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Mobility Digest Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab & Dell Streak Comparison

There is no question that the hottest thing going right now is tablets. Many people are calling 2011 “The year of the Tablet”. Manufactures were in abundance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year showing off their new Tablet offerings and getting people excited over their products. Taking a step back in time however, it was Samsung last year that really made a big hit with the first Tablet that really made people take notice, the Galaxy Tab. The Samsung Galaxy Tab was released to Verizon on their 3G network. As many of you have probably heard, the Verizon 4G LTE will be introduced in the summer and will show off a recently released device, the Motorola XOOM.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a 7 inch Android device running Froyo. This is a device I am actually finishing up a review on, but I thought I would take a break from that and kick out a quick comparison with the Samsung Galaxy Tab going heads up against the Dell Streak 5 inch smartphone….um….tablet I mean. The Dell Streak I am testing here is loaded with Android 2.2 aka Froyo. Mine was the European released device and not the AT&T locked device. What’s the difference you ask? Nothing except the Euro version got Froyo in early December and the AT&T version just got Froyo yesterday. But that is water under the bridge so lets move on.

The Dell Streak has long been a  favorite of mine as it gives me the perfect size for traveling and being mobile yet still maintains a rich multimedia experience as well as awesome internet browsing. Even though I get some stares on occasion from people looking at how big the device is when used as a phone, it still does technically fit in my pocket. I however do not recommend putting the device to your ear in favor of a decent Bluetooth ear piece to cut down on all the unwanted humor people seem to be filled with when using it in such a way. The Dell Streak never seemed to run out of power and I seldom had issue with the device underperforming. The 1 GHz processor really did a nice job even clunking around with Android 1.6 on it originally. What I wasn’t prepared for was how good the Samsung Galaxy Tab would perform. First off, the Tab is not in any way shape or form going to fit in your pocket so get that right out of your head. It still is very portable but not on your person. The power of the Hummingbird processor driving essentially the same operating system as the Streak with the Samsung Touch Wiz hitchhiker the Tab picked up was remarkable. The only time I ever saw a lag with this device was when it was booting up and trying to get through this huge Verizon boot screen animation they loaded on it. This would be the first thing scraped if this device belonged to me.

So lets get to the chase shall we. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a much bigger device than the Dell Streak. Even thought they both are being powered by a 1GHz processor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab laid the Smack Down on the Dell Streak in both SmartBench 2010 and Quadrant performance tests. Let’s check out the tale of the tape, some hardware specifications, and then finally the performance test results I ran:

Check out my video for more on the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak comparison:

Conclusion, both devices are not apples to apples when you sit them next to each other and do a comparison. That much was obvious before I started. But I did hope to show the size differential between the two in hopes it would put things in better perspective. I really like both these devices. They both are very high quality and have no build quality issues whatsoever. Both of the devices run Android 2.2 so they are both really similar in that respect. Even though the iPhone 4 has been my daily driver for a while now, I really like Froyo. I don’t have any issues with the operating system and like the customization with Android you don’t get with iOS. I am also fairly satisfied with the Android Marketplace and don’t think it is as bad as people make it out to be. Android is red hot right now and there is a lot of developers on the band wagon. These are both wonderful devices.

But if I had to pick one, it would be the Samsung Galaxy Tab. I really enjoyed using this device. Social Media, blogging, reading my RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, and browsing the internet was very enjoyable and more so than the Dells Streak. At the end of the day, I got tired of using the Bluetooth ear piece to avoid the unwanted attention and constant references to the bag phone when describing the Streaks size. As a Tablet, it works well, but when comparing the Streak against the Tab solely as a tablet, you gotta have screen baby. The Tab’s 7 inch screen just does a better job and is more enjoyable.

LG is bring a 5inch smartphone to market later this year also running on an Android operating system. But this device will have a lot less in total bulk and strictly be a phone and not labeled as a tablet. It might work in that respect. What doesn’t work for me is a 5 inch tablet when I am also carrying a phone.

So what’s next? Well it has got to be the 10 inch tablet right? That will be a comparison that we will bring you in the future. But after using the Apple iPad for a short period of time, it will certainly make me think about how much I like the 7 inch tablets.

Doug Smith