MyDellMini.com member iStormUK
wrote his review about the Dell Streak:
----------------------- Dell Streak w/2.2 Official O2 Froyo
It's been a long time coming, and not without some painful birthing, note: eclair 2.1 official. I finally obtained the official Froyo from Dell/O2 over the air, and proceeded to install it upon my device in earnest. The installation was pretty painless, though there are reports in the MyDellMini forums where this is not so, which means Dell may need to look into future OTA updates install procedures. The first thing you will note upon receiving your new and shiny OS is that the device has gone through some rather dramatic cosmetic changes. Originally launched with the 1.6 edition of Android, the Dell Streak had a distinctive UI, consisting of a custom home-screen of seven pages, with uniquely customizable wallpapers, and a notifications bar with custom drop downs for notifications, power management and apps, as well as the ubiquitous clock. This can also be said of the eclair update it received prior to the FroYo release. In this new iteration of the Streak's OS this has been replaced with what is best described as a stock notifications bar, resembling a whitish-grey line that houses the clock, signal GPRS and GPS icons. The new launcher is a departure also, replacing the former 6x4 widescreen display of the original with a new one they refer to as 'Stage UI'. In essence this appears little different to a stock Android desktop, it has the same three buttons in the same style as most other FroYo devices based off Google's own code, and the only real difference is that it will now come set-up with 'stages'. These are widgets that have been designed by Dell, which take up the new 4x4 desktop space with fairly useful features, though none that aren't already supplied by your present applications. The widgets consist of; social, contacts, email, web, home, music & gallery, and have two different format settings, which depend entirely on the orientation of your device.
In Landscape the iconspace does not change, and thus the last and first, quarters of the preceeding and succeeding screens show up, giving the UI something of an unfinished feel, this space cannot be utilized in the default launcher, and is cause for many to migrate to the alternatives. In the interest of fairness, I gave this UI a go for, ooh, about 8 hours before it was nagging me with it's eccentricities. The email widget is only useful if you don't use the GMail app, if you do, it will not display anything, and makes the widget rather useless. The contacts widget was pretty, but largely unused, as it was easier to scroll through the contacts list under 'phone' than to select from a picture, then from a miniscule pop-up menu. The gallery widget was better, it tiles images in your gallery, though does let you do much to select the images you want, and selects the first batch it comes across in your gallery. The home app was marginally more useful, it lists the most recently used applications, as well as the weather in your area, specified by the 'News and Weather' app which now comes preinstalled, and can use GPS, though in my experiment today, with mock locations, proved to be a bit slow to update, though in fairness may be due to the process of setting such things up. The Music widget proved to be most irritating. Whilst it looks rather pretty, it does not list your most played, or faves, it seems to, like with the gallery, random artists, though the playlists button and albums button in the bottom right make up for this somewhat, but lack of playback controls again make this widget of minimal use. The social widget is actually rather pretty, though semi-functional, it lists the most recent 3 posts from your feed, one feed per widget, either twitter or Facebook, not both, and thus will make you use up another 4x4 squares on a new page to see both, but it does allow for quick posting in either community. The Web widget was unused by me, the search bar is rarely used by me at all, and the six shortcuts beneath could neither be altered, nor scrolled, and it displayed for me, 6 shortcuts I rarely used, but the speed-dial nature could prove handy to some people with the sixth button listing ALL bookmarks.
So, the new UI is not much cop, I tried to give it a go, and as fair a use as possible, but I found the new Stage UI, to be little more than stock with new fancy widgets. The overall performance of the device has vastly improved, there is still some of that trademark sluggishness in some menus, most noticeable when adding shortcuts to applications into your launcher desktop, but it's been vastly reduced, and with some tweaking, though this requires a rooted device, can be sped up even more. The memory management and battery life seem to have also been somewhat improved, I've not needed to charge up til right now, which is a 2x improvement for me, over previous iterations, and today was spent using some of the new FroYo features, such as 'Tethering'. Yes that's right, even on the O2 firmware, tethering by USB or Wifi is now included and fully working. In Wifi mode, its a simple case of tapping it on, and selecting the options you desire, it uses WPA to ensure only devices you want, get access. The USB tethering was painfree also, though not mac compatible as I found, presumably because when installing the tether mode on XP, it was reported as being 'WIndows Mobile Tethering' so presumably it mimics some proprietary WinMo technology, for which Mac has no driver built-in. Using the wifi tethering I was able to get a fairly decent speed of 4mbps, though this was in a bad area for HSDPA, this was more than respectable for me, and the device happily stayed in my pocket the whole time, whilst my tablet PC trundled along browsing away happily.
The bundled apps in the O2 release are thankfully a little slim, QuickOffice is there, but TouchDown is gone, some might praise the latter, I know I do, but this means a lot of syncing options went with it. Speaking of syncing, the device now uses Nero Home software to sync, and this will require you to go online to the Dell site to nab the version they supply. The installation was rather easy, though the software is more media-focused than syncing contacts, allowing you to sync all manner of media, and convert others that won't fit. Contacts synced fine, but no calendar support exists in the software, leaving this of little use to me, but does enable much easier syncing of videos. Video support for WMV is actually present again, as is WMA, insofar as the few test files I posted over it worked, which noticeable frames skipped, as opposed to Mpeg 4 files, but the welcome return of this format, will make many people happy once again. Again no support for copyright DRM media, though, as I tried with a freely available video file from the iPlayer site for 'mobile devices' and it came out garbled, not even searching for the license needed.
All in all this version of Dell's OS, is a welcome fix to many headaches brought on by the initial, or updated OS, previous. Dell still have a long way to go to make it perfect, but its a good step in the right direction.