Dell Streak, first impressions

Does size matter to you? The bigger the better perhaps? Well, Dell may have crafted your next smartphone, the Dell Streak. We’ve been messing around with our very own Streak and thought we would put together some initial impressions for you. Want to see and know more? Hit the jump and lets do this thing!

The Streak is built as a data first device for users who want to view full-HTML webpages, watch videos, and play games on a great screen… the fact that the device functions as a phone is sort of an added bonus.¬†Here is the official stat sheet for the Dell Streak: 5-inch WVGA touchscreen (with Gorilla Glass), 800 x480 resolution, 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, HSPA 7.2 Mbps radio, 1530 mAh battery, Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi b/g, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, VGA front-facing camera, HMTS 2100/1900/850 MHz, GSM/EDGE 1900/1800/900/850 MHz, and Android 1.6.

The first thing you are going to notice about the Dell Streak is — obviously — its size. This puppy is wide, it actually makes the DROID X and EVO 4G feel puny. The good news is that the sheer size of the device is slightly masked by how thin it is. The device certainly will fit in your pocket (not if you wear tight fitting jeans), although you may not want to leave it there for fear of hearing: Is that a Dell Streak in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? We’re still getting acquainted with our Streak, so we’re not ready to pass judgment on its size quite yet.

On the right side of the device is (from bottom to top) a dedicated camera button, power button, volume up/down keys, and 3.5mm headphone jack. The top and bottom of the device are absent of keys or switches, and the right side has a proprietary Dell 30-pin dock connector that closely resembles Apple’s 30-pin connector.

The software on the device is actually quite nice, even though it is Android 1.6. Dell has done a great job tweaking Android for the device without completely molesting the interface. The icons are stock, notifications are stock, and aside from some modifications to built in apps — to optimize them for the 5-inch viewing palette — most of them are stock as well. Even seasoned Android veterans will get a kick out of how much information is displayed on the screen by default, after all… there is a lot of potential on a 5-inch screen. They keyboard is pretty easy to type on thanks to its size, the landscape version even includes a number pad!

The phone is made to be used in landscape mode, which is made clear by the fact that the soft-key icons are oriented toward the landscape view and the home screen does not rotate to portrait. Applications all rotate with the phone’s built in accelerometer just fine, but we have a feeling this landscape only home screen — a la Nokia N900 — will be a turn-off for some people.

Like we said, we’ve only had this monster for a short while, so we’re still in the discovery process. In the meantime we’ve got some additional images for you to analyze. Enjoy!

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