Dell Streak free on contract in U.K.

The 5-inch Dell Android tablet is free with a $37-per-month contract beginning Thursday.

Dell Streak
Dell Streak Dell

We still don't know if the Dell Streak is a tablet or a smartphone, and the new pricing for the device may confuse matters even further.

Dell's touch-screen tablet will go on sale Friday in the U.K. at retailer The Carphone Warehouse for 429 British pounds, or $630. But if you opt to buy it with a monthly data plan, you can get the Android device for free, the retailer announced Tuesday.

The lowest plan is 25 British pounds--or about $37--per month for mobile broadband access. You can also pay 35 British pounds ($51) per month and get voice and unlimited data.

That does seem like an appealing deal for a new touch-screen tablet compared with Apple's iPad, where you purchase the device first and then can choose to buy a $15 a month 250MB data plan, or unlimited data for $30 a month. But there's also a big difference: you can't use the iPad as a phone. The Dell Streak does allow voice calls.

It's made it difficult to pinpoint exactly how to categorize the Streak. Is it a smartphone? It is, after all, on the small side for a tablet (5 inches), runs Android like many other smartphones, allows voice calls, and is being sold through a wireless service provider. Dell, however, insists on calling it a tablet.

The Streak doesn't come to the U.S. until later this summer. Dell hasn't said whether it will be sold through a carrier stateside yet.

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