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

The Streak took us by surprise in August and we closed the last review feeling that it could be a groundbreaking product for Dell. Sadly it never took the world by storm, but we feel it generated enough ripples on the ocean to warrant a follow up at a later date.

Android Froyo 2.2 has revitalised The Streak and it is an absolute joy to use. The Google interface is fast, intuitive and offers so much more than V1.6 did four short months ago.

Browsing the internet is much more enjoyable than it is with any other smartphone we have used. The additional physical real estate enhances the overall experience because you have more room to type and more of a visual landscape to enjoy when viewing movies or images.  People with big hands, like me will find it much easier to use than any of the smaller competitors.

The screen definition, even four months later is still stunning, you really won’t get much better than this for quality. The Streak is also small enough to carry around all the time, unlike the iPad. I found myself using The Streak for email when I was on the move, and for watching video clips. You never feel shortchanged, and I didn’t find myself squinting at the screen to read text on a webpage either, which I often do using other smartphones.

The battery life is fantastic, although if you are active with Wi-Fi it will drop this time dramatically. With light, general use we squeezed three to four days from it which is a lot more than many people would expect.

Last time we mentioned that the performance was sadly lacking. As we have found out today, this had nothing to do with the Qualcomm 1GHZ processor, but was more related to the early build of the Android operating system. With Froyo 2.2 it feels much more responsive, verified by the RightWare BrowserMark test.

I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the 5 MP camera. Maybe someday a company will bring one out that is actually good, but I still think the technology is a long time away. It’s an SLR for me, every time. Perhaps I am being overly critical of the camera, because I lent the phone to my 14 year old niece for a few hours and she thought the pictures looked fantastic.

Using this phone in public certainly attracts attention, not just for the size, but for the dramatic red paintwork. If I was buying a phone today, this would be it. I normally have very little interest in smartphones, but this really is something special.

You can pick it up now from Dell starting at £399 inc vat.

KitGuru says: This is the Ferrari of the smartphone world and I think its criminal that it hasn’t been a best seller.

The Ferrari of the Smart Phone world: Yes, we like to create a render to prove a point.

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Rating: 9.0.

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