Dell Streak

The Dell Streak is a lot smaller than your average tablet and a lot bigger than a large
touchscreen mobile phone. So the questionis, just where does it fit in?
Dressed in all black, we have to admit that it’s quite a looker. It’s just 10 mm thick, which actually makes it a lot slimmer than quite a few smartphones. Weighing just 220 g, it’s comfortable to hold as well. It’s got 2.2 GB of internal memory and it also supports microSD cards of up to 32 GB.
Although there’s a hot swap under the rear panel for the memory card, for some strange reason, the
handset tends to auto switch-off if the panel is opened. The 3.5 mm hands-free port is located on
one side, or rather the top of the device, since it’s typically supposed to be used in landscape mode
like the Nokia N900. The volume/zoom keys, screen lock and the camera’s shutter release are also
located on this side.

Dell’s first mistake is incorporating a proprietary USB/charging port (bottom) into the Streak.Since it’s pretty much a large mobile handset, it would have been a whole lot simpler on us if thewent with a standard micro USB socket. Dell hasgone with touch-sensitive buttons on one side of the display. A microphone is also located on the same side. A light sensor and front-facing VGA camera are located on the other side just near the phone’s speaker. Using this rather large device to answer calls takes a lot of getting used to, so we’d recommend using the hands-free instead. The large5-inch touchscreen display sports a 480x800 pixel resolution, which makes it clear and easy to view even in the bright outdoors.
Dell’s second mistake is launching a device like this with an outdated version of the operating system. The Streak comes with Android 1.6 and we were told that it’s upgradeable to 2.1 (although we were unable to do so). Donut just doesn’t cut it anymore, and while Éclair has its fl aws, it left 1.6 in its dust long ago. If you’re removing shortcuts/ widgets from the desktop, there’s no click-and drag- to-Trash option; you’ll have to select the icon and then select the menu button to remove the item. It allows you to create multiple desktops, and wallpapers can be set individually to each. The drop-down menus make it easy to access various options, notifi cations and settings.
We had a couple of issues with the UI. Firstly, multi-touch wasn’t a universal function. On any Android 2.1+ handset, Angry Birds would allow you to pinch zoom out so you can see just where you’re fi ring. Thankfully, the browser and image gallery allow for multi-touch zooming without a hitch. It still isn’t as smooth as the iPhone’s, but it’ll do. We expected a bit more in terms of speed from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 1 GHz processor.

It’s not a slow handset, but activating apps and opening menus wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped. The keypad could also have been a little better designed. With the num pad on the side, it means your right thumb is going to have to do a bit of stretching. In portrait mode, the Zero and ‘O’ are too close together since the num pad moves above the QWERTY keypad. It’ll take some getting used to.
There was quite a bit of confusion while syncing Facebook and Google accounts with the device’s phonebook. 



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