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Dell Streak review

Dell Streak review
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Retail Price: RM 1,929
AP Price: RM 1,850 - 1,930
Dell Streak features Android 2.0 OS with 5-inch WVGA (800x480) touchscreen, 5MP camera with dual LED flash, camera for video calls, microSD card slot and 1300mAh battery. Dell Streak is also rich in connectivity boasting widely used Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G.
Review On : Dell Streak


dell streak review


Sleek and hardy
There isn't any other device quite like the Streak because it integrates phone and tablet functions into a simple yet attractive device.

And don't be fooled by the term Tablet - the Streak is both lightweight and compact enough to fit in a pocket easily.

The build quality is rock solid and the housing is made of metal. Even the screen is made of durable Gorilla Glass material which is supposed to be scratch resistant.

We tried scratching it with sharp objects such as car keys and a pair of scissors but the glass screen survived with almost no damage. The test caused a barely noticeable scratch on the screen but it's very minor.

Bright and sharp, the 5in display has an impressive 800 x 480-pixel resolution which is a lot of space for displaying text and apps.

dell streak review

The Streak uses a customised Qwerty keyboard which has a numberpad. Typing on it takes getting used to because the alphabet keys are off centre because of the numberpad.

The numberpad makes entering dates and passwords easier but generally the keypad feels a little clunky to use at first.

Size matters
As a phone, the Streak is a little cumbersome to use as it is much bigger than most phones.

Call quality was fine but the tiny ear piece makes it difficult to align one's ear to hear calls clearly. The speakerphone fared better - it was clear but we would have preferred it to be a little louder.

Needless to say, a Bluetooth headset is a must if you intend to use the Streak as your primary phone.

Also, the device can become quirky when receiving calls. For example, we received a call once when using an application - the Streak just kept switching between the app and phone function.

Messaging, on the other hand, proved to be no problem on the Streak. The large virtual keyboard and predictive text made it easy to type accurately.

dell streak review

The device only has 2GB of Internal memory but you can expand it using microSD cards. The review unit was bundled with a 16GB microSD card and if that's not enough you can get a 32GB card.

Good Performance
Under the hood, the Streak has a speedy 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 512MB RAM.

Browsing on the Streak was a pleasant experience as it was able to render full webpages relatively fast although graphic intensive sites tended to load a little slower.

However, the browser struggled to keep up when we rapidly scrolled a webpage which caused it to appear choppy as it attempted to load the content.

Also because the Streak lacks Flash, not every site will display properly, and some embedded videos and animation clips will not appear at all.

The device uses the outdaded Android 1.6 but Dell has done a good job in reDesigning the interface to better suit a Tablet environment.

like other Android devices, the homescreen can be personalised with applications and widgets. However, the homescreen is orientated permanently in landscape view although applications work in portrait modes also.

Also, the Streak misses out on many improvements introduced with Android 2.2 - there are no animated wallpapers, support for integrated e-mail accounts or multitouch gestures.

Hopefully, when the Dell Streak is launched here early next year it will have the new OS.

The Streak's battery performance is surprisingly good for a device with a 5in touchscreen.

We were able to use it for an entire day for surfing the Web, making phone calls, checking e-mail and such before we needed to recharge it.

Other Features
The 5-megapixel camera isn't anything to shout about. It comes with standard features such as autofocus and dual LED flash.

It takes decent quality photos under bright sunlight but even those tended to be over sharpened and saturated to look natural.

dell streak review

The camera performs poorly in low light conditions and photos turned out mostly grainy and the dual LED flash doesn't really help matters.

Disappointingly, the camera is only capable of recording in standard VGA quality. The videos recordings were decent but could be better.

As a portable media player, the Streak features a nice clean interface that easily allows you to select your tunes.

Also, the Streak's large 5in screen is perfect for playing HD videos. It supports H.264, MPEG-4, 3GP and WMV formats but we were not able to play some movies on it.

The lack of codec support for popular formats like Xvid also limits the device's usefulness.

The Dell Streak is just compact enough to fit in your pocket and it's built tough so that you don't have to worry about your car keys scratching it.

However, as a phone it feels a little cumbersome to use, and the ear piece is too small and sounds too soft.

Also, it will take a little practice to get used to the virtual keyboard for messaging.

Browsing the Web is nice thanks to the large screen but the lack of Flash support means some site won't display properly.

In terms of performance, the Streak is fast but it's just hobbled by an old operating system. But this could be fixed when the device is released next year.

The device has some minor flaws but if you are interested in using a device that combines phone and Tablet features, then the Dell Streak is worth checking out.

Pros: Large 5in touchscreen; good web browser; decent battery life.
Cons: Outdated Android 1.6 OS; no Flash support; VGA video recording; limited video codec support.

Dell Streak Specifications:
Smartphone/Tablet hyrbid device
Network: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 900/2100
Operating system: Android 1.6
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1GHz
Display: 5in TFT capacitive touchscreen (480 x 800-pixels)
Camera: 5-megapixels with autofocus; dual LED flash; VGA video recording
Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi, micro USB
Memory: 2GB
Expansion slot: microSD (16GB microSD card included)
Standby/talk time: 384 hours/10 hours
Other features: Facebook and Twitter widgets; Google Talk, Google Maps and Quickoffice apps
Dimensions (W x D x H): 152.9 x 79.1 x 10mm
Weight: 220g
Price: TBA
Rating: 3.5
Review unit courtesy of Dell Malaysia, 1-800-88-0301

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