Post your first Impressions from the UK on the Dell StreakGeneral

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  1. Rhysd2

    Rhysd2 Well-Known Member

    like any phone its not great in sunlight but I must admit I found it a bit easier than my nexus one to read. Not sure if the gorilla glass is anti glare but it seemed better.

  2. JohnnyBravo1000

    JohnnyBravo1000 Well-Known Member

    I had a play with one the other week. It's not too bad and it works well. However, for me, it's a little on the large side to be a phone.
  3. perpetual121

    perpetual121 Member

    Hi All,

    Picked up the Dell Streak a couple of weeks ago and on the whole I have thoroughly enjoyed using it. There have been moments of complete frustration (I was previously using an iPhone so on top of new hardware I have an entirely new OS to understand). As you can guess by the last statement I have been using the device as a primary phone.

    I will get to the pros and con's in a moment but wanted to mention about the hardware. It is a very well put together piece of kit BUT the screen is not as robust as widely advertised. Like an idiot I managed to drop the phone taking it out of my pocket; whilst sat down. The phone dropped about a foot and a half and as you can guess the screen shattered, bad luck possibly, but would say I have dropped a few phones from the same height and higher (including the iPhone) and most of the time they survived.

    Now the breakdown:


    1/ The screen and size. As per the mainly held views on blogs etc. I am finding the screen fantastic. I also don’t find the size of the device at all impeding, it does help that I am 6’4 so have larger pockets than most but either way, not once has it interfered with what I want to do.

    2/ The customization of the screens and more importantly standard apps (browser, email etc.). This is more to the user coming from a non-android background. It took me a while to get used to the idea of butchering the original core apps in favour of downloadable alternatives. It took me even longer to click about the extensiveness of Android multi-tasking (especially about shutting programs down and not killing the battery, I was seriously un-impressed over first few days about battery life till I realised my naive usage was some of the problem (will get to the battery in the cons.....)

    3/ The hardware. Ignoring the shattered screen the device is built incredibly well, very little flex and not a single scratch on screen (as yet and unprotected). The speaker is very good (for a phone/tablet), it feels nice in your hands and certainly feels like it will take the rough and tumble, of daily portable use, well!

    4/ Web Browsing. The combination of the large screen and blazingly fast processor; browsing the web, on this device, is by far and away the best I have ever used on a phone. I find myself trying to click out of ‘mobile’ sites continuously as the phone handles the desktop alternative extremely well.

    5/ The knowledge that Android 2.2 is on its way and will hopefully knock a lot of the cons, below, off the list and make me extremely smug about my purchase!

    6/ Phone signal. Hands down this phone has better phone signal than my previous iPhone and my blackberry before that. I haven’t compared against some non-smartphones as unfortunately I don’t know many people on the same network without a smartphone (or more precisely haven’t really researched before writing this). The download speeds over the network is also extremely quick and again much faster than the iPhone, but you would expect that with the increased level of protocols this device can handle.

    EDIT: Would just have to add that I can't believe I didn't move to android earlier. The range of variation in apps and how to utilise them makes me realise why people have such a problem with Apples 'lockdown' approach to their iOS system. I am finding much MUCH more uses for this device than I ever did on the iPhone.


    1/ Software

    • EMAIL: The standard email app I find extremely hard work. Initially it constantly ‘lost’ emails and had to re-download them each time, taking 5 minutes. This has now settled so could be a combination of user error and the SD card and internal flash needing to be re-formated (quite a few initial problems I had were due to this but assumed I was unlucky with mine as haven’t seen anyone else with the problem). If you also delete a new email that you don’t want like spam, it re-downloads the previous oldest email #50 again to bring the inbox to the set limit of ‘50’ emails and then notifies you that you have a new email which is about 3 days old and you have already read on the device??

    • Phone app. This is pretty annoying. Your phone rings, you take it out of your pocket and answer it etc. Etc. but no. On the Dell you take it out of your pocket and start raising it to your ear and 50% of the time (presumably to the accelerometer kicking in) the phone goes a bit crazy between portrait and landscape and then goes to sleep? You then have the 10 second process of taking it out of sleep, choosing the phone app (starts at home screen) then clicking the current call before you can choose to answer, at which stage the caller has generally rung off. Again I can only hope they sort this on the update.
    • WiFi: sometimes when the phone comes out of sleep the WiFi is on but won't reconnect with the network forcing you to reset the connection. Very minor but slightly irritating time wasting bug.
    The remainder of apps are very good with a particular mention to google maps with full navigation. The GPS pick up is one of the best I have used and that is including some of the cheaper dedicated devices.

    2/ Battery. EDIT: It was REALLY rubbish but problem was found to be Dell's own facebook app completely destroying battery life. Now deleted and battery is now very good.

    Overall I am extremely happy with the device, a few very minor bugs aside I am really enjoying the experience and would recommend to anyone, or at least anyone who doesn't have small pockets.....
    oatikodi likes this.
  4. Rhysd2

    Rhysd2 Well-Known Member

    Sounds to me like you have an app that is ruining your battery. I leave my network data on ALWAYS and my battery lasts all day and has anything from 40-60% left when I go to bed depending on how heavy I've been with the games that day. Heck this weekend I didnt plug the thing in for 48 hours I was using it so little, and it still had 43% left.

    To give you an idea how I run my phone.: I unplug every day between 7:30am and 7:45am. As I leave the house I turn off wifi and switch to vibrate. I also turn off synching of facebook/gmail because I have them on tap in the browser at work(Im a techie for a software company). So autosync gets turned off but I leave background data on. Enabling other apps such as my beautiful widgets home, bbc news, etc to pull info where required. I also leave it so that it can use 3g gprs or what ever it wants/can speed wise.

    At work during various points of the day I'll turn wifi on then off to check something, or download an app update, or play an online game, or some other item. I'll also receive and reply to various SMS messages and the odd phonecall from a friend/family member/my wife.

    Also most lunch times I'll play anything from 5 to 55 minutes of games depending on what else im doing or what im reading on the web.

    Then when I leave the building at night I turn it back to noisy and turn auto sync back on.

    Once back home I turn wifi on also. Then during the evening I'll respond to various emails. Read my rss feeds via newsrob. Do the occasional bit of web surfing. Maybe play some more games. etc

    Never once since getting the phone have I had to charge it before I've gone to bed. Infact the two guys who I work with have the Nexus One and they periodically call out their battery % during the day to see how we're all comparing. Im consistently better than them every day.

    I should mention though there are 2 things about how my phones setup that may differ from yours.

    1. my GPS & bluetooth are always off until I need them. I only turn them on when required as I cant see the point of having them running until required.

    2. I keep my brightness at a steady level. Im not a fan of the auto adjusting feature on any phone so I find a level I like and make it stick to that level.

    But either way I dont think those 2 points should cause you to have that bad a battery life. I suspect its more likely down to some spurious apps. I suggest looking inside the task killer and checking you have the right apps ticked to be killed.
  5. johnh123

    johnh123 Member

    If you go in to your settings, about phone, battery, you will see your awake time and up time- i'm guessing for you they will be the same- you probably have a rogue app that is not letting your phone idle.
  6. perpetual121

    perpetual121 Member

    @ Rhysd2: I understand what you are saying but you are missing my main point. You are stating you have great battery life but don’t actually have you phone connecting to your emails apart from your journey to and from work. Only allowing a few widgets occasional access does not constitute full data connectivity. I did actually try turning auto-sync off myself tonight and I agree it has prolonged battery life by quite a bit, but doesn’t help on the point that having full connectivity with, importantly, email kills the battery. The ESSENTIAL (at least for me) point of having a smart phone.
    If I was only requiring to access email at work and not on the move I would have brought a standard phone as games on these devices don’t really interest me.
    Additional points I would raise are:
    Firstly: The battery problems existed from when the phone was at stock, unless Dell ships the device with an app that is over zealous with the power then this shouldn’t be an issue.
    Secondly: I completely agree about the GPS receiver and Bluetooth. Mine are off the whole time unless, on the rare occasion, I need them. I have the auto-adjust brightness feature on, I believe that the benefits of keeping the screen on low brightness indoors and during cloudy days (beneficial when you live in England and work indoors mostly) outweigh the battery drain of using the sensor (the power drain is minimal as essentially it is a pretty basic resistor circuit with little power drain).
    Lastly: comparing the device’s battery life to the nexus one does not help its cause with the nexus one being famous, along with a few other HTC based devices, for having poor to very poor battery life. Try comparing to a iPhone or even a Blackberry and try saying the same...
    @ johnh123 From the last 9 hours and 15 minutes that my phone has been unplugged 8 hours and 11 minutes the phone has been idling. This is pretty much lines up with my usage but admittedly it is with auto sync turned off. I will leave that turned on tomorrow and will re-look for you. If it helps I consistently get 70 to 90% of battery drain between phone idling and cell standby. The cell standby ratio percentage increases if the auto-sync is turned on.
    The only guess I can take from turning that feature off tonight is that either the email apps are coded even worse that I guessed and Gmail isn’t a ‘real’ push feature but relying on persistent checks or as suggested, there is a rogue app?
    Will check some more tomorrow!
  7. johnh123

    johnh123 Member

    I don't have a streak (yet), but I did just get my first android phone, an evo. When I first got it, my battery would die in just a matter of a few hours, even idling. Then I got atk and had it autokill, and my battery life now is actually pretty good- I make it through a whole day easily.

    I don't know what app it was, but something was preventing the phone from idling. Once I got that fixed, i've had no problems.

    During my research, there was some talk of a 'messaging' bug, so I got handcent sms and use that instead of the default, but I don't know if that was the problem or not.
  8. Rhysd2

    Rhysd2 Well-Known Member

    Perpetual121 you obviously mis-read my post there.

    I dont have autosync on JUST when Im in the car. I have it on ALL the time I'm outside work. IE before I leave for work every morning and at home ALL night before I go to bed. Plus its on whilst charging obviously. And once home all evening I email frequently as I have alot of friends in the USA/Canada.

    So apart from the time at work my autosyncs on constantly.

    Also my widgets pull info alot more frequently than you'd expect. My weather one pulls every hour. My bbc one every 30 mins. When on wifi newsrob pulls every 30 mins.

    So I have a constant stream of data coming down and yet my battery is still good.

    Secondly have you actually owned a Nexus one? Or are you just taking the word of various bloggers on the net that the battery is bad? I've owned both a iphone 3g and 3gs and my nexus one beat the pants off them for battery life. Fair enough it wont ever be as good as a blackberry, but then nothing will because the current ones havent been touch screen and use nothing faster than GPRS. Either way it lasted consistently longer than my iphones. I even ran my 3gs and nexus one side by side for 2 weeks to decide which I wanted to keep so I know for a fact the nexus out performed my 3gs for battery life.

    Thirdly. It could well be a stock app thats causing the issue. But bear in mind virtually none of these apps are infact Dells. They are the stock google android apps(in some cases with dell skins on them). Then also bear in mind dell have included some of their own widgets and some apps that arent even theirs or googles(ie touchdown). So its perfectly possible one of these is setup wrong and tearing up your battery.

    Out of curiosity I just called my friend. He bought his streak a few days after me but he doesnt have email access at work. So he leaves his autosync for email, facebook, etc on 24/7. He said hes had absolutely no issues with battery and is returning the same sort of battery %'s as me. I'd expect his to be a bit lower than mine % wise but he doesnt play games on his where as I do which would account for the lack of difference.

    Oh and I realise the battery drain from the auto brightness sensor is minimal. I just prefer to have mine at a preset level. Always have done with every phone I've had. I live in the UK also so know how the weather can be. I just find a set level is easier on my eyes.

    So in short I reckon you've got a rogue app there.
    perpetual121 likes this.
  9. oatikodi

    oatikodi Well-Known Member

    Has anyone installed any swype style keyboard on the Streak? (I tried Shapewriter a few weeks back on the Streak and it worked though it was the same size as on the Desire rather than expanding to fit the Streak's larger screen. And now it looks like Shapewriter has been removed 'indefinitely' from the Android market).

    I'm very, very tempted to get a Dell Streak. I've tried it out several times and the size is just right for me. The things putting me off are:
    1) Not sure if there is any swype style keyboard that works on the Streak.
    2) That all the microUSB chargers I have won't work with Dell's proprietary socket.
    3) That the glass broke after a 1.5ft drop. I've dropped my phone (HTC Desire) twice from higher than that and it doesn't even seem dented (though I might have been lucky!).
    4) Some people have said that the sound quality is not that good through earphones. (My HTC Desire's sound quality through earphones is ok with decent headphones).
  10. Rhysd2

    Rhysd2 Well-Known Member

    I havent tried swype myself but if you like I'll give it a go. Im personally using smartkeyboard pro currently, and loving it. it stretches to fit the screen and gets rid of that $%^$&*^*&% number pad.

    To be honest alot of phones will break when you drop them if you're concerned get the hard form fitting case mentioned in the other thread. see this link.

    as for the cable, yea Im with you on that but I figure soon enough china will get ahold of one and you'll get a bunch cheap on ebay.

    As for sound quality, I used the dell headphones that came with it last night and I thought they were just fine. My friend has some fancy bose ones he uses in his and he said the sound quality is good.
  11. Rhysd2

    Rhysd2 Well-Known Member

    OK I tried swype and it works fine. Both in portrait and landscape mode. It fills up more of the screen than the previous keyboard I used. I actually quite like it so think I'll keep it for a few days to try out. thanks for the tip :)
    oatikodi likes this.
  12. perpetual121

    perpetual121 Member

    After continous testing of different configurations ie. delete one app - test battery etc etc. I have finally found the rogue app that was killing my battery!

    A big thank you goes to Dell and there obvious c0ck up with their (skinned/developed?) facebook widget app. Even better they have it installed from the box. Soon as that was deleted the phone battery life has rocketed and now very happy! A big thanks to Rhysd2. I am still a little surprised that Dell clearly put alot of money and development time into this project but almost made me take it back to the store over such a small but stupid problem!

    @ oatikodi, I wouldn't worry about the screen. The drop that shattered mine was onto concrete! My point was that the glass wasn't as bomb proof as suggested by some. I would certainly say it is as strong as the best out there. Beyond that.. don't know I don't want to test again! LOL
  13. Ritacca

    Ritacca New Member

    I've had my Dell streak for a couple of day nows and I am truely happy with it. Everything is working well, battery life is excellent as I only turn on the gprs when I want to check or search for anything.

    Gameboid is excellent!

    My one concern is the video play back, I searched the forums for ways of putting .avi files straight onto the phone to play without need to convert them to .mp4's. I found one app called "Rockplayer" however it doesnt have the best quality (used varying qualities) or even fills my massive 5-inch screen. Which is a shame, does anyone have a decent .avi player for the Dell Streak?

    Also are there any great Dell Streak apps that I should get that are a must have? Like the blackberry (snaptu) ?
  14. Rhysd2

    Rhysd2 Well-Known Member

    no problem its what we're here for :) It would also explain why I never got the problem. I binned their FB widget for the proper android one the second I saw it just linked to the website.
  15. perpetual121

    perpetual121 Member

    @ Ritacca I have the rock player app and find it works pretty good. click the button bottom left to expand the screen, you have 3 options: Boxed (what you have likely are using now) widescreen (I mostly use) and stretched (on widescreen based movies looks slightly weird).

    I understand what you are saying about quality, it definately dosen't make the best use of the screen, but I have also tried a hacked Chinese orginated player (can't remember the name!) but play-back was incredibly slow. I can only presume that the phone can't quite manage the decoding of hi-res film (yet) so drops the quality in favour of being able to relistically watch it. Hopefully they will improve the code sufficently to get the most of the CPU and conversely the screen resolution for play-back!

    Hope this helps and enjoy
  16. perpetual121

    perpetual121 Member

    Oh and Apps:

    I find PhoneFusion's Visual voicemail app fantastic on the streak. Certainly as I couldn't find any default solution to getting notification of a voicemail message.

    Also Pure Calender with the 4x4 widget is MUCH better than dells calender notification.

    Good luck
  17. oatikodi

    oatikodi Well-Known Member

    Ok, thanks for that. With the other comments & links by Rhysd2 I can see my concerns dissolving away. I've started using my HTC Desire for note taking - and a larger scren would be very handy. And, I only just discovered the Google services app- which includes 'Google books' With these free books a larger screen makes a lot of sense! Especially since I'm now using my phone instead of PC for most emails and for browsing.
    Rhysd2 likes this.
  18. Rhysd2

    Rhysd2 Well-Known Member

    Im the same Oatikodi. I use my phone almost exclusively now for emails, web pages, rss feeds, etc. its so much quicker and easier than firing up the pc.

    oh and FYI loving swype now :) took some tweaking to get the settings how I like them but it was worth the learning curve.
  19. jimthirtyseven

    jimthirtyseven New Member

    Ritacca : I had the same frustration with videos, but was pointed in the direction of "Free Video Converter" by Koyote - it's free and converts videos! I convert to Psp output format and they work very well.

    My next challenge is finding a driver that will allow a Think Outside (iGo) keyboard to the Streak. I've tried BlueInput but couldn't get that to work.

    Any ideas, anyone ?
  20. chaz_uk

    chaz_uk Well-Known Member

    The wife got me a Streak today. Love it so far.
    Far faster than my Archos 5 IT that sems to get laggier the more you use it.

    I'll give it a few days before casting a verdict but initial impressions are good!
    Some pics:
    Excuse the poor quality cam used (SonyEricsson C902)
  21. perpetual121

    perpetual121 Member

    sry to drag an old horse up from my original post but does anyone else have the problem of not being able to open threaded emails in gmail on the streak??
  22. undrwater

    undrwater Member

    @chaz_uk: those pics are fine. What I see is that the streak's screen is much brighter and truer to color. Is that how you see it with your orbs?
  23. Rhysd2

    Rhysd2 Well-Known Member

    cant say I get that problem. perhaps worth trying reinstalling the app?
  24. perpetual121

    perpetual121 Member

    I have just done a full hard reset rather than the soft resets I tried previously and still no success. I am reticent in trying to do a re-install or more precisely using a different phone's version as I can't find the apk for the Dell.

    The fact that the problem was and is on both the systems I have had; and not happening to anyone else makes me feel the problem could be google's end? I have changed the email from **** to **** Maybe caused issues? Who knows but will try to get hold of google support and see if they have any ideas.

  25. oatikodi

    oatikodi Well-Known Member

    Does anyone:
    1) Why pinch and zoom doesn't work on the browser? (The only option I could find was to make the text larger all the time under settings).

    2) By default youtube videos play in low def. There's a menu opton to play in high def. But you have to direct it for each video. I couldn't find a way to set it so that it always plays hi def on a wifi connection. Any one know if there's a way to change this?


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