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Handhelds Android Communications Linux

Hands-On With Dell's Streak Android Device 167

Posted by timothy
from the 5-inch-abs dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Dell Streak, the Android-based 5-inch tablet (which has also been called out as a smartphone) is set to ship starting in July, both from a US carrier and direct on Dell.com for $500. Even though Dell has not disclosed the name of the carrier, some experts believe that it will be AT&T because the Streak is a 3G GSM 850/1900 device and AT&T is the only major US carrier that supports those frequency bands. According to a hands-on, Streak is a sharp-looking device with a black front and candy-apple red back that unfortunately shows fingerprints easily. On the upside, Streak's curved body is comfortable to hold. Streak runs a customized version of Android 1.6, but Android aficionados will have to get used to the unusual button layout. Its 800x480-pixel screen makes images look tight, and web pages will benefit from the horizontal resolution. The 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the same as in the HTC Incredible and Sprint EVO 4G, functions snappily. There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back, a VGA camera for video calling on the front, and a MicroSD memory card slot under the back cover."
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Hands-On With Dell's Streak Android Device

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  • by icebike (68054) on Friday June 04, 2010 @08:00PM (#32465570)

    Huge iPhone like device. Not something you want to hold up to your ear, bluetooth recommended just to hold down the Geek-factor.

    http://www.androidcentral.com/dell-streak-coming-att-later-summer [androidcentral.com]

    Speculation about carrier based on the frequencies is at best guesswork, because new radios can be swapped into the design very easily. Most radio chipset manufacturers can give you a radio with the same pin-outs and die size for any flavor of cell system you want to talk to, and the programming interfaces are all standardized as well.

    It could be on sprint tomorrow if they wanted.

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday June 04, 2010 @08:51PM (#32465888)
    According to the video in this article [cnet.com] Dell executive Ron Garriques says that fitting it into a pocket was "really the whole design point".
  • by pwnies (1034518) <j@jjcm.org> on Friday June 04, 2010 @09:01PM (#32465944) Homepage Journal
    Just got the EVO today, and while it isn't as large as the Dell Streak, it is significantly larger than most smartphones in its class. One of the things I noticed was that although it's a joy to type on, it isn't so nice holding it up to your ear. It feels bulky holding it up against your head - however I can still use a headset and keep the device in my pocket. The significantly larger size of Dell means that a.) I wont be able to keep it up to my head without it feeling awkward, and b.) I wont be able to keep it in my pocket and use a headset. I can't see a reason to want a device of this size. It's at the perfectly wrong size, in fact.
  • Re:May as well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Friday June 04, 2010 @09:21PM (#32466074)
    There are a few 10" netBooks with 10 hour battery life. I have a 9" Acer with an 8+ hour life. I carry it in a sleeve to meetings, etc, for notes.
  • Re:Bad Form Factor (Score:5, Informative)

    by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Friday June 04, 2010 @09:34PM (#32466160)

    You can run C code with the NDK.

    Of course, when people talk about Android fragmentation, they don't know it, but they're really talking about the NDK. If you stick to Java your program is fairly easy to keep working across versions. If you use the NDK, it's graphics programming in the late '90s again with a ton of different GPUs and odd CPU quirks to deal with.

  • Re:May as well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by dave562 (969951) on Friday June 04, 2010 @11:27PM (#32466686) Journal

    And further add to the discussion, as long as it requires having some sort of "bag" that bag probably has room for other common things that people carry around like writing implements, paper, books, etc. Making the statement that you don't need a case for an iPad is kind of like saying you don't need a briefcase for your papers. Sure, you could walk around with a couple of file folders tucked under your arm, but a briefcase is a lot more convenient. (If you're some sort of hipster who is morally opposed to the idea of a briefcase and the connotation it has with "the man", feel free to substitute messenger bag, or other metro-sexual approved fashion accessory.)

  • by KlaymenDK (713149) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @03:53AM (#32467548) Journal

    I'm also curious why people are attracted to Android.

    Free and cross-platform development environment. Everything else requires either a Windows license, a Mac, or a considerable sign-up fee.

  • by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @04:01AM (#32467568)

    By a "build your own smartphone" model using a couple of different form factors (tablet, slider, flip) with commodity snap in parts that are user customizable (screen tech/screen size/flash space/CPU+GPU combo/camera) that would allow them to deliver any phone in any segment at any price point.

    Ever notice how phones and tablets tend to have SoC's from 6-12 months ago? Like the Snapdragon here when they've already got Snapdragon II running or the Droid/Pre/iPhone/Pod/Pad's A8 when the A9 has been out for a while and they are already flogging the A10 at Computex? A device that small has to be drawn out months in advance so all the components can be fabricated and any glitches in the assembly process ironed out. This isn't like plugging a PCI card into a motherboard -- almost every component is a custom part and every cubic millimeter of the device is taken.

    Make a generic firmware, stuff it with all the drivers you might need for all of the hardware used in the different combinations and release it quick.

    I don't know about the Android ecosystem but I used to be into WinMo hacking (before the birth of Android and the death of my free time )and this was straight impossible. Even the bootstrap sequence varied from phone to phone, as did vital kernel settings, radio settings and really just about everything. I would not be at all surprised if this was simply impossible.

    Also, in the official world, you have to get validation from the OEM, the carriers and the regulatory agencies (if you touched the baseband) before pushing firmware. That alone takes time, plus they might bump it back to you if they don't like it.

  • by Weezul (52464) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @05:38AM (#32467746)

    You could install cups and ghostscript on an N900 too, or just use an ssh script, but you've got no integration with the native apps for email, web, etc. Android doesn't offer that either.

    x11vnc is for interacting with the phone from the computer, which lets you carry out more involved tasks more quickly. It sadly doesn't hardly work over wifi, only usb networking.

    Subversion [wikipedia.org] (svn) and CVS are centralized version control programs, while Mercurial (hg) and Git [wikipedia.org] are distributed ones.

    TeX [wikipedia.org] is the only typesetting system in the world suitable for preparing professional quality documents with any significant amount of mathematics. You'd never actually write a (La)TeX document on an Android device of course, but you might modify one.

    All these programs are not exactly trivial to reimplement in Java, although you could port them to the Android NDK, which might cost you portability among Android devices. I'd imagine Android remote desktop apps all sacrifice portability by using the NDK for speed, btw.

  • by wisdom_brewing (557753) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @11:01AM (#32468718) Homepage

    I'd rather use iPhone OS, it's a far smoother user experience, but where am I going to find an iPhone with a 4-5" screen? or a physical keyboard? or running on a carrier other than AT&T?

    China.

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