Open Thinkering


10 reasons I returned my Dell Streak today.

It had nothing to do with it’s size.

  1. No multitouch. I didn’t realise until it was pointed out in an Android forum that this makes typing a whole lot easier.
  2. Lack of apps I use often. Having to use the National Rail website instead of it’s £4.99 app may seem trivial but it’s important to me. Apps pretty much always come out for the iPhone first because of the huge, standardized, user base.
  3. Lack of accessories. I could walk into almost any shop on the high street and purchase cases, speakers and other accessories for my iPhone 3G. How many cases did I have to choose from for the Dell Streak? One. And that was fugly.
  4. Unintuitive annoyances. Holding down the camera button should bring up the camera app. The device should charge if the power cable’s plugged in – even if it is in ‘aeroplane mode’ whilst I’m asleep.
  5. Email. Having GMail, Exchange and IMAP accounts means 3 different apps on Android. #fail
  6. Position of headphone socket. Why put it on top of the screen? Hold it landscape and the wire gets in the way. Put it in your pocket and it’s sticking out the side. Oh, and the volume up/down switch should do the same thing in landscape and portrait. #confusing
  7. Lack of website support. If you go to popular websites on the iPhone then you get a decent browsing experience because they’ve made sure it’s optimised for that platform. Navigating some websites on the Dell Streak was clunky, despite the lovely Opera web browser I installed.
  8. Apps that don’t work. The number of times I purchased apps only for me to have them refunded within 24 hours was ridiculous. I had to force-close so many I lost count.
  9. Lack of ‘magnifying glass’ function. If you’ve made a mistake in a text, tweet or email you to half-guess where to tap to get the cursor to go into the correct position. There’s no ability to ‘zoom in’. This leads to frustration.
  10. It’s not an iPhone. Close as I was to keeping it, the fact that I was indecisive about it kind of sealed it’s fate. I would have been tied into a 24-month contract with the Dell Streak. And that’s a long time for something you only like very much rather than love!

The Dell Streak is, technically, a wonderful phone, music player and internet device. It’s almost perfect for me. I loved the ‘Rooms’ (virtual desktops) feature and the ability to add widgets to these. Spotify was amazing on the big screen and Google Navigation is better than any Sat-Nav I’ve used. The Shapewriter app made text entry fun and the camera is top-notch.

It’s just that nowadays a phone has to be much more than the sum of it’s parts. And unfortunately the Dell Streak only consists of great parts reasonably well put-together… :-p

16 thoughts on “10 reasons I returned my Dell Streak today.

  1. Glad you enjoyed your week or so with the Streak, but I’m not surprised to hear you are returning to the ‘closed’ dark-side…

    1. There’s a whole other post in ‘reducing friction’ – which is what I feel I’m doing. It’s all very well preferring open stuff, but I’m less productive when thinking (and obsessing) about geeky stuff… :-p

  2. Shame it hadnt been updated to a ‘newer’ release of Android, I wouldnt touch an android device running anything less than 2.1. A number of your issues have been resolved with later releases of Android.

    1. Yes, but given that there was (admittedly nice) Dell stuff overlaid on top
      of Android 1.6 I wouldn’t have wanted to update it until the official
      release of 2.2.

  3. Interesting post! It was all looking so positive at one point! Do you think it is the Streak that was the problem or the Android software? Granted I have had my HTC Desire for a couple of days but I definitely prefer it to the iPhone 3gs that my wife has. It has its foibles, which I think is the HTC Sense software sitting on top of the Android, but it is fast, intuitive and gives access to a much wider world of apps that you can’t get on the iPhone.

  4. No multitouch <– that's rubbish, my hero has multitouch!
    Lack of apps <– that's open source, you make your own and share it with others
    Lack of accessories <– I never needed an accessory so I can't coment here
    Unintuitive annoyances <– Again, open source, change it, share it!
    Email <– Interesting I use all 3 and by having seperate mail it actually makes my life easier because I only use exchange for important stuff, the rest can be ignored till I hit my desktop or get bored
    Position of headphone socket <– Never had this problem w/ hero
    Lack of website support <– Never had this problem, infact more content is supported on Android
    Apps that don't work <– Never had this problem
    Lack of ‘magnifying glass’ function <– I agree.
    It’s not an iPhone. <– Thankfully 😉

    1. So the solution to a lack of apps and unintuitive annoyances is ‘make my
      own’?! #reality #fail

      And every app you’ve ever downloaded on Android has worked? I don’t believe
      that for a second! :-p

  5. I can’t think of any apps that haven’t worked… Which ones did you have problems with?

    Yea making your own is a good approach, I’m sorry was the SDK not open source enough for you to work on unlike Apples? 😉

    1. Again, thoughts based on less than a week of use, but as you would expect I have downloaded stacks of apps, every one has worked so far! The only prob has been lack of official Skype app, but then Twitter came to the rescue and I have an alternative!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *