Dell Streak Will Run Froyo, but Not on T-Mobile

Dell offered new details on the Streak, its 5-inch tablet scheduled to launch by July's end. The Streak will launch with Android 1.6 but later upgrade to 2.2, and it's not compatible with T-Mobile's 3G network.

On Dell's Direct2Dell blog, company executives offered a few teaser details and clarifications about the Dell Streak, its tablet device that's scheduled to launch this week for $500.

Ron Garriques, president of Dell's Communications Solutions business, has suggested that Dell may partner with a wireless carrier to offer the Streak, and in a July 26 post, Dell blogger Lionel Menchaca reduced the guesswork by one.

"We do not have plans for supporting T-Mobile's 3G network," Menchaca wrote. "Dell Streak will not be certified for T-Mobile operation overall."

He also clarified that the Streak will ship running Version 1.6 of Google's Android OS, but will upgrade to Version 2.2., known as Froyo, through an over-the-air update later in the year.

Lastly, Menchaca offered some non-news on the color options. The Streak is currently available in a color called carbon, through the U.K. carrier 02, and will likely launch in carbon in the United States. A spiffy cherry red version "will be coming soon," Menchaca wrote, though adding that he didn't have an ETA.

In a video linked to Menchaca's site, Kevin Andrew, with the Streak development team, also unhelpfully described the cherry red version as arriving "shortly thereafter" the Carbon Streak's launch.

To view images of the Dell Streak, click here.

Via Twitter, Menchaca has previously shared that accessories for the Streak will be through Dell's presale offer-which he added has been Dell's most successful such offer to date. Presale customers will also be able to upgrade from second-day shipping to next-day shipping, and will receive a coupon code entitling them to a Plantronics Bluetooth headset for just 99 cents.

With its cellular capabilities and 5-inch capacitive multitouch display, the Streak straddles several form factors-is it a big smartphone or a small tablet? For example, the display on the Apple iPad-which, by reinventing the form factor, entirely created the market for such devices-is nearly twice the size at 9.7 inches.

Analysts have suggested that the Streak's unusual size-a bit too big to be a "pocketable" smartphone but too small for an in-home tablet experience-may limit its appeal to consumers. However, unlike Apple's flying-off-the-shelves iPad, the Streak includes a cellular radio, a Webcam and support for Adobe's Flash technology.

Additional features will include a 1GHz Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm, WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity, and support for UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), GPRS and EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) networks, plus HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) speeds of up to 7.2M bps.

With the calendar running out on July, the question of how consumers receive the Streak will soon be answered. Garriques, for one, finds the Streak's "sweet spot" between a smartphone and tablet to be to its advantage. In a May statement introducing the device, he offered, "Its unique size provides people new ways to enjoy, connect and navigate their lives."