Here's something that might help with your holiday shopping, so long as you're willing to wait until January. Dell has gone and slashed the price of its 16GB streak to $400, a nice $180 discount over what it was previously selling for. The caveat? Dell's listing an estimated ship date of January 10, 2011.
The OEM also knocked $180 off of its 32GB Streak, bringing it down to $500. Both of these units are unlocked, though only the 32GB ships with Android 2.2 pre-installed. The 16GB model comes with Android 1.6, though Dell says you can upgrade to Android 2.2 right away via an Over-the-Air (OTA) update.
Dell seems to be taking a graduated approach to tablets. While other big names around it seemed unwilling to commit themselves in a hurry, Dell was quick to enter the nascent market with the 5-inch Streak, which marked a very circumspect foray into uncharted territory. Dell was probably trying to hedge its bet by letting the Streak function as a phone. The PC maker now seems ready to raise its tablet game a notch.
There was one question about the Streak that Jon Phillips, Maximum PC's editorial director, could not answer while reviewing the device: “Smartphone, tablet, GPS navigator, what is it?” He wasn't alone, though.
“We’re going to take Dell up on the tablet designation, which is why it receives a 6 verdict – two verdict points lower than what we gave the iPad in June. With even a 7-inch screen (which is rumored, by the way), the Streak would warrant a solid 7,” reads the business end of that review.
The odds of the next Dell tablet receiving more than 6 verdict points from MPC have certainly improved with this announcement.
The Dell Streak is born into a hardware environment that desperately needs an Android-based tablet—or any kick-ass tablet that doesn’t run Apple’s “stop it now before it borgs the free world” iOS. Our current tally shows no fewer than 30 touch-operated tablets that could be launching in the next six months, and the majority of this freshman class of iPad killers will probably be running Google’s mobile operating system.
Indeed, hardware manufacturers from here to the back aisle ways of Computex want a piece of the tablet action that the iPad has so successfully proven out. As of July 21, Apple was reporting 3.27 million iPads sold, and, hey, we like the iPad as well. We also think we might like the open, unfettered platform of an Android-based tablet even better.
But is the Dell Streak even a tablet? See, it might actually be a smartphone. And as a smartphone, it’s got a lot going for it. But as a tablet, though? Um, no. Not so much.
We knew this day was coming, and we've now got official confirmation from Dell PR that the Dell Streak Android phone is going on sale this Thursday (August 12). Those that registered for the pre-sale can head over to www.dell.com/mobile come Thursday to pick the device up. Those that don't sign up early will have to wait 24 hours to hand over their cash, but it looks like you can still register. Early rumors about pricing seem to accurate. The Streak will sell for $299.99 with new two-year AT&T contract, and $549.99 without.
The Streak is an Android smartphone with a real tablet vibe. The screen is a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen, with a resolution of 800x480. The Streak will be packing a 1GHz Qualcomm CPU, a 5MP rear-facing camera, VGA front-facing camera, and 2GB of internal storage. There is also the usual user accessible microSD slot for adding up to 32GB of storage. Dell has reskinned the Android 1.6 user interface with its own custom UI. The home screen is designed around a landscape orientation. It really reminds you that this phone is positioned as a tablet device.
Will you be furiously checking the Dell site on Thursday? The Maximum PC review is incoming very soon. So check it out before you make the final decision. $299 for an on-contract phone is a little steep before you get the whole story.
Dell will release its Streak in early June in the UK exclusively at O2 stores before bringing the 5-inch tablet stateside later this summer, the OEM announced today. Pricing and data plans will be announced by O2 ahead of availability.
The 5-inch tablet comes built around Google's Android platform with "Android Market and Dell user interface enhancements." It will feature the uber popular 1GHz ARM processor on Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset, the same that has been so well received in the smartphone sector, and a good fit for Android. Other features include 2GB of internal storage, 5MP camera, VGA front-facing camera, removable battery, Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, Micro SD expandable memory up to 32GB, and integrated Google Maps with turn-by-turn navigation, street, and satellite views.
Dell also said it designed the Streak with future updates in mind, meaning you can expect it to run Google's upcoming Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS with full Adobe Flash 10.1 support.
The Mini 5, code named “Streak”, is a 5-inch WVGA (800 x 480) touchscreen, with a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with flash on the rear, and a VGA webcam on the front. It also has a 30-pin docking connector. Unfortunately no other specs are available, other than finish. It looks like the Mini 5 will be available in a rainbow of colors.
Another interesting tidbit from these leaked documents--Dell’s partnering with Amazon for content delivery. It looks like the Mini 5 will come with a Kindle eReader application, and support Amazon's MP3 and video streams. Such a connection is logical, given that tablets are going to need content, and making it easier for users to get that content might make the Mini 5 more attractive in the marketplace.
Unfortunately, the information of greatest import (besides what's under the hood)--price and availability--is still unknown at this point. But, just knowing the Mini 5 is out there might give some potential early iPad adopters pause, which could play out to Dell’s advantage.