Dell is diving headfirst into the smartphone/tablet market with the Android-powered Dell Streak. The Streak was announced last month and will be available for $500 in the US in July, and for 429 pounds in the UK this weekend. Critics have already circled the Streak and dished on how it functions, looks and feels–and its ability to compete with other smartphones/tablets, a hybrid market I didn’t even know existed.
UMTS / GPRS / EDGE class 12 GSM radio with link speeds of up to HSDPA 7.2 Mbps / HSDPA
5 MP autofocus camera with dual LED flash
2GB of internal memory
Micro SD expandable memory available up to 32 GB (42 movies, 32,000 photos, or 16,000 songs)
Cushions made from 100 percent sustainable, compostable bamboo
Dell executive Ron Garriques posed the Streak as a “business-first product” and suggested the all-in-one device will, at first, probably be as a supplement to a smartphone, but could ultimately be a replacement.
The Critics Weigh In
What would a sneak preview be without a storm of critical opinions? (After all, months before the iPad’s release, everybody and their mother gave Apple a piece of their mind.) The consensus is … mostly negative.
CNET caught some grumblings from Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. Mossberg said that using the Dell Streak as a phone “was like holding a waffle to his head” and Swisher said “the most likely use for the device was as something to eat.” Yikes for the food analogies.
Business Insider‘s Nick Saint posed a bunch of harsh questions for Dell. Among other things, Saint said it’s too big; nobody would want to carry it as well as a phone; and people would rather have a full-sized tablet. He also called it a “dumbphone” (awesome coinage) and recommended buying a cheaper iPod Touch instead.
The best comment I saw was on Boy Genius Report, which said: “It looks like a smart phone designed for Zack Morris.”
Wired has an optimistic view of the Streak. Priya Ganapati said it’s the “first real challenger” against the iPad. While many have a problem with the $500 price tag, Ganapati says, “The Streak’s pricing on par with the iPad is a bold move by Dell considering the device feels somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet.”
And let us not forget the upcoming fourth-generation iPhone. According to reports, the newest iPhone will have a beefy camera, front-facing video, high-resolution screen, a powerful processor, and a whole lot more. If Dell is going to tout the Streak as a smartphone, it might have another thing coming.
I think the downfall of the Dell Streak will be its size and its service. The screen is a little too big to be a smartphone and a little too small to be a tablet. Customers complained about typing on the iPad. Shrink that and now try writing an e-mail. (However, Dell is reported working on 7- and 10-inch iterations of the Streak, which could definitely give Apple a run for its money.)