- Large screen for web browsing, video, etc.
- Excellent performance
- Barely pocketable
- Not great for voice calls
- Out-of-date OS (but that's going to change)
An outstanding choice for those looking to do more with their smartphone
The Dell Streak is a device whose 5-inch display makes it either a very large smartphone or a very small tablet computer.
Whatever its classification, this model runs Google’s Android OS on a 1 GHz processor, and offers Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, and a 5 megapixel camera.
The Streak is available from Dell for $300 with a two-year AT&T service contract, or $550 without a contract.
BUILD & DESIGN
This may sound odd, but how large the Streak is depends on how you classify it. If you consider it a smartphone, it’s really big. On the other hand, if you think of it as a tablet computer, it’s very small.
That makes it small enough to go easily into a pair of cargo pants — something that’s never going to happen with an Apple iPad. On the other hand, it weighs enough that you’re not likely to forget which pocket you have it in.
The centerpiece of the Dell Streak is its 5-inch, 800 x 480 pixel (WVGA) capacitive touchscreen.
This largedisplay allows you to get more done with this device than you would on a smaller smartphone. It makes web browsing better, emails easier to read, and is a blessing for watching video and reading ebooks.
Colors are great, and thisscreen offers a wide range of viewing angles, so it’s possible for two people to watch a movie together.
Itisn’t too bad a fingerprint magnet — it’s no worse than any other item you regularly rub your fingers on.
The Streak doesn’t have a physical keyboard, but its large display gives plenty of room for an on-screen one. There’s room for all the commonly used punctuation marks to have their own keys, and there’s a dedicated number area.
In most apps you have a choice of a landscape and aportrait version of the virtual keyboard, The landscape oneis definitely better, but the portrait version is still usable.
Other Buttons & Controls
This Dell model has been designed to primarily be used in landscape mode, though most of its features can be used in portrait mode.
Built into the touchscreen are the Home, Menu, and Back buttons. These are large and easy to use — a good thing, as they are the three most frequently used buttons on any Android OS device.
Along the top (or the right side in portrait mode) are the Power button, Camera button, Volume Up/Down rocker, and the 3.5 mm headset jack.
On the bottom is the Streak’s combination data and power port. The device comes with a cable you plug into this port to recharge or to synchronize with your PC.
You also use this port with the HDMI port for viewing HD TV, but I was unable to test this feature, as Dell did not supply me with the required HD dock.
Dell’s decision to create its own port rather than use standard ones was a real mistake. You can’t connect any cables to this smartphone besides Dell’s own, a real inconvenience for frequent travelers.