Dell Streak… I Got Mine!

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I was able to get my hands on a Dell Streak on Friday and have been playing with it over the weekend.  In case you don’t know, about it Dell brought this oversize cell phone to market on Friday.  Dell calls it a… Well I am not sure what Dell calls its. Dell’s website refers to the  Streak as “the perfectly-sized, help go-anywhere, pilule entertainment, social connection, and navigation device.”  So what ever category that falls under? It is not, as some have mentioned on other blogs, an iPad competitor. I call it an oversized cell phone because it has a fully functional cell phone and that is what I have been using it for.
First off, let’s look at the technical specifications. This Droid (Android 1.6 and I am not sure why Dell did not use the 2.2 OS) based device in 6 x 3.1 x 0.4 inch form factor and weights almost 8 oz. That makes it a really large cell phone, but for me it is pretty comfortable. If you like small devices that you can shove in your front pocket, you should probably skip it.
I really like the screen,  a 5 inch (12.7 cm)  LCD multi-touch screen display that is very sharp and clear. (Compared the Streak to the iPhone 4 which has a 3.5 inches display,  Droid X has a  4.3-inch screen and the iPad is 9.7.) With regard to the Touch Screen,  based upon my short experience the responsiveness is pretty good, note that I have sausage like fingers and I generally don’t do well with touch screen technology.
Other pluses are the camera and video recording capabilities, along with 3G, wifi and blue tooth that are also standard. The device I got came with a 16GB storage card, I understand you can get a 32GB card if you want, and Dell has a number of other accessories to go along with it.
I have a concern about battery life, but I will let the wife run it through its paces playing Farmville and Mafia Wars and see how it holds up!
A real negative is that this is locked to one carrier, here is another device with ties to AT&T. I got the $249 version (contract with AT&T), but you can get it off contract for about $549. However, I have heard that the SIM is locked to AT&T, so if you want to go with another provider… SUX2BU! Personally, I have always thought tying the device to the provider is just a poor way of inducing users on to your service, but I’ll save that for another time.
I got this device for free… I won’t say who provided it to me, but it was not Dell, and all in all I like it and I think it will be a good productivity tool for me. However, if I had to purchase this device with my own dollars, I would probably skip it for a couple of reasons. One reason is it is first generation, and if you have been in technology for any amount of time, you understand the first generation of anything is very buggy and prone to failures. (Of course, some second generation releases have shown us they can’t get over that hump) Second, and the most compelling argument for me, is that I don’t like being told I have to be tied to one carrier, I don’t care who it is!
Nonetheless, I suggest you take a look for yourself and see what you think!
Martin Swinney

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