You know we have a soft spot for the Dell Streak, or Dell Streak 5 as we may call it for clarity now that Dell has the Dell Streak 7 on T-Mobile. The Streak 5 is made with high quality materials, has a sharp display, can make phone calls yet it fits in a large pocket.
We have the AT&T version of the Dell Streak, and as many owners know, AT&T has been glacially slow at the approval process for the Android 2.2 Froyo update. Dell ships unlocked Streaks running 2.2 and they have a free downloadable upgrade to 2.2 for unlocked Streaks that shipped with Android 1.6 Donut (as did the AT&T Streak).
With some tinkering, you can get that 2.2 upgrade for unlocked US Dell Streak smartphones on your AT&T locked tablet. It's a little more complex than some other ROM hacking and upgrading processes for Android devices though. We'll follow up with a post that has the deets.
Even if you're not up to flashing 2.2 via the hacking method, check out our video walkthrough of Froyo on the AT&T Streak. You'll see what you're in for, and it's mostly excellent stuff, though we do miss some of Dell's OS 1.6 customizations of keys apps. The Streak with 2.2 runs Dell's Stage UI and it has Flash 10.1 as well as a bundle of useful apps. We expect most of these apps except the CoPilot demo, to make it onto the official AT&T 2.2 release. When the update is available, it should be a simple over-the-air 160 meg download as it is for the unlocked version. And yes, it's definitely faster with Froyo and Quadrant scores go up to 880 with no tweaking.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview
How to upgrade your AT&T Dell Streak to Dell's Froyo release if you don't want to wait for AT&T to approve and release the update? It's not as easy as flashing some other Android smartphones unfortunately, but if you've had some practice at hacking and flashing your Android device or even another platform device, it's certainly do-able. You must do this from Windows, sorry Mac and Linux folks.
Make sure your Streak is charged before you do this, because you don't want it dying part way through from lack of juice.
There you'll download the ADB drivers (the USB drivers) and the ROM flashing tool called QDL (aka repair tool). The repair tool download includes the beta 2.2 OS ROM image, and that's what you'll first flash to your Dell Streak.
If you have a 64 bit Windows computer, be sure to look at StreakDroid's instructions for getting the ADB drivers installed under 64 bit Windows. The Windows drivers are actually the most tedious and challenging part. The flashing is a piece of cake in comparison!
Not mentioned in the StreakDroid guide is a very important step. After you install the drivers you'll want to turn on USB debugging mode on the Streak (found under Settings-> Applications-> USB Debugging checkbox) and then connect your Streak to your computer so Windows will load the secondary driver it needs to complete the flashing process. Whew.
Once you've got that done you can return to the instructions at StreakDroid for putting your Dell into flashable mode, then run the QDL tool and connect your Streak. If all goes well, the beta Froyo Dell ROM will install on the Streak in 8 minutes or so. Maybe less.
After it's done flashing, the Streak will reboot and rebuilt its caches and that can take up to 10 minutes. You'll see just the Dell logo on screen while it does this-- don't panic.
If something goes wrong, the QDL tool generally won't touch your Streak's ROM, so all is safe. If somehow things do go amiss, it's fairly hard to irrevocably brick your Streak since the QDL tool can work with seemingly unusable devices to revive them (it is a ROM repair tool after all).
Got that beta Froyo ROM flashed? Great! You're almost done. Turn on WiFi and connect to your access point using the Streak. Why? The official 2.2 Dell Froyo OS for unlocked US Dell Streaks is 160 megs! Point your Dell Streak's web browser to Dell's download page for unlocked US Streaks: