Dell Streak is a big and sleek smartphone that is still able to fit into your pocket. In terms of hardware, Dell Streak is evidence of Dell’s decision to venture into uncharted territory with their second-ever smartphone. The device combines an unusual form factor with its 10mm-thick slab and its five-inch 800×480 LCD. This resembles the Archos 5 PMP although it has a capacitive touch overlay. The screen is also great as it can be used under the sun as well.
Streak has a rather sexy form but is still rigid all the same. However, the plastic parts on the other two sides of the phone aren’t as tough as you would expect as they tend to scratch easily. The rounded edges on the two shorter sides of the phone enable you to hold it as comfortably as you would a PSP. You are likely to intrigue many people you come across so be prepared for all the attention your Streak will get.
As for the software, Dell Streak’s firmware performs very smoothly and is stable as well. With this device, Dell has put on its own skin over the Android 1.6 OS – which the home screen icons placed in shaded boxes, the menu dropping from the top and shrinking to a favourites bar. On the top bar, you have a home screen-switching button, notifications area and a status area, all of which you can trigger by simply tapping instead of dragging.
If you want to remove a home screen icon on this phone, you will have to hold down on it until it goes red, and thereafter press the menu button for the remove option. This is unlike most Android phones and is much more convenient than having to drag an icon across a 5-inch screen. The phone dialer is a little disappointing because Dell have opted for a rather dull-looking skin. While the dialpad layout is acceptable, the overall look of the phone seems rather unfinished and what’s worse, the phone does not support smart-dialling.
And then there’s the camera. You are able to get pretty good outdoor shots even by setting picture quality to “Fine”, except for a little over-saturation. However, you will have a much harder time getting good quality night shots. The camcorder provides acceptable picture quality, although it has similar problems with saturation and night shots. Nevertheless, it doesn’t suffer from reduced frame rate when filming in a dark setting, unlike with the latest HTC phones.