We’ve covered many aspects of the Streak’s performance already, but there are still one or two things to think of. From a general perspective it’s every bit as fast as any other Snapdragon-based handset, which is good news for all concerned. Web pages render very quickly, and the screen’s resolution and sharpness produces clean, readable text.
Though the Streak lacks active noise cancelling, we had no cause for complaints with the call quality – we suspect software cancelling at work. No doubt its size will rule it out for many people, but get over that and the Streak is a good phone. It’s not so large that you can’t hold it comfortably, and Bluetooth means you’re only a headset away from keeping it permanently stowed in your pocket when making calls.
Battery life on the Streak varies quite considerably depending on use. If left on standby with Wi-Fi and 3G enabled, it’s liable to last around 36 hours before the low battery warning pops up. This is okay, but does mean you’re likely to run out of juice if you forget to charge it one night. Even with heavy use, however, it got a working day in quite comfortably, and the battery is replaceable so you can purchase spares in case of an emergency.
We’re nearing the end of our Streak review now, so now’s about the right time to return to the debate started at the beginning of the review. First and foremost, any meaningful comparisons with the iPad should be banished: they’re fundamentally different. As to the Streak’s lack of focus, it does enough things very well for any rough edges to be forgiven, if not quite forgotten. Hopefully some of these issues, such as the codec support, can be dealt with in software updates. On a basic level, it’s a success.
Mention must also be made of the competitive tariffs it’s available on. If, for example, you’ve got a simple pay as you go phone already and are happy with it, the two-year, £25 per month data only tariff looks particularly enticing. You get a plentiful 3GB of mobile data, and free Wi-Fi hotspot access, and the Streak comes free. It’s just a shame so many of O2’s voice and data plans are now limited to 500MB of data, including the £35 per month, 24 month plan on which the Streak comes free with 600 minutes.
There’s a great deal to like about the Dell Streak, particularly if you’re looking for a device that serves many purposes at once. It’s certainly the best phone for in-car navigation around, and its size gives it an edge for web browsing and portable media. It has one or two issues that need ironing out, and its size will rule it out for many, but the Streak is far from the disaster it could have been.