Sidekick fans, brace yourselves. We just got some hands-on time with the successor to the long line of Sidekick handsets, the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G. Originally made by Sharp and powered by Danger – remember the Internet forums that went by the same name? – it’s now made by Samsung and powered by Google’s Android. I’ve gotta admit that this device got me a little excited – for nostalgic reasons if nothing else. So, what is it like?
Well, the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G is pretty awesome. The build quality seemed pretty solid and no seam or hinge was unfinished. Many Sidekick purists will miss the famous swivel screen, but perhaps not too much. It’s also a bit weird to hold this thing and know that it’s a Sidekick, but the icons on each corner are different and it’s evidently an Android device.
We didn’t get to spend a great deal of time with the Sidekick 4G, but in the 10 – 15 minutes we did, there weren’t any hiccups in the hardware or software. The buttons felt great, the sliding mechanism was firm and inspired confidence and the size of the thing wasn’t so bad, either. It’s not the slimmest phone on the block, but none of the Sidekicks really were.
And of course, we have the Sidekick keyboard. Just because this particular device is made by Samsung doesn’t mean it didn’t take any cues from the design and tactility of the Sidekicks of yesteryear. It’s firm but gives a satisfying click, and it’s easy as cake to type on it. It even has a dedicated smiley button, too, if your tend to pepper your text messages and e-mails with emoticons.
The UI is pretty nice and there are a healthy number of widgets to choose from. Again, our time with the device was brief, but I didn’t notice any particular lag or hiccups when scrolling around and just exploring the device.
Finally, this device does support T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network, which means you should have some pretty speedy data transfer speeds with this device – something the original Sidekicks seriously lacked. Remember the LX constantly switching to GPRS? Blech.
We’ll have more for you as the show continues, so be sure to stay tuned! In the meantime, check out the images below.