The Samsung Galaxy Note will soon be available in the U.S. It's already available in Europe, and is up for pre-order on AT&T. But will this hybrid phone/tablet be raging success, or embarrassing flop?
So does it follow that the 5.3" Galaxy Note will also fail? Well, no, IMHO.
First of all, the Dell Streak failed not because of the form-factor, but because of a combination of other reasons. Here are my top four:
Android wasn't ready for it. It originally shipped in June 2010 running Android 1.6, which by that time was already three major releases old, the 2.2 SDK having been released the previous month. 1.6 wasn't designed for a screen with this much resolution -- 800x480 -- so app compatibility suffered. It took six months for Dell to release a stable OS upgrade to 2.2, by which time the die was cast.
Dell didn't market it much. It appeared that the Streak team was a small, underfunded part of Dell, and had to fight hard, political battles against other parts of the company. Sadly, the team failed to make an impact.
The battery was too small. The original 1530 mAh battery wasn't really up to the job of running a 5" screen and a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU. Typical battery life was less than a day, causing customer dissatisfaction. (Aftermarket batteries are now available that go to 1800 mAh; Samsung has wisely opted for a 2500 mAh unit.)
It was too fragile. Although the screen was Corning's Gorilla Glass, something about the design meant that the OMOLED panel underneath would break if you dropped it. The Streak quickly gained a reputation for fragility; replacement panels were unreasonably expensive (although today a new one runs for $35 on eBay).
TL;DR: The situation's very different. The Galaxy Note has everything to play for.
(As I've mentioned elsewhere, I own a Streak that I bought from eBay. If you're looking for an inexpensive Android phone/tablet with this sort of form-factor, you could do a lot worse. Although Dell is no longer selling it, there's a thriving hacker community supporting it, and plenty of aftermarket accessories available.)
Richi Jennings is an independent analyst, specializing in blogging, email, spam, security, and other technology topics. His writing has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards. You can encircle him at +richi, follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be his friend at Facebook.com/richij or just use boring old email: email@example.com.