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Dell Streak teardown shows accessibility, iPhone-like cams

updated 03:00 pm EDT, Wed August 18, 2010

Dell Streak dissected by iFixit

Well-known repair shop iFixit today posted a teardown of the Dell Streak. The Android tablet is put somewhat in contrast with Apple as it's considered relatively accessible. The back cover for the battery and microSDHC slot comes off easily, and the construction is such that both taking apart and reassembling the Streak is easy.

It's possible to put a fully disassembled Streak back together "within minutes," iFixit's Kyle Wiens said.

Inside, the device is dominated by Qualcomm, which supplies the 1GHz Snapdragon processor (QSD8250) at the heard of the tablet as well as the RF transceiver and power management. As Dell doesn't require separate chipsets for most cellular hardware, relatively few other companies are involved. Analog Devices, Hynix, TriQuint and Texas Instruments provide only basic power and display chips.

The VGA front and five-megapixel cameras "pretty closely resemble" those in the iPhone 4, the teardown showed. However, the battery was likely much worse than Apple's, as the 1,530mAh battery didn't appear large or high powered enough to handle the larger five-inch screen. "The fact that Dell didn't publish the battery life hints at the fact that it isn't too great," Wiens said.

Much of the dissection confirms that the Streak is mostly a typical Android device with a larger screen, as evidenced by significant blank spaces on the boards afforded by the larger screen. The iPhone 4 is considered somewhat similar to the iPad in that regard, but Apple uses chipsets and batteries in the tablet that are made possible by the larger size, such as a 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi chipset that would be too big or power hungry in an iPhone.

By Electronista Staff


  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    Is taking apart good?

    I love the fact that I CAN'T easily take apart my iPhone. Every other phone that I've had explodes into pieces when dropped. (yes it does happen) The iPhone doesn't because it's not designed to come apart easily. I've NEVER replaced a battery in my phone, so there's not always a need to have it so accessible for most users.

    From an end user perspective, the solid nature is better. For someone working in a service department, I could see an advantage, but other than that, it doesn't really matter.

  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Feb 2009



    I agree with bjojade above. This thing looks like it would explode if you dropped it.

    Also, who takes apart their phone? "Easy to take apart" is arguably a *bad* design heuristic to shoot for. Let's be realistic just for a microsecond. It's not a desktop computer, you won't be servicing it, and neither will anyone else. Other than making the iFixit guys happy, this is a meaningless metric at best.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Nerds like taking devices apart...

    It's in their blood and gives them an air of superiority. I always liked to brag about never taking my computers in for servicing since I did all the upgrades myself. Occasionally I screwed up a few things, too. I ruined my trusty dual G4 MDD by pulling out the processor card and somehow inserted it where a couple of the fork and blade connectors got damaged and shorted and that was the end of that tune. It happened after about the fifth time I pulled it for no reason except that I could. But there's no need to mention that part.

    With age and wisdom I've learned to just to live without having to tinker with everything and pray that the device lasts indefinitely. I'd rather just own a device that doesn't need to be pulled apart until it outlives its usefulness.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004


    Meaningless at best?

    If you don't want to take it apart - don't.

    At worst, it has no impact on you.

    At best, it will help you.

    I take apart phones, even the Apple iPhone. I have fixed several phones for friends.

    It's not exactly easy - it would be nicer if it was easy.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    Who would want a phone whose pieces come apart easily? Then people would be able to replace their own batteries if necessary (or just disconnect them to unbrick a crashed phone), and then you have no reason to schmooze at the Apple store!

    Of course, if they made the phone hard to open, you'd all be mocking them for copying Apple's style and concepts.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    re: sploding

    The only parts that go exploding off a phone are the battery/back cover and possibly the battery. Nothing else goes shooting out of the thing (I've never seen the screen shoot off to the right, the sim card down a storm drain, the antenna up into a flower pot, etc). And the flailing parts help dissipate the force of the fall on the phone itself.

    And how is dropping that iPhone on the floor? Parts don't go flailing, but what harm does it do to the iPhone itself? Cracked screens? Dented metal (my iPod touch got dented right at the power button on the top, due to a fall).

    Or are your iPhones in protective cases to keep such disaster from happening? And were your other exploding phones in protective cases? Oh, probably not...

  1. freeautoglass


    Joined: Jun 2011


    iPhone insides

    It is interesting how much it looks similar to the iPhone 4 inside. It's just amazing how much stuff they can pack inside these awesome devices!

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