into your hands. Each button is placed nicely to where you normally hold the device, so not much stretching is needed to reach the power & volume buttons placed on the side of the device. The first thing people thought of when they played with it was: “wow, it’s kind of like the iPad”. And they’re right, it kind of is, but it’s much smaller and can make calls.

The screen is made from toughened Gorilla Glass and if you’re not familiar with it, check out the video from Engadget below.

In terms of size, the picture below should give you a pretty good idea of just how big the Dell Streak is compared to the HTC Desire.

As usual, this is where all the buttons are located:

  • Front
    • Home
    • Menu (Long press for search)
    • Back
    • Speaker
    • Front facing Camera
    • Ambient light sensor & proximity sensor
    • Mic
  • Right Side
    • Power/Lock button
    • Volume Rocker
    • Camera button
    • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • Left Side
    • Proprietary USB input
  • Top
    • Nothing
  • Bottom
    • Nothing
  • Back
    • 5MP Camera
    • Loudspeaker
    • Dell logo
    • Dual LED Flash
[nggallery id=44]

Display

TFT

The Streak features a 5″ TFT display which is nothing short of amazing, it’s amazingly clear given the 800×480 resolution. Personally I would have liked to have seen the res bumped a bit more, but it’s no big deal. The viewing angle is quite decent, allowing you to use it perfectly as an in-car GPS system or watch movies on the go. I did have some problems with the display not completely turning off when you lock it. When you look at it you can still notice it being on but with no back light.

MultiTouch

Does this baby have Multitouch? Yes, but only in the browser. Although it’s only implemented in the browser at present, it’s exceptionally smooth, once it’s implemented system wide it should be amazing. Android 2.1, anyone?

Responsiveness

The screen is very responsive but it held back by the subtle lag of Android 1.6. I could tell Dell has tried to eliminate lag where possible, but scrolling though the home screens makes the lag seem apparent. Other than that it’s very responsive.


User Interface

I don’t believe Dell has a name for the UI, but they should. It’s clean, efficient and it’s not over the top like Sense UI. It’s basically Vanilla Android with a new layout to better suit the larger display and a new colour scheme to match the device. I give Dell a massive thumbs up for their work here as it’s brilliant, I’m really impressed.

Dell have implemented a few of their own widgets as well, such as: Facebook, Twitter & RSS. All of which work very well, with basic interfaces to update
[nggallery id=46]


Benchmarking

The Dell Streak at the moment running 1.6 isn’t the fastest device on the planet, but you have to remember that 1.6 does not feature hardware acceleration.

Note: Higher is better on Linpack & Neocore. Lower is better on BenchmarkPi.

  Linpack BenchmarkPi Neocore
SE Xperia X10 3.881 7061ms 29.5fps
HTC Desire 6.258 3092ms 28.1fps
Nexus One 7.095 3086ms 28.2fps
Samsung Galaxy S 8.406 2793ms 54.6fps
LG Optimus 2.743 10665ms 41.3fps
SE X10 Mini N/A 11484ms 42.9fps
Dell Streak 4.01 6751ms 27.8fps

Telephony

Although quite large, the Streak can indeed make calls, and I had no problems with clarity or anything like that. I don’t recommend the Streak for people who will just use it for calls due to the large form factor.
[nggallery id=45]

Contacts

The contacts application has been changed around to make it more finger on the large screen, I quite like it as it presents all ways you can communicate with that person, ie: Call, Text, Email, Website, Gtalk, Facebook etc..

If you set up Facebook it will sync all Facebook contacts to your contacts list as well.

Loudspeaker

The loudspeaker is quite loud and clear, nothing ground breaking, it just works.


Camera / Video

Camera

The Streak packs a 5MP Camera on the rear with dual LEDs and a VGA Camera on the front for video calling. The 2 LEDs do an alright job at lighting objects up at night if they’re within close range. Anywhere over 3-4 metres away and it’s almost useless.

There are a handful of options to play around with such as brightness, colour functions etc.. Stabilisation is pretty good given how tricky it can be to focus and take the photo. Test photos below in low light.
[nggallery id=43]

Video

The quality isn’t the greatest, but I don’t see why Dell wouldn’t enable 720p in future software updates. See the video below to make up your own mind, remember this was shot in the late afternoon. There are also a handful of options as with picture taking.

The front-facing camera does a great job for video calling people, I tested this by calling my brother over WiFi and was mostly lag free and clear.

After taking a video, uploading it to YouTube is as simple as always & is processed almost immediately by YouTube for viewing worldwide.


Data

The Streak runs on UMTS bands 900MHz & 2100MHz, meaning that it will run perfectly on all networks except Telstra NextG (850MHz). It is capable of 7.2Mbit down and 5.76Mbit up so it will make the most of any 3G connection you give it.


Battery Life

The battery in the Streak could be bigger, no doubt, but I had no problems getting a full day out of it with basic browsing, wifi & music. Not too bad considering it’s only 1530mAh.


Conclusion

The Dell Streak is absolutely amazing, no doubt about it. The screen is perfect for browsing full site on the go, the only let down there being no Flash 10.1 support yet. I don’t recommend it for someone who just wants to use it as a phone, as it’s too big to be just that. If you like the idea of the iPad but still want it to be portable and make calls, the Streak is perfect.

The price is worth it if you’re going to make the most it.


Buy the Dell Streak


A big thank you goes out to MobiCity, for supplying me with these awesome devices to review for you guys. They also offer pretty competitive prices for a massive range of Android Devices.

 

Buzz Moody  

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17 Comments on "Dell Streak — Review"

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Anonymous
Valued Guest
Anonymous
Not sure if I’ll be reprimanded for commenting on a 10 month old review, but I appreciate your efforts here. I know this is a bit of a niche product, and it’s aged quite a bit by now, but I’m still pretty interested in it. The worries I have are – finding accessories for it. It seems like they’re really difficult to come by. Doesn’t seem like it’s well supported. The Streak having it’s own propertiary port is pretty frustrating. It seems Optus have stopped selling the device (which is understandable), so I’d have to try and track down one… Read more »
vijay
Valued Guest
vijay
Hi, i just brought my dell streak from Tele choice (Optus but unlocked) i got it for $600 (which is cheap). i am loving it. i changed the UI with ADW.launcher which makes the dell streak looks like 2.1, but really cant play all the apps as most of the apps need the support of 2.1 or more. finally buy dell streak if u r getting for less that $650 only its cool. people are asking me every thime i bring this out of my pocket. but only thing is the battery life. i am not happy as it is… Read more »
Jan
Valued Guest

Hello, Mugen Power just released the 4800mAH Extended Battery for for Dell Streak,

it should be last triple time with 1 charge than the stock battery!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U7zM91VSgY

http://mugen.hk/mugen-power-4800mah-extended-battery-for-dell-streak-m01m.html

Cubits
Valued Guest
Cubits

Isn’t the upward push of screen size on phones going to squeeze this out of the market? The Galaxy already has a 4.3″ screen at the same res, and what does the streak do that it can’t?

Phones will grow as much as they can whilst still fitting into a pocket. I’m not sure tablet devices have a place in the world when they’re caught between the convergence of phones and laptops/netbooks.

Buzz Moody
Valued Guest

It has much more screen real estate, and can view full websites without the need to zoom as much a regular phone.

Russell Pollard
Valued Guest
Russell Pollard
I thought your review was very helpful but I still have a couple of questions and comments. 1. Have you tried any ebooks or online magazines and, if so, how was the experience? 2. Can you take self portraits as you can with the new iPhone using the front facing camera or is it restricted to video. And now the comments. In some places Telstra shorter wave 3G walks all over Optus et al, so this represents a huge restriction on choice! Is it the first sign that they are not really all that consumer focussed at Dell/ Ove spent… Read more »
Buzz Moody
Valued Guest
G’day Russell glad you found the review informative 🙂 Ebooks: I didn’t read any ‘Ebooks’ as such, but I did go through a couple of PDFs, and found the text to be very readable. Self Portraits: You can indeed take photos with the front facing camera, but the quality is pretty average. MobiCity: It’s entirely up to them what they want to charge for their devices, if they can sell products at that price (which they are), then good on them. But I completely understand about importing being cheaper, although there is no local warranty for some of the devices,… Read more »
Wants-a-streak
Valued Guest
Wants-a-streak

I’d really like to get a Dell streak… I don’t want to buy one from Mobicity because I’d like to ensure it’s unlocked, will work with phone companies here, and that I have an upgrade path to 2.1/2.2 when it’s available.

Is there any news at all about when it will be available in Australia?

My iphone 3G has gotten so slow I can’t even swipe to unlock before incoming calls time out and go to voicemail.

pete
Valued Guest
pete

Just wondered if we can we see a demo of the on screen keyboard in both portrait and landscape modes?

Buzz Moody
Valued Guest

There are two screenshots in the review of this:

Landscape:comment image
Portrait:comment image

Gary W
Valued Guest
Gary W
Good review, thanks. Is it a small tablet that’s also a phone, or a big phone that’s also a tablet? I’d have to try one for size. At least a Bluetooth headset can overcome the brick-to-the-head style, but that adds to the cost and the size and is not much help for casual phonies like me. I’m disappointed that it’s Android 1.6. Froyo has been out for how long? Leaving upgrades to the manufacturers is a weakness IMHO, leaves one open to the risk of your manufacturer deciding not to bother and orphaning your device. Is it cynical of me… Read more »
J
Valued Guest

Dell is planning to release it with 2.2 before the end of the year for Flash and 3.0 next year. They have more Droid phones coming out over the next 6-12 months and I do not see why they would not update the Streak to your liking. In any case, I am sure many droid techs will be sure to crack it to allow a straight Froyo, etc… to be loaded in the next6-9 months. 🙂

Gary W
Valued Guest
Gary W

…and I’m well and truly over proprietary connectors!

Nathan
Valued Guest
Nathan

Please discuss the proprietary USB connector – do they require crappy Dell software on your PC to interface with the phone?

Buzz Moody
Valued Guest

Indeed you need the Dell software on the computer to play around with the device. The software is conveniently stored on the 16GB microSD

Flame
Valued Guest
Flame

Yes I’m curious about the cable too – it looks a lot like the iPod/iPhone connector.

Simon
Valued Guest
Simon

hi Buzz, great review mate 🙂 as usual
I know that dell is working on 2.1 release. did Mobicity mention when that could be released in Australia? any timelines?

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