The Dell Streak is a rather accommodating half-phone, half-tablet, said repair site iFixit, following a teardown. But while applauding how easy the battery is to replace, it also found it rather small.
Repair site iFixit set to work disemboweling a Dell Streak, a device it
described as a "not-so-little half-tablet, half-phone" that "seriously
piqued" its interest. Among its findings are an appreciation for how
simple the Streak is to access-and so repair.
Perhaps not coincidentally, then, with the teardown of the Streak, iFixit
also announced the introduction of a new rating system based on "the good,
the bad and the ugly aspects of servicing" a device. The highest score is
a 10, meaning the manufacturer did everything possible to enable simple
repairs, while a 1, wrote iFixit, might go to the equivalent of a "car
with the hood welded shut."
How did the Streak fare under this inaugural rating system?
"We are quite pleased with the Streak, awarding it an 8 out of 10,"
iFixit wrote in an Aug. 18 press statement. "Dell designed the device so
that a mechanical engineering degree was not required for a successful
disassembly. We were able to reverse engineer the assembly process within
Among iFixit's reported highlights of the teardown is that the front panel
of the Streak is "solidly constructed," which the company expects will
it enable it to withstand drops from waist height.
The battery is covered with a sheet of steel, not plastic, to decrease its
overall thickness. And speaking of the battery, it's a 3.7V 1,530mAh. "The
fact that Dell didn't publish the battery life hints at the fact that it isn't
too great," reports iFixit. "What do you expect from a 5-inch
Replacing said battery, however, takes less than a minute's time. Other
positives include the Streak's cables using standard connectors and that
opening the device requires "prying the bezels and removing five screws."
More of a bummer is that "the rear panel feels cheap and deforms easily
for a $600 device," wrote iFixit. Full-out "bad" was the
decision to bond the Streak's LCD to the Gorilla Glass, which, were one to
break just the glass, would up the cost of repair.
Also notable, iFixit found that the Streak's cameras-a 5-megapixel rear-facing
and a VGA-quality front-facing camera-closely resemble those of the Apple
iPhone 4. The Streak also includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, as well as
an RF transceiver and power management chip from Qualcomm, and an integrated
power management integrated circuit from Texas Instruments.
Since the Dell Streak's Aug. 12 debut, less has been said about its
capabilities or how well it runs-unlike the Apple iPad, the Streak is also a
proper phone and includes Google's Android operating system-than about its
unusual size, which
in turn has called into question its
higher-than-smartphone-but-lower-than-a-tablet price tag. With an AT&T
two-year service contract, the Streak sells for $300, but free of monthly
carrier payments it retails for $550.
Moving forward, however, analysts expect that the price will likely drop,
and Dell has suggested that the Streak will hardly be its only play at the
In May, Dell spokesperson Tavis Butler told the BBC, "This
is the first in a family of devices."
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.