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17
Oct
2010

Dell Streak review

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Written by Josip Brombauer   

HP Envy 17It's new, it's different, it's Dell and - it's an Android-based "tablet". Or, just maybe, a "big mobile phone", just like iPad. Yes, it might be a "clash of the titans", or a "clash of two different philosophies, but there are actually quite a few people that would prefer to have some kind of storage connectivity, unlike Apple's iPad. With Streak, this is achieved by using microSD card that you can easily put in and take out. It doesn't have the USB connection, although it does have something iPad-alike on that subject...


@WORK

Its screen is definitely large enough and very pleasant to use but - there's a "but". A lot of things on the Streak feel a bit unfinished - UI-wise. It's just not as optimized as it should be so it feels a bit slow. We tested it with Android 1.6 onboard (default as there's still no update), and we were surprised to see that it feels kind of laggy, even when you're browsing. Considering the fact that Dell announced that they'll be providing an update for Streak before year end (direct to Android 2.2, skipping 2.1), we're still waiting on what kind of performance and UI-upgrades we might expect.

 

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@CONNECTIVITY
Unlike iPad, you can actually use this as a phone, not just a internet-browsing, movie-watching, application/gaming and book-reading device. For some, this is a benefit and for some it's not, as it kind of feels like a really big phone. But from connectivity standpoint it has everything - 3-band, 2G, 3G and 3.5G are all there, as well as Wi-Fi that's highly usable if you want to browse the Internet with it. We noticed some weird slowdowns with wireless, though and we're hoping that we'll see significant upgrade to its performance with the Android 2.2 update.


@BATTERY
Battery life is rather good, as this thing has a really large footprint and quite some space for battery, as well (5.661Whr, according to battery specifications). What this means is that you'll be able to browse the Internet by using Wi-Fi for some 7h52min, talk on the phone for some 7 hours (6h58min) and browse the web via 3G for some five and a half hours (5h31m), according to our measurements. This is really good, especially if you consider the screen size (5 inch).


@CONCLUSION
Design feels really good, screen is very comfortable to use and the only thing we'd kind of expect from it is - some more speed. Both in terms of UI speed which will require quite a lot of work on customization, and in terms of wireless, that's kind of slow when compared to what we're used to with other devices. Also, normal operations are also quite hampered by lack of speed - sometimes even viewing pictures can cause some quite noticeable delays. Camera on the inside of the device needs some work, as well, as pictures are a bit foggy and strange, while the outboard-facing camera (5MP) is ok. Not comparable to some high-end mobile phones we've seen, but ok. Overall, a very good phone, a semi-good tablet, but a move in the right direction nevertheless. We'll see what happens with the 2.2 update and let you know - soon, we hope...

 

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