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Dell Streak Review – ‘Ferrari red’ revisited with Android 2.2 (Froyo)

The last time we reviewed the Streak, the front of the box was covered with a PR agencies information so we had to take a picture of the rear. Thats not really much of an introduction I know, but as you can see from the picture above, it is quite colourful. Facebook gets the primary focus, probably to catch the attention of social networking addicts in a store.

Inside, the bundle is extremely impressive, Dell supply quick start literature and other documentation. There is a power adaptor which connects to a computer or a plug socket.  The headphones are surprisingly good and we like the fact they have included buds at various sizes for different ears. The protective felt pouch is a nice addition.

This time we received the red version of the Streak, which is much nicer looking than the plain black version we reviewed in August. The red paint is stunning and doesn’t mark. It is coated so it won’t stratch easily either.

Dell call it the ‘Magic Red’ version, but I prefer ‘Ferrari Red. ‘It sounds much sexier, but I would assume Dell might have a copyright issue.

The paintwork really does need to be seen to be believed. It wouldn’t look out of place perched on the dashboard of a Ferrari sportscar. A 5.0 megapixel camera is positioned to the side.

The power connector fits into the middle of the unit at the lower edge. Word of warning, make not to lose this as nothing else will charge The Streak.

The design ethic is ‘keep it simple’. Along the top there are only a few buttons. One for standby power on/off, next to a camera button. On the other end of the chassis is a volume control button with a headphone jack beside it.

Along the front of the screen there is a thin strip which contains three touch sensitive buttons. A ‘home’ button, a ‘menu’ button, and a ‘back’ button. These offer different functionality depending on what you are doing at the time. The system really is beautiful in operation and offers the same level of intuitiveness as an Apple product. I had absolutely no problems moving from iOS to the Dell machine.

The quality of the 5 inch 800×480 capacitive touchscreen is simply stunning. While we will look at the interface more on the coming pages, I wanted to take some shots of the screen …. in concentrated lighting to show how reflective and clear it is. The shot above right is not a photoshopped image, I simply told the Nikon D300S camera to take a focus on the reflected image in the sceen. That is how clear the panel is – not a blemish in sight. Yes, blue skies in Ireland in December, and a foot of snow outside.

Two images of the red Dell Streak above. Underneath the older black version we tested in August. How mundane is the black colour in hindsight?

Inside there is a slot for a SIM and Dell include a 16GB Sandisk MicroSD card. The product is unlocked, so I simply used the Sim card from my Nokia  and didn’t experience a single issue. There is 2GB of memory onboard, so 18GB all in, thats pretty impressive. If you need more, it does support a 32GB card. The phone supports GSM/EDGE and dualband 900/1200 UMTS/HSPA, up to 7.2Mbps downlink and 5.76Mbps uplink, depending on the network. Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and GPS, accelerometer, digital compass and an ambient light sensor are also all on board. It even has a proximity sensor which is an excellent addition.

The battery is a 1,320mAh model which is rated for up to 10 hours talktime and 400 hours standby.

Last time we reviewed the Streak people asked me ‘But how big is it?’. Instead of merely saying ‘5 inches’, I have taken some photographs of it next to a Nokia E71, iPhone 3GS and a Blackberry. It is easily much bigger than any of them, but then you already expected that.

You certainly know you are carrying it, but it isn’t that heavy. Its 9.98mm thick which means it fits into a coat pocket without a problem. I found myself using it for email fairly regularly, especially when I didn’t want to lug the iPad about with me.

Talk quality is better than the iPhone and just as good as the BlackBerry phone, which leads the pack.

To test today I am using the same software and methodology as I did before, although im going to include a full page of videos of the Streak in action later. I wanted to confirm our findings last time and to measure any differences with this newer revision, running on the new Android Froyo 2.2.

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