The name brand Android tablet drought is finally breaking. Yesterday we had launch details for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab; now Dell has firmed up Australian launch plans for its Streak tablet/phone, which will go on sale through Optus from October 1 for $649 outright or free on several of Optus’ 24-month cap plans.
Dell is pitching the Streak as primarily a phone with some tablet-like functionality, though its 5-inch screen means it’s also an extremely capable video player and provides a better experience viewing documents than smaller Android devices. If you don’t want to pay the $649, Optus is offering it on its $49, $59, $79 and $99 caps. (The $49 cap would be a very poor choice though as there’s a $7 a month handset charge — for that price, you might as well pay the extra $3 a month for the $59 plan and get 2GB of data a month plus free SMS.)
Optus has a three-month exclusive on the Streak for Australia, and Dell won’t be selling it even via its own site. As yet, there’s no pricing details for the nifty dock/stand which is designed for the Streak.
I had a hands-on test of the Streak when Dell was demoing it to the media earlier this year, and it’s an impressive unit (more so than the Galaxy Tab based on my play with that device, though they’re aiming at slightly different use cases).
The biggest annoyance is that the initial device is only running Android 1.6; Dell says that customisations are minimal and that it plans to offer over-the-air upgrades to 2.2 “later this year”, but hasn’t provided any more specific timetable.