The Dell Streak is a hybrid and, with its 5-inch screen, falls in the space between the current smartphones and tablets. If you don’t think that the Streak is too large to be a phone, or too small to be a tablet, here is the rest of the story.
When we unboxed the Streak, we fell for the device without even having powered it on: The piano black front, makes the screen look monolithic. The curves of the edges, are not just pleasing to the eye, but also make holding this device easier.
This hybrid (or tablet, in context to this test) indeed has very good handling owing to its slim profile and a beautiful matte finish on the back. The build of the device is very nearly perfect – metallic, yet light at 220 grams. Perhaps the only fault is a not-so-well-fitting back cover. Also, removing it switches the tablet off.
The colours on Streak are perhaps not as bright as on the excellent Galaxy Tab, but the detail is excellent, with great viewing angle.
For a capacitive screen, Dell Streak has a poor touch. Also, the screen recognizes only two touches, as opposed to five that the Galaxy Tab recognized.
Dell Streak was criticized at launch because it forced the user to operate the device in only landscape mode. But thankfully, Android 2.2 upgrade allows the device to operate in both landscape and portrait mode.
The OS on the Streak comes wit Dell’s Stage UI, which follows the ‘Cards’ concept like the new Palm 2.0 OS and the Blackberry 6 OS with the introduction of ‘Stage widgets’. Each ‘Stage’ will hold information about one specific function of the device. Eg. Music, social and contacts. Running a finger along the bottom of the screen leads to a quick scroll between the various Stage widgets. Very handy.
The OS doesn’t seem fully cooked on the device yet. Dell have added superficial customization, they haven’t added something really useful, like the Task Manager on Galaxy Tab.
E-mail, Galaxy and Android Market provide the usual experience on Streak. The device relies solely on the Galaxy app to play videos, which is probably the reason for very poor native video playback support. It played up MP4 files (up to 720p). The stock Android music player does a decent job. The bundled earphones are very light and comfortable, and come with three different sizes of ear plugs. The sound is balanced, though it is not very lively or loud.
You have to rely on Google’s bundled internet-powered ‘Navigation’ app. ‘Zinio Reader’ provides magazines and Quick Office can be used for basic editing of documents on the go.
The battery life of the device is decent, more because it has to power a smaller screen as compared to the other tablets. However, be careful if the earthing at your place is poor, because as we charged this phone through our laptop the touch-screen went berserk. Highly undesired.
So, is the beauty of Dell Streak skin deep? Not with the latest Android. The biggest let down is the touch-screen of the device.
However, the Streak might attract many buyers simply because of its looks and form factors. After all, it is the only tablet in our test that might actually fit in your pocket. But then again, is it a tablet? Wouldn’t a tablet buyer go for the ‘intended’ larger screen? We leave it to you to answer these questions.
Other recommended posts:
- Apple iPad
- Apple iPad 2
- Samsung Galaxy Tab
- Thunderbird 3.1
- Google Plus Vs Social Networking Sites
- Types of cameras
- 10 Things to Know About Windows 8
- Mac OS X Shortcut Keys
- Timeline of Mac OS X for a Decade
- Technology and Education: Tablets in the Classroom
- Smartest smartphone OSes – iOS 5, Android 4.0, Windows Phone 7.5, BlackBerry OS 7, Symbian Belle
- Data Loss and Data Recovery
- 10 Most Memorable Tech CEOs of the Digital Era