Dell shows Streak with Android 2.1, talks upgrade

Android tablet Dell Streak
Android tablet Dell Streak

The Android-powered Dell Streak is tantalizingly close and the company is taking its message to YouTube to answer a few questions about software upgrades and carrier compatibility.

The device features a 5-inch touchscreen with cellular capabilities. At that range, it’s kind of a tablet and kind of a smartphone – maybe a “smarblet?” The device will launch with the anemic Android 1.6 and this immediately leads us to ask when will Eclair and Froyo be coming to it. In the video below, Dell said it will be upgrading to Froyo but it didn’t give a definitive time line.

Instead, the company showed off some of its custom user interface layer on the Dell Streak with Android 2.1. This includes a revamped notification system and a different app launcher. I know I can’t wait for Android 2.2 to hit the device because the full Adobe Flash experience should be good on a device with this size of screen.

The Android 2.2 update should also make browsing better because it will improve JavaScript performance and the overall speed of the Dell Streak should get a boost with the new software, too. Dell’s custom UI layer may be leading to an upgrade delay though, as it will have to customize the software to work well with Froyo. We’ve seen this before with HTC Sense and Motorola’s MotoBlur on the Droid X.

Even without Froyo, the Dell Streak looks pretty cool with its large screen, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G, 512 MB of RAM, a 1 GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera and a front-facing camera for video calling. I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

The video also said the Dell Streak won’t work on T-Mobile’s 3G network, which isn’t news to us because we knew it would be compatible only with AT&T’s 3G network. There’s still no exact release date but it should be coming sooner, rather than later.

Any interest in the Dell Streak with Android? Check out the video below and let us know what you think in the comments.

  • Rob

    That thing looks HUUUUUUGE…
    A little too big for my pocket.

  • AF

    Easily the best device available in the UK at the moment. Shame about the SD 4:3 video recording though. Galaxy S is second option if you need that 720p video recording, but not half as much fun as this tablet.

  • john

    RI strongly recommend not buying this phone (at least until the 2.2 upgrade is confirmed….. with a date).

    The phone is very buggy, the touch screen is inacurate and the roaming signal seems poor.

    It impossible to know if its the hardware to blame or if its the old O.S.

    The dimensions are actually the phones one redeeming feature.

    I’ve owned a Dell Streak for a month now (in the UK). I loved it go begin with, but I’m over it now, I’m tired of it crashing (and i regret buying it)

    John

  • Scott

    @john – worries me to hear your comments. I've only had mine for 2 weeks now. I come from a long line of Apple products (including an iPhone 4). I'm still undecided on the Streak. I was very disappointed when I discovered it was loaded with Android 1.6, but I'm trying my best to make the most of it.

    I have poor reception at the moment from my home, but after attending the 3-Network store on Oxford Street I was told that the mast in my area is faulty. 3-Network expect to have it up and running again in a few days. I should point out that I tend to believe that this is the case as I have 5 devices all using 3-Network and all experiencing the same weak signal problem.

    I would have to agree with John. I think Dell made a colossal mistake releasing the device with Android 1.6. I think it was a rush to market to try and secure a place in this new and exciting "tablet/phone" space. Unfortunately Dell may have caused long term damage to their slate/pad/mobile sales and reputation as a result. The only reason why I'm so patient with the Streak is because I have an iPhone 4 and an iPad (and because I love gadgets and technology in general). It was more of an impulse purchase of a luxury item.

    On a good note, I'd like to add that I am finding myself using the Dell Streak more and more. It is fast becoming my primary device. I love the big screen and the fact I can still carry it in my pocket. I can play movies on it that I have copied from my desktop PC (movies in formats that my Apple devices could never play). I can even open WMV files in web pages. So, despite it's short comings (crashes, sluggish performance with 1.6, low quality Android Market), I still have hope for this device. I'm holding my breath waiting for 2.1 (or 2.2).

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