back to article Dell puts gun to Streak 5 tablet, pulls trigger

Dell has discontinued its five-inch Dell Streak, a neither-fish-nor-fowl item that never quite caused consumers' pulses to pound. The death of the Streak 5 was announced on Dell's website on Thursday, along with the suggestion that streakers "Check out our other innovative Dell tablets and smartphones," including the Android 2 …


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  1. Greencat
    Thumb Down

    Perhaps I'm old fashioned...

    but surely Dell tested the form factor and device with users and, um, did some market research before launching?

    1. Annihilator


      But market research (of which testing with users falls under the umbrella) only tells you so much. Quite often market research involves getting a bunch of people to try something out for financial reward (focus groups) and they're just so pleased to be there, they'll tell you what you want to hear.

      Besides, unless they had to scrap a whole heap of unsold goods, I'm sure they either made some money off this, or at the very least expanded their knowledge in the mobile/tablet market.

    2. Anton Ivanov

      No, they created a best of breed device

      It is a "Best of Breed Device" of the type which is designed by a product design committee to fit a business case derived from an excel spreadsheet with financial parameters.

      Someone looked at a spreadsheet and thought that the idea of breeding a smartphone to a tablet is genuinely good proposition. Rather unsurprisingly the result was what you would get when you breed a Saint Bernard and a Chihuahua and had about the same chance of success.

    3. N13L5

      I liked the 5" form factor, it was in my top 3 choices

      Unlucky for Dell, Samsung's Galaxy SII won out on several specs I considered necessary.

      So, it wasn't the screen size that prompted me to buy something else, it was more modern hardware in the Samsung.

      I think 5" screens will come back sooner or later.

      Cause that's about the largest size you can carry in a regular pocket on your body.

      Kudos to Dell for making that.

  2. Neil Robertson

    A shame, but not a surprise

    I've got a 5" Streak and it's a lovely piece of kit, but there's no way I'd use it as a mobile phone - it's a pocket tablet. This works for me, but most people want everything in one device in their pocket.

    1. Sam 15

      Re: A shame, but not a surprise

      Spot on Neil,

      It's a pocket sized (just) tablet & e-reader that works very well in that role.

      To date I haven't made or received a phone call on mine, but I guess I could if push came to shove.

      I can't think of anything else on the market which meets my requirements of

      1 Pocket transportable.

      2 Decent screen size.

      3 Good battery life (with bells & whistles turned off).

    2. Ru

      I'd go further than that

      I wouldn't even use a smartphone as a mobile phone. Compared to my little nokia classic, they're big, slow, flakey, expensive, delicate and have a battery life so short it verges on ludicrous. Compared to my Streak 5, they've got irritatingly tiny screens and fiddly little OSKs, too.

      Bigger tablets don't do it for me either. Like most netbooks, 10" tablets are just big enough to be an inconvenience. 7" is tolerable, I guess, but I rather like having something that I can stuff in a pocket and anything larger than the Streak won't even squeeze into all pockets.

      Oh well. The trend towards making oversized smartphones with 4"+ screens seems like it might fill the niche in the future. Here's hoping.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    At least they shipped something

    when it seemed every man (or woman) and their dog was 'about to ship an iPad killer'.

    So where is it? Pah.

    normally, I avoid Dell kit (except that beautiful 24in display) but actually shipping something, upgrading the OS as well (are you listeneing certain smartphone makers?) they deserve a

    thumbs up.

    This device as the article said, was a bit of a odd one but the Newton was odd when it came out.

  4. ph0b0s

    Gorilla Glass - fail.

    Had a few of these and the screens have broken so easily. Dell even came out a said having it in your pocket was dangerous. Combine with this not offering any kind of a repair service made phones with broken screens due to nothing more that sitting in a pocket into paper wieghts.

    Also that one that I have had whose screen has survived, the motherboard has had to be replaced by Dell twice. Due to it crashing when you chuck anything that causes the GPU to get hot.

    Got that one back yesterday and seems ok again for now.

    No way would buy another mobile device from dell. The X51v I had just kept on working, but it looks like they cannot build mobile devices well any more.

    This is a shame as it was quite an innovative product failed by lots of quality issues.

    Have an ASUS transformer now and it has been rock solid.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Will all those who wrote at the time what a great form factor it was put their hands up please? No-one? Hmmm, they've probably all moved on to the Blackberry Playbook forum.

  6. Giles Jones Gold badge


    Something around the size of smartphone but without the phone is called a PDA. They died off years ago.

    So why would Dell want to make one now?

    1. localzuk
      Thumb Down


      It was a phone with a 5" screen. Not a PDA.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      PDA dead?


      You may not do that but lots of people who I know want a telephone that phones and use a PDA/diary to keep track of their appointments (even me, who wouldn't pay the price for the smartphone contract and bought an iPod Touch to use as a PDA, at which it excels).

      Not everyone is technically literate (trust me, my boyfriend isn't, the family isn't, the gameplaying friends aren't) and the commentards here really need to get a life and see what happens in the real world.

      Y'know, I remember the days when El Reg's letters/comments section was actually worth reading because you'd actually learn something... with the exception of Lester and Lucy (come back soon), I'm not sure this site is actually worth the effort nowadays...

  7. Earl Jones Of Potatoes

    deja vu

    This reminds me 2002, 2003 & 2004 when iPod killers were trying to convince us that they are a better alternative to Apple's mp3 players. Now it's the iPhone & iPad killers.

    Where are those commentators who predicted the end of the iPod, ridiculed the iPhone and predicted its utter failure, then laughed at the iPad as the most useless device ?

    Your only power is to up vote what's against apple

    The truth of the matter is that many know it all have no vision.

  8. Samuel Penn

    I love my Streak

    My phone is a 5" Streak, and I love it. However, it's use an actual phone is secondary to all the other uses it gets put to. Shame that it's being discontinued - I dropped mine the other day and it's now slightly dented (the glass is fine however). If it did get broken, there's nothing else on the market to replace it with.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Marketing obviously didn't do their homework

    Saying that you've got five inches is never going to cut it compared with someone who's got a seven inch one, regardless of protestations that it's what you do with it that counts.

  10. James Katt
    Thumb Up

    Another one bites the dust

    Another one bites the dust.

    Another one bites the dust.

    And another one's gone.

    And another one's gone.

    Another one bites the dust.


    What do you expect when tablets aren't as well designed as the iPad?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      What do we expect?

      Well, tablets that are at least as well designed as the iPad of course.

  11. Spanners Silver badge

    Good try but they missed something that apple do

    Disingenuous publicity. Apple use it the whole time telling you how wonderful their nailed down fashion accessories are. I doubt they could sue you for telling the same misleading information about your stuff, but without that status as a pointless fashion accessory, it won't work.

    People make better kit than apple but don't sell as much because they are not Apple. They just need to figure out how Apple makes their publicity work and they are away.

  12. George 24


    The streak 5" has been my"phone" for a while. Like most who like the streak 5 I don't use the phone much, but it is a nice add on to a good size tablet. I understand it is not for all. it will be a pain to have to carry 2 devices to achieve the same.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Something you, sir, certainly didn't miss

      is disingenious commentardness.

  13. Peter Galbavy
    Thumb Up

    works fine for me

    I have had a Streak since November last year and it's been great. I am not a small lad, so having a big screen is fine for fat fingers and bad eyesight. Upgrades have been a mess, but luckily there is enough of a community out there to get updates "fixed" to a point that the Dell releases are foced to work.

    As for portability, fits fine in a shirt pocket, even if it's a little tall in some. It it very thin and so doesn't feel bulky even in the plastic case.

    I might keep an eye out for a spare - since I am so used to it.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    'Streak' was a stupid name... it was doomed to failure.

  15. Ilsa Loving

    Better reason for failure...

    Some of us had already been bitten by Dell's Axim, and won't touch another dell gadget with a 10 foot pole.

    The axim was also how I discovered first hand just how bad Dell support actually was.

  16. UnlockStreak

    Dell Streak is STILL alive!

    It is alive in 11 countries. Just the US took it off the market. Complete list:











    United Kingdom


  17. RFC822


    Bugger! Bugger! Bugger!

    As a heavy PDA user and a light phone user, the 5" Streak was perfect for my needs, and now there is nothing in the market to replace it :-(

    Like others here, I'm off to look for a spare in case anything happens to my current one.

    Best mobile device I have ever had (and I started with the Psion 3, 3a, 3c, 5, then various HTC WinMo phones, Toshiba TG01, etc)

  18. Spanners Silver badge

    Stupid name perhaps

    but I remember the song was funny.

    "and they called him the streak..."

  19. Tatsky

    I love my streak

    I have a feeling from the comments I am one of the few who feel this way, but I have a streak and love it.

    I use it for web surfing, email, phone calls, text messages, the lot. I do get a lot of comments when using it as a phone, but thats normally along the lines of me looking like dom jolly.

    I won't be giving up my Streak any time soon.

  20. Head


    I have no doubt that if Dell persisted with the Streak, introducing a newer revision, more features, better reliability (i was looking at a streak on a friends table when all of a sudden the screen shattered on its own) and better marketing, it could sell a lot more units

  21. Maryland, USA

    It failed as a phone, not as a tablet

    So callers don't want to hold a $500 5-inch brick against their ear. That doesn't mean that a $200 5-inch WiFi tablet, with Android 3.x, would fail.

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