Dell's Streak Android-powered handset becomes available for pre-order tomorrow, but who is it aimed at?
Here are the details:
- AT&T will be the carrier for customers in the United States.
- Pricing: $299.99 with new two-year AT&T contract, and $549.99 without.
- Customers who register for the pre-sale will be able to order a Dell Streak this Thursday August 12.
- Dell Streak will go on sale to the general public beginning this Friday.
There's a lot that bothers me about the Streak. First, price. $300 win a 2-year contract seems very steep too me, but the $550 price off-contract seems utterly atmospheric. You can pick up an iPhone 3GS for $99 and the iPhone 4 starts at $199. $299 buys you the 32GB version. The Streak doesn't come with anywhere near this amount of storage.
Heck, $500 buys you an iPad if it's the screen you want, and that's a 9.7" screen, compared to the 5" screen on the Streak.
Then there's the carrier. I know that AT&T seems to be resigned to losing iPhone exclusivity soon and so probably offered Dell a good deal, but AT&T is the most hated part of the whole iPhone package, so it seems a bit boneheaded for Dell to try shoving this carrier down user's throats.
And then there's the OS. This perhaps is the biggest let-down of the whole package. Rather than running the latest Android 2.2 OS, it instead runs version 1.6, which is almost a year old. An upgrade to 2.2 is promised for later this year, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it. If Streak tanks, and given the nexus of price, features, and old OS, it might do just that, then forget about an update. For those of you who think that a product can't sink that fast, I draw your attention to Microsoft's Kin, which was aborted after only 2 months.
I really can't fathom out why Dell is choosing to ship this handset with an old OS on it. It seems shoddy and rushed, and given that this is a premium-level handset aimed at hardcore geeks, I think that this could be the final nail in the coffin that Dell has created for the handset.
My advice here is to steer clear of this mess for now. I'd wait for Android 2.2, or maybe even until Streak 2 ...