Dell Continues Tablet Streak With The Launch Of An Oversized Android Phone

With the early success of the iPad, many copycats will hit the market this year. Dell’s coming out quickly with its response — the Streak, which will be available in the U.S. starting Friday for $300 when combined with an AT&T (NYSE: T) contract. The five-inch display makes it easier to compare to a phone than with the 9.7-inch iPad screen, and since it runs on Android, it comes ready to make phone calls.

Dell released the Streak in June in the UK, so presumably it has been selling well enough to continue its roll-out plans in the U.S. Just yesterday, Plastic Logic killed off its much-hyped Que e-reader in favor of waiting for its second-generation device, showing just how fast and competitive this market has become.

The Dell Streak has two things going for it: It’s more portable than the iPad, and could easily fit into a purse or even a pocket. Plus its screen size, which is .7 inches larger than some of the biggest cell phones on the market today, will make it easier to watch TV and surf the web. Just today, mobile TV provider MobiTV, said size does matter. Based on recent trends observed during the World Cup, it said the larger the screen, the longer people tuned into watch the games. For example, the owner of a five-inch screen averaged 118.2 minutes of viewing time, whereas a 4-inch screen averaged 102.2 minutes. Anything smaller and the time spent was nearly cut in half.

The major downside to the Dell Streak is that it is already out-of-date by the time it gets to market. Out-of-the-box it is running Android 1.6, which is at least two generations behind the latest OS release. Dell said in its release today that the Streak was “designed with the future in mind to support future software, application and platform upgrades.”