The Good Huge, responsive screen; slender; Wi-Fi and fast HSPA connectivity; Easily sync media to your desktop computer an upgrade to Android 2.2 this year; thumb set possible; expandable memory; access to applications in the Android Market.
The Bad Android 1.6 is relatively old; lack of multi-touch capabilities on Google Maps lack of navigation on Google Maps cunning keyboard; The Android UI is not configured enough to take full advantage of the big screen; no access to BBC iPlayer.
The Bottom Line The Dell Streak is the best Android tablet, but there is still room for improvement. Its sleek and versatile hardware comes with a rather old version of Android that lacks some key features, and a fussy user interface that doesn’t fully use the large screen
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The bigger the better, the Dell Streak is the largest smartphone in the world. But size isn’t everything, and although the Streak screen is big and powerful Android The operating system provides a lot of fun, it needs a little more polishing before realizing our fantasies on an Android tablet.
Streak is only available in O2. It will set you back £ 399 in cash. You can also take it for free for a two-year £ 35 per month voice and data contract, or free for a two-year £ 25 monthly contract if you do not want to use it as a phone.
Is it a Streak phone or tablet? We think it’s a bit of both. Although its size means it looks hilarious when held in front of its face, its 127mm (5-inch) screen gets on a slim 10mm case, meaning it can technically be tucked into a pocket. Unlike the iPad, theStreak does not feel like a lively A4 paper package. It’s more like every very large phone, just like the HTC HD2did.
But Streak’s main strength is its tablet-like size. While holding it, Streak reminded us of the SonyPSP Go type portable game console since its buttons are located so that you typically use its landscape orientation. We rarely used Streak in portrait mode, especially since home screens are always displayed in landscape mode, which is not the case with most Android phones.
Streak’s widescreen orientation emphasizes its benefits as a media player and web surfing device over its phone quality. Dell has used widescreen real estate in several places – for example, a phone number contains a list of recent calls near the keyboard. Dell has also placed many more options at the top of the screen, where other Android phones only have notifications – for example, the menu button is located at the top of the screen rather than the bottom as usual.
But Dell’s efforts are not too far in our taste. We would like the user interface to be as thoughtful as the iPad, using the big screen big advantage. For example, we want the Gmail app to make the most of the landscape screen, as it does on the iPad, rather than just a stretched phone app. Even where Streak makes full use of available space – as in the Address Book, where each person’s contact settings are displayed as buttons next to their name – the gray user interface lacks flair.
The widescreen is also likely to be a stretching of your fingers as you type. But at least you can spoil your thumbs – iPad-sized tablets are simply taken care of to allow typing.
However, Dell has decided to abandon the huge, finger-friendly buttons in favor of every single key you can imagine. This means that there is a full Qwerty keyboard, a numeric keypad, separate shift and blank keys, and an adouble width button designed exclusively for inserting emoticons.
Millions of keys also have millions of alternatives, so the characters you will never have to use, such as a registered trademark, are at your fingertips. This is handy for sending math accidental messages to your mates, but it’s useless for most people. We would like to have bigger, easier to press buttons.
Streak also lacks text prediction and spelling correction features, which typically make typing on the touch screen faster and more accurate. This makes the Streak look sleek, but it makes it difficult to place the cursor in tiny text. Unlike iPhone OS , which has a little magnifying glass to help you find your place, Android has no software solution to this problem. This is not an example of how Android software needs to be tweaked on a tablet to take full advantage of the hardware as a serious email and recording device.
Work in progress
In general, Streak is a good first attempt by Dell to make an Androidtablet, but there are many options for improvement. Dell has promised to release an automatic upgrade to Android 2.2 within a year, but Streak has stuck with version 1.6.
Many users will not miss the latest Android features on their phone. But, on an advanced – and expensive – tablet device such as Streak, the lack of the latest Android is disappointing. The lack of Exchange email support feels like a huge hole, and the app that comes pre-installed for the task, TouchDown, is not user-friendly or good looking.
The big, beautiful maps you see while using Google Maps are omitted because there is no multi-touch resolution so you can easily zoom in and out with two fingers while pressing or stretching while you get this feature in your web browser and galleries. No free Google MapsNavigation navigation. Both of these missing features come with a later version of Android.
Videos from YouTube and other sources look good on the WVGA Streak screen, however BBC iPlayer – zone without a ride. Website blocks Android phones, unofficially beebPlayer the app is no longer available. When the update to Android2.2 is released, you will also receive Flash Player 10.1, and the Flash video on iPlayer will finally be yours. In the meantime, you’re out of luck.
All the features of the Android operating system are in place, including access to applications from the Android Market
Streak still has many features, such as TheAndroid Market, that will allow you to download thousands of applications and games. But it’s not nice to discover a new gadget that’s already a little outdated and then have to wait for an update without even knowing exactly when it will arrive.
Although the software upset us, the Streak hardware did not disappoint. Elegant and slim as a monolith 2001: Space Odyssey , Streak also has a decent 5MP camera that can shoot video. There is even a VGA camera on the front that is great for video calls when Skype pulls out a finger and gets an Android app just like the Nokia N900.
7.2 Mbps Wi-Fi and fast HSPA connectivity let you watch surfing at home or on the road, and 1 GHz Snapdragon The processor means that the phone is running smoothly, even if multiple applications are running.
Built-in 2GB of microSDcard storage and easy to sync Streak to music and video on your desktop. However, unfortunately it has a corporate port for this purpose, so you will need to use a special cable.
Dell also promises that Streak may take a few more punches than its delicate on-screen competition. The Gorilla Glass touch screen should be able to withstand the full frontal assault on the keys in your pocket or purse, although we did not enter it because of our brutal monitor test.
We are looking for an Android tablet to challenge the iPad, but Dell Streakmerely boosts our appetite. The sleek, powerful Streak is let down by the relatively old version of Android, and £ 399 is a considerable sum of money to get on the gadget if you have to wait for an upgrade before it can reach its full potential.
Streak is much better than Android Archos 5 Online Tablet , and it offers many advantages over the iPad, however, which hinders the polished UI of the Apple device. After all, Streak is a predictable feature for future Android tablets, not a must-have gadget.
Edited by Charles Clough