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.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.


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