Owners of Dell’s 5” tablet in the UK were lucky to get their hands on a leaked pre-release version of Android 2.1 earlier this week. The hack, however, was only compatible with the O2 version of the device in the UK, so owners of the US counterpart released only 2 days ago on AT&T have been stuck with their new giant babies wearing an ancient 1.6 Donut diaper. To make matters worse, it looks like Dell decided to skip the 2.1 update altogether and go straight for 2.2, delaying the upgrade even longer.
As our very own John Thompson said in his hands-on with Dell's Streak, the phone/tablet hybrid has some really nice hardware, like a front-facing camera, a 1 GHz processor, and 512 MB of RAM, but the fact that it runs Android 1.6 is rather disappointing.
Well, the update to Android 2.1 may never see the light of day, as Lionel Menchaca, Dell's official chief blogger, has tweeted the following message, which was just spotted by one of Engadget's tippers:
So there you have it - looks like Dell is scrapping plans to roll out Android 2.1 officially, instead gunning straight for 2.2.
The Dell Streak may have been available in the UK for over two months now, but it’s taken until now to hit the States. Just in case you forgot, here is a roundup of my thoughts on all the features the phone has to offer if you’re thinking of getting yourself a Streak when it’s released tomorrow.
When you first see the Dell Streak on the shelves, you may be confused as to what it’s trying to be.
So you’ve read all about what features are coming in the Streak’s Eclair update, and the planned September release window. Well, some enterprising members over at the MoDaCo Android forum have managed to catch a pre-release version of the 2.1 update, purportedly a newer version than that tested in the original Engadget post. There’s also an XDA thread on the update
The leak seems to only work on O2 UK models (serial XXX_21), so those with the factory unlocked SKU are currently out of luck.
After today’s Dell Thunder leak, you may be excited to hear about a new Android offering from Dell: The Blaze. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to be interested in the phone – the Dell Blaze is running Android 1.5 with a custom UI, and is described as an entry-level device. So, while we don’t have any actual specs yet, we can determine that the screen is fairly small, my guess would be at the very top, 3.5”, but more likely around 3.2”.
Dell’s elusive not-a-tablet-phone has broken its cover once again, this time showing up on a video exclusive over at Engadget.
The phone remains unchanged on the hardware side of things, it seems, but it’s now confirmed to be running Android 2.1. We’ll go ahead and give you a quick brush-up lesson on what the Thunder is bringing (pun very much intended):
- 4.1” WVGA AMOLED 480x800 display
- Android 2.1 with Dell’s “Stage UI” overlay
- 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
- Removable 1400 mAh battery
- 8MP camera with LED flash and 720p video recording
- FM radio
- External SD card support
Internal storage specs for the Thunder remain unknown.
After having faked us out a couple weeks back, it seems Dell is finally ready to let its Streak tablet-phone-whatever loose stateside. You can get it $299 with a new or upgraded 2-year service agreement on AT&T, or shell out $549 to avoid the contractual shackle. Here’s a quick reminder of the specs the Streak is packing:
- 5” TFT LCD with resolution of 480x800 pixels
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- HSDPA 7.2 radio (Class 12) with GPS
- WiFi 802.11 b/g radio
- Bluetooth v2.0
- 5MP camera with dual-LED flash
- Front-facing camera
- Snapdragon 1GHz processor
- Android 1.6
- 2GB Internal Storage
- 1530mAh battery
You’ll notice I’ve taken the liberty to highlight a few of the Streak’s unique points, good and bad.
That Richard Lai fella sure gets all the luck, eh? Not only was Engadget’s London-based editor amongst the first to get to play with a Streak (aka Mini 5), Dell’s impressive 5” Android slate device, he’s now gotten an exclusive look at an early build of Eclair 2.1 running on the “tablet-phone”. While the previously unexpected 1.6 to 2.1 update is intended as a stop-gap measure to reduce the pain of waiting for Froyo, Engadget encountered several new features in their time with the new OS.
UPDATE 3: We’ve been informed that in an interview earlier today, spokesman Matt Parretta claimed that the capture from the Dell website below was a mistake. Parretta also says he knew nothing about the page’s statement that the phone would be available in late July, saying “I’ve never said that.” (I guess I’ll take him at his word).
Shame on Dell for putting us through all this!
UPDATE 2: It seems those who made it on the Dell Streak pre-order list can expect an e-mail some time today with a link to purchase their new phone.
Engadget has done a little bit of conjecturing and made a pretty convincing argument that the half tablet, half phone Dell Streak (specs available here) will be hitting US shores in AT&T stores next week. The evidence? An AT&T store has locked down the smartphone section of its sales floor for the erection of a new product display and implemented security measures that make the TSA seem lax.
Employees are required to sign non-disclosure agreements, and some are “on the chopping block” for getting a little too curious about the displays.