The 7-inch Dell Streak will be available on the T-Mobile network starting Feb. 2, according to a report from Electronista. It'll reportedly be priced at $200 with a two-year contract (and after a $50 rebate) or $450 without a contract and for use with a prepaid data plan.
"As tablets change the way we consume content, T-Mobile's combination of 4G speeds, breadth of our 4G network, our affordable data plans and compelling new products like the Streak 7 place us in a position to offer the best experience and value for our customers," Cole Brodman, CMO of T-Mobile USA, said in a Jan. 6 statement, when the wireless provider and Dell introduced the Streak 7 at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.
The Streak 7 measures 7.87 x 4.72 x 0.49 inches and features, as the name implies, a 7-inch WVGA touch-screen display with Gorilla Glass (like the iPhone 4 and other smartphones use). At this popular size, it's likely to give Dell a second swing at the tablet market, after the lukewarm reception of its original Streak. That device featured a 5-inch display-as well as cellular connectivity, unlike most of its tablet competitors-and was roundly criticized as being too small for popular tablet purposes but too big for use as a smartphone.
The Streak 7 comes packed with features that, as has been well documented, are missing from the Apple iPad (which is the clear device to beat, and accounted for 75 percent of all tablet sales during the fourth quarter of 2010). Specifically, the Streak 7 supports Adobe's Flash player, has an SD card slot for expanding the device's memory and features two cameras, a rear-facing 5-megapixel model and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel for video chatting. The latter is further facilitated with the integration of a Qik Video Chat application, which lets users place video calls over T-Mobile's 4G HSPA+ (Evolved High-Speed Packet Access) network or WiFi, and additionally enables users to include the view from the tablet's rear-facing camera in their video call, if desired.
The Streak 7 runs Android 2.2, known as "Froyo," plus a 1GHz, dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. It supports Microsoft Exchange e-mail, contacts and calendar, as well as Short Message Service and Multimedia Messaging Service and a Swype virtual keyboard, which is said to make for quicker text input. It comes with 16GB of internal memory, and its SD card slot can support up 32GB more.
In early November, T-Mobile began advertising that its 4G network, which is based on HSPA+ technology, offers speeds that are competitive with WiMAX and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks. Still, on Jan. 7, the carrier announced that it will speed things up even more, with its HSPA+ network download speeds planned to soon increase to 42M bps, double what it previously advertised.
The carrier, which has had to compete with the iPhone-offering AT&T, as well as Verizon's coming launch of an iPhone 4, has seen customer growth slow over the last few years. Looking to turn things around, T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm told members of the press during a Jan. 20 presentation in New York that T-Mobile plans to offer the "best" data plan and the "best" fourth-generation network.
The Dell Streak 7 is part of T-Mobile's expanding portfolio of 4G-enabled devices, which include the myTouch 4G and T-Mobile G2, both of which also run the Android operating system.