Dell Streak: The versatile 5-inch Android tablet

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Dell Streak: The versatile 5-inch Android tablet

 I'm pumped to finally get a chance to blog about the upcoming Dell Streak tablet device. Since we first previewed the Dell Streak at CES 2010, it's been making waves in the blogosphere ever since. The 5-inch tablet will launch first to customers in the United Kingdom in early June. Customers there will be able to purchase it across the UK at O2 stores, O2.co.uk, The Carphone Warehouse and later this month on Dell.co.uk. Pricing and data plans for UK customers will be announced by O2 before availability. We plan to make the Dell Streak available to customers in the United States later this summer.

I've been at Dell for 16 years, and I don't think there's ever been more buzz around a single Dell product than this. In my view, that's for good reason. Hardware and design-wise, this thing impresses. Add the ever-increasing capability that Android brings to the equation, and you've got a mobile device that offers a ton of flexibility while looking cool in the process. The Dell Streak brings together a great web browsing experience, multi-tasking capability, slick turn by turn navigation and a great way to enjoy your photos, movies and music into a sleek device that's built for mobility.

Update: Here's a short video we uploaded to the Dell YouTube channel that provides a quick overview of what you can use Streak for:

The Dell Streak is a hybrid device that lives in the space between a smartphone and other larger tablets or netbooks that you might be using right now. We designed it to provide a wide range of users flexibility to do what they need with a mobile device. That's why we packed the Dell Streak with a lot of features. We'll utilize that flexibility via over-the-air updates for platform upgrades, Adobe Flash 10.1 on Android 2.2 later this year, plus other enhancements like video chat applications and more.  

After using the Dell Streak for a bit, one thing that really stands out in my opinion is the screen. The vivid, 5-inch diagonal display may seem only slightly larger than many of the smartphones making waves out there specs-wise. But when that larger screen is coupled with higher pixel density, it's surprising how much difference that extra inch and a half or so makes in everyday activities like browsing the web, playing games or watching video. Because it's made with Gorilla Glass the screen also has a pretty big durability advantage over more fragile mobile devices. Take a look at the Gizmodo hands-on to see what I mean. The Dell Streak is thin (10mm-which is  thinner than a lot of mobile devices out there), and though it's just a bit heavier than other smartphones, it feels solid and balanced-which makes using it pretty natural across a number of activities. We'll also offer all kinds of Dell Streak accessories like a car dock kit, battery replacements, a home AV dock and more. 

The Dell Streak is a device designed for accessing entertainment, navigating your busy schedule and connecting you to the friends and family who matter to you. If you want dig into more details, check out this video interview with Kevin Andrew from the Dell Streak development team: 

Hardware-wise, the Dell Streak features the following:

  • A sharp 5-inch capacitive multi-touch WVGA (800x480) display for a great full-screen experience watching video or browsing the web
  • Fast 1GHz Snapdragon ARM-based mobile processor from Qualcomm
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with dual LED flash that offers easy point & shoot capability and quick uploads to YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and more
  • VGA front-facing camera enables video chat functionality down the road
  • A user-removable (and replaceable) battery
  • A 3.5mm headphone jack means many of you can use the Dell Streak as the music source (and more) in your car
  • Integrated 3G + Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) + Bluetooth 2.1 (think headsets, external keyboards, stereo headsets, etc.)
  • UMTS / GPRS / EDGE class 12 GSM radio with link speeds of HSDPA 7.2 Mbps / HSUPA
  • A user-accessible Micro SD slot expandable up to 32GB. That means you can store  lots of movies, music, photos or other kinds of files.

On the software side, here's what you can expect:

  • A customized multi-touch version of the Google Android operating system that features Dell user interface enhancements
  • Access to over 38,000  apps (and growing) via the Android Marketplace
  • Microsoft Exchange connectivity and integration through TouchDown
  • Google Voice support
  • Integrated Google Maps with voice-activated search, turn-by-turn navigation, street and satellite views
  • Quick access to activity streams via integrated social network app widgets like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Like an increasing number of our laptop and netbook products, Dell Streak will ship with cushions made from compostable bamboo. Take a look at the Streak 5 product page if you want to take a look in more detail.

More Dell Streak details will be coming in subsequent posts. In the meantime, feel free to leave comments or questions to this blog post, or follow the discussion on Twitter by using the #DellStreak hashtag.

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  • Hi Lionel, can you provide more info on the phone specs? I'm seeing contradictory information regarding the amout of built-in storage and RAM. Also, I have not seen them mentioned anywhere so I assume no FM radio and no digital compass.

  • vcespon: Thanks for commenting, Let me check and I'll update this comment with more details.

    The Dell Streak supports 512MB RAM, up to 32GB through a microSD card slot and it also features 2GB of memory used specifically to store applications. Many other devices either use 512MB or 1GB dedicated memory for apps.

    Here are the memory specs:

    To those of you who are asking, here's the Dell Streak spec sheet from the O2 website. You can also click on the image above to go there directly.

    As far as other questions... the Dell Streak does also support GPS. I've used it with Google Maps navigation and it worked great. As far as the video camera capability: unfortunately, 720p video recording is not supported.

  • O2 have the RAM spec'd at 256MB - seems a little low for a new Android device?!

    www.o2.co.uk/dellstreak

  • finally, DELL has a unique device to take on the iphone.  why would DELL not sell it for $300 w/o a contract (i.e., netbook price) in the US, so that  existing iphone users would switch.  what a wasted opportunity...

  • So my first two questions are: Why only 5 inches? and Why is it releasing in the UK first? You would think that it would have a larger screen and launch in the US first to get solid footing against the iPad. Are there other versions coming out soon to accompany this unit? So far this is very underwhelming.

  • @criptodude: This is the first of a series of Dell tablets. There are other two models with 7" and 10" screens (and powerful Nvidia Tegra 2 co-processors). This is intended as a really portable tablet that also serves as a phone. A 10" tablet is not something you will be carring with you all the time, the Dell Streak is.

    @Lionel:  The O2 site says 512 MB ROM, and then 2 GB internal memory. What does this mean?

  • I'm very excited. Definitely needs more RAM and a large hard drive. I'm very curious what else is coming out from competitors now.

    Glad it's on Android. I ticks me off how Apple is closed sourced.

    I was expecting the Nexus One to have two cameras and this does!.  And it's GSM! Are there any phone networks it works "best" with, or is it unlocked?

    And you're going to allow us to upgrade to Android 2.2?  We don't have to buy a new Streak to upgrade??

    I would love to be a product manager for this, or do customer research for it!

    I'm so glad I own Dell stock.  Go Dell!

    Okay, sorry for the rant. I'm just very excited.

  • Some reports have it with a GPS receiver. I see Google Maps listed but not the GPS.

  • @ cryptodude

    Why shouldn't the UK get it first? You get the ipad and we get the Streak.

    @ Lionel Menchaca

    Can we get an official Dell spec list please.

  • Do we have a more exact date or carrier for US release?

  • I have been waiting for this phone for FOREVER! Is there any information on pricing? At least a hint like less than or greater than $500? Is HDMI out only available through the docking station? Is there any way to hook up a keyboard and mouse to it? I was just thinking that with the HDMI out it would be cool to hook it up to the TV and search youtube and whatnot. Thanks.

  • Now Dailytech says that the Dell Streak has 408 MB of DRAM, two microSD slots and 16 GB of flash memory built-in. Can we get the OFFICIAL specs of this device? I mean, I want to get the facts straight before placing the order.

  • I will gladly buy this.

    Hopefully on a VERIZON (best network) Plan

    Tho Dell tends to go for ther best deal/Worst supplier.

    This is not just a phone with TWICE the screen area of a 3.5" phone, it's a small tablet.

    Big key and number pad and I think even lartge enough for stock monitoring and trading.

  • I am also very interested in the device. But as a Canadian, I'm resigned to my fate. It is highly unlikely that we Canadians will see this device this year, or perhaps even next year. Our carriers have a dismal offering of Android phones.

    Lionel:

    Do you happen to know if and when this device might be released in Canada?

    If not, will this be offered on the US Dell site for delivery to Canadian/US customers in an unlocked version?

    Looking forward to getting some answers!

  • Although Dell try its best to make a device to out-perform any competitor from i Pad to Nokia's Tablets, by giving 2 card slots, 5MP rear + front video call camera and all other features normally most of devices have...

    But its lacking in 3 categories to unleash a real monster:

    1.. It must upgrade both SD-slots to support 32GB cards each, so one shouldn't be worry about losing a space

    2.. Its touch interface should be capable of handling "multi touch" & "gestures control" Features

    3.. THE MOST IMPORTANT of ALL is there is hell of the devices support USB-OTG (on-the-go), Dell must put some effort to inject this feature in this device....

    Overall good work by Dell...But plz consider those points...!!!

  • Hi Lionel, can you provide more info on the phone specs? I'm seeing contradictory information regarding the amout of built-in storage and RAM. Also, I have not seen them mentioned anywhere so I assume no FM radio and no digital compass.

  • vcespon: Thanks for commenting, Let me check and I'll update this comment with more details.

    The Dell Streak supports 512MB RAM, up to 32GB through a microSD card slot and it also features 2GB of memory used specifically to store applications. Many other devices either use 512MB or 1GB dedicated memory for apps.

    Here are the memory specs:

    To those of you who are asking, here's the Dell Streak spec sheet from the O2 website. You can also click on the image above to go there directly.

    As far as other questions... the Dell Streak does also support GPS. I've used it with Google Maps navigation and it worked great. As far as the video camera capability: unfortunately, 720p video recording is not supported.

  • O2 have the RAM spec'd at 256MB - seems a little low for a new Android device?!

    www.o2.co.uk/dellstreak

  • finally, DELL has a unique device to take on the iphone.  why would DELL not sell it for $300 w/o a contract (i.e., netbook price) in the US, so that  existing iphone users would switch.  what a wasted opportunity...

  • So my first two questions are: Why only 5 inches? and Why is it releasing in the UK first? You would think that it would have a larger screen and launch in the US first to get solid footing against the iPad. Are there other versions coming out soon to accompany this unit? So far this is very underwhelming.

  • @criptodude: This is the first of a series of Dell tablets. There are other two models with 7" and 10" screens (and powerful Nvidia Tegra 2 co-processors). This is intended as a really portable tablet that also serves as a phone. A 10" tablet is not something you will be carring with you all the time, the Dell Streak is.

    @Lionel:  The O2 site says 512 MB ROM, and then 2 GB internal memory. What does this mean?

  • I'm very excited. Definitely needs more RAM and a large hard drive. I'm very curious what else is coming out from competitors now.

    Glad it's on Android. I ticks me off how Apple is closed sourced.

    I was expecting the Nexus One to have two cameras and this does!.  And it's GSM! Are there any phone networks it works "best" with, or is it unlocked?

    And you're going to allow us to upgrade to Android 2.2?  We don't have to buy a new Streak to upgrade??

    I would love to be a product manager for this, or do customer research for it!

    I'm so glad I own Dell stock.  Go Dell!

    Okay, sorry for the rant. I'm just very excited.

  • Some reports have it with a GPS receiver. I see Google Maps listed but not the GPS.

  • @ cryptodude

    Why shouldn't the UK get it first? You get the ipad and we get the Streak.

    @ Lionel Menchaca

    Can we get an official Dell spec list please.

  • Do we have a more exact date or carrier for US release?

  • I have been waiting for this phone for FOREVER! Is there any information on pricing? At least a hint like less than or greater than $500? Is HDMI out only available through the docking station? Is there any way to hook up a keyboard and mouse to it? I was just thinking that with the HDMI out it would be cool to hook it up to the TV and search youtube and whatnot. Thanks.

  • Now Dailytech says that the Dell Streak has 408 MB of DRAM, two microSD slots and 16 GB of flash memory built-in. Can we get the OFFICIAL specs of this device? I mean, I want to get the facts straight before placing the order.

  • I will gladly buy this.

    Hopefully on a VERIZON (best network) Plan

    Tho Dell tends to go for ther best deal/Worst supplier.

    This is not just a phone with TWICE the screen area of a 3.5" phone, it's a small tablet.

    Big key and number pad and I think even lartge enough for stock monitoring and trading.

  • I am also very interested in the device. But as a Canadian, I'm resigned to my fate. It is highly unlikely that we Canadians will see this device this year, or perhaps even next year. Our carriers have a dismal offering of Android phones.

    Lionel:

    Do you happen to know if and when this device might be released in Canada?

    If not, will this be offered on the US Dell site for delivery to Canadian/US customers in an unlocked version?

    Looking forward to getting some answers!

  • Although Dell try its best to make a device to out-perform any competitor from i Pad to Nokia's Tablets, by giving 2 card slots, 5MP rear + front video call camera and all other features normally most of devices have...

    But its lacking in 3 categories to unleash a real monster:

    1.. It must upgrade both SD-slots to support 32GB cards each, so one shouldn't be worry about losing a space

    2.. Its touch interface should be capable of handling "multi touch" & "gestures control" Features

    3.. THE MOST IMPORTANT of ALL is there is hell of the devices support USB-OTG (on-the-go), Dell must put some effort to inject this feature in this device....

    Overall good work by Dell...But plz consider those points...!!!