Unboxing the Dell Streak 7

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While most of the tech world is still poring over details from this morning's Google event or browsing the new web-based Android Market (yay!), I've been playing with my new Dell Streak 7.

The Tegra 2-powered tablet has different software build and OEM version numbers than when I saw it at CES 2011 (14039 vs 14291, GLUNB1A132033 vs GLUNB1A132233), but I'm not reading too much into it since this version has obviously been T-Mobile-ized with the carrier's apps and such.

I'll have a lot more to say and show you about the Streak 7 in the coming days, weeks, and months, but for now let's start from the beginning and get the device out of the box.

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It's a nice-looking box, really, and quite the departure from the original Streak's packaging.

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Inside it are the Streak 7, T-Mobile SIM card, PDMI-to-USB connector cable (same as the one used by the Streak 5), hands-free headset, USB wall charger with removable US plug, Start Guide, and various warranty and safety manuals. Noticeably absent is any kind of case/sleeve/pouch.

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The hardware is exactly as I remembered it to be, with its solid feel, high quality construction, and nice textured back. It makes a good first impression that should make those who bought it without seeing it in person feel good about their purchase. Nothing's worse than unboxing a brand new gadget, holding it in your hands, and thinking it feels cheap or poorly made. In this respect, the Streak 7 does not disappoint.

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As with countless other devices, the Streak 7 ships with a partial charge so you can turn it on and start using it right away.

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And unfortunately, this is where some of the positive feelings elicited by the hardware may start to fade away. As most early reviewers have noted, the screen definitely lacks crispness. It looks fine when held at a normal viewing distance, but since all the comments on its quality will cause most people to inspect it much more carefully than they normally would, everyone will notice some of the fuzziness.

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The screen isn't as terrible as people make it out to be, though. Yes, it's not as crisp and clear as the one on the Galaxy Tab, but it's not unreadable or even unpleasant.

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The Tab's screen (above right) obviously looks better than the Streak 7's screen (above left) because of its higher resolution. Everything looks sharper and smoother on the Tab because the pixels are smaller and there are more of them. But I can see and read what's on the Streak's screen with no problems. Can't you?

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A lot of people are complaining about the Streak 7's lower resolution too but because of its LCD density, it can actually display more content on the screen in some cases than the Tab. For example, the Streak shows 8 apps on the main page of Android Market, while the Tab shows just 6. Also, don't forget that many apps are written for WVGA max resolutions and therefore don't fill the Tab's screen unless a little hack that most people would never know or find out about is done.

This is not to say that the Streak 7 shouldn't have had a 1024 x 600 screen. For competitive purposes and better Honeycomb compatibility, it should have. But it doesn't . . . and it's not the end of the world.

I'll go into more detail about the Streak 7's merits and shortcomings later. This was really just supposed to be a basic unboxing but I couldn't resist throwing that stuff about the screen in there.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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15 thoughts on “Unboxing the Dell Streak 7

  • Avatar of jimboinpain

    ok i bet there promising 3.0 soon right wait wait and wait give up if you cant sell with 2011 software why bother just make people made and and go to diff brands

  • I’m wondering if we can use LCD Density Changer software to increase the density of the Streak 7? If this software works, I think it might make the Streak 7 little bit more sharper.

  • Avatar of Warren

    Since I already have a Strek 5 with latest 2.2 this is not appealinging. I was thinking of getting a BlackBerry PlayBook but decided to go with a Lenovo s10-3t netvertible. Since my Streak 5 can be a mobile hotspot and I am grandfarthered to an AT&T unlimited data account this shoule work. I have not tried it yes since I am waiting on the Lenovo. The only real question is whether I will use my Streat or BlackBerry torch to provide the 3G data access. I actually like the better as a phone because of BlackBerry OS 6.

  • Still working on trying to get it rooted first. Running into a lot of force closes all of a sudden. I may have to do a factory reset and start from scratch.

  • Jenn, I agree with your overall reasoning about the screen resolution and how it’s still “usable.” But “usable” is not good enough today. It’s comparable to viewing TV on my LCD HDTV and then watching TV on my mom’s old CRT. Yeah, my mom’s TV is completely watchable, but it seems fuzzy to me now so the viewing is not as enjoyable. I mean, on my HDTV I can see the sweat and acne on the actors. ;)

    Especially for these types of “optional” devices. Now, if the Streak 7 was also a cell phone like the Streak 5, then I would agree with you more wholeheartedly because the screen is less relevant in that scenario.

    Will be interesting to see what the G-Tab 2 will bring to the party. I heard it should be out in March or April. They might be timing it with the iPad 2 release to steal some Apple thunder. Not a bad idea.

  • Engadget pretty much steamrolled this thing yesterday in a review. Gave it a 4 out of 10…

    After all the goodness i’ve seen from the Xoom I think i’m going to wait until a WiFi only comes out and get one of those. I think having a Streak 5 and 7 would be redundant for me.

    Good luck with your though Jenn. Looking forward to your review to see if its really as bad as Engadget says it is.

  • photo says .. signing in, your PHONE needs to communicate, PHONE? we wish! maybe someday!

  • Avatar of g-money

    i find it funny how they show Qik being used on the box, yet it doesnt work on 2.2 froyo for unlocked dell streak 5. would be nice of the reviewers would do some more reviewing.

  • Not Diggin it…. The 5′ is it for me I Love IT!…..Hey Dell, I’m gonna Pay Steve for keeping my Streak up to date instead of paying for this subpar tab….I digress…………………

  • Avatar of leland chen

    Dell is just too rush to release this one. This 7″ steak will not get much sale. 4G and 7″ size with 3 hours battery life just doesn’t make sense for most of mobile users. Compare to 5″ Streak. 7″ cannot make phone call, no GPS and having the same resolution. It just has faster chip but half of the battery life. This just doesn’t work.

    Think about what if DELL put the same new CPU and 4G chip into 5″ Streak, say Streak2. I think That probably will get more welcome from the market. Or even the other way, make a 4.3-4.5″ inch phone(if DELL marketing feels 5″ streak is a failed product due to its size).

    I am sure soon we will see big discount for this product because not many would buy it.

  • Whats funny about it? It works on the Streak 7 as advertised. Maybe I don’t get what you mean.

  • Avatar of Fone_Fanatic

    Jenn, I’ve been looking around and have yet to get a solid answer. Does the tab use the same connection (pdmi) as the Streak?

    Also i noticed in the build.prop for the Streak7 there is a line
    and there is a phone.apk in /system/app

    so maybe simply chaning true to false will enable access to the dialpad?

    And emlist.apk (and all its needed test .apks) are there too so *#*#307#*#* should work to enable Emlist :D

  • No, the Tab and Streak use different connectors.

    You saw all that in the build.prop and didn’t try anything out? I will check them out as soon as I can get it rooted. Having problems with SuperOneClick for some reason, even though it has been verified by other users to work.

    Update: Okay, I’m rooted now. Changed false to true in build.prop and now see some different options in phone app. No dialer pad, though. I’ll try a different dialer from the Market and see what happens.

  • Avatar of Fone_Fanatic

    I didn’t try anything out cuz I don’t have a streak 7 :)
    I downloaded the system dump from xda

  • notice on the box the person holding the streak has man hands, yet there is two girls chatting from it. How do they not see this…


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