Dell Streak review: Media
The Dell Streak should be a fantastic media device. With its five-inch screen, YouTube and other video files look great, with no squinting to see whats going on. Colours are nice and clear, and the display does a good job of even fast-paced video clips.
The speaker on the Streak is one of the best we've heard. Loud and clear, while not having a great deal of bass, its one of the best we've heard in some time for playing music and podcasts.
As with most devices these days, there's a microSD card slot, which comes with either an 8GB or 16GB card in it, giving plenty of space for your music and video. This can be expanded up to 32GB if you wish.
One addition Dell has added to the stock media apps is Dell Movie Stage. Within the app, there is a selection of movies available for download for $2.99. Granted, they all seemed quite old movies and there only seemed to be 15 available at this point, but it's good to see companies thinking about how to get content to mobile devices.
As well as Dell's own apps, there are, of course, the Android music and video players.
The music player is reasonably simple to use. Note that if you have all your music ID tagged properly, it's a lot easier to find the music you're after.
You can search through your music by artist, by album, by individual song or you can create your own playlist with simple long-presses on the file to add to any given set.
Even with music playing, it's a reasonably simple looking affair and the app doesn't really scale to the Streaks huge screen too well. The album art sits up in the top-left corner, you have buttons for playlist, shuffle and repeat, some info about the current track and then quite a lot of blank space before you get to the progress bar at the bottom, just below the play and skip button.
There is a button for HDMI, but unfortunately the Streak has no HDMI out, so this does nothing unless you go for the additional Streak Home AV dock to port the content to a bigger screen, which isn't included in the box and costs £53, which is a little expensive in our eyes.
The built-in movie player seemed to struggle with most video files we tried to play on it, such as MPG, MOV and AVI files. The only types it played for us were MP4 and, of course, 3GP (the format the Streak records in).
There are ways to get around these limitations – a variety of apps on the Market, such as VPlayer, mean you can play most formats.For some reason, though, VPlayer itself wouldn't work, force closing each time we tried to play a video.
When the Android movie does player works, again, it's simple to use. Along the bottom is the progress bar, which drops out of view after a few seconds. Tap the screen to bring it back in to view. In the corner is the lone pause/play button.
Importing movies and music onto the Streak is easy enough to do as well. Plug it in via the USB cable, opt to transfer files and it will appear like a USB drive on your PC. Simply drag and drop files into whichever folders you want and they will copy over in a matter of minutes.
There's one other way to enjoy video on your Streak: through the new iPlayer app, recently released on the Android Market.
Although this only works over Wi-Fi at this point, it provides fantastic looking BBC content right there on your huge 5-inch screen. It's a must-have for Dell Streak owners.