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T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Just because it’s part of the Sidekick line, don’t think for a second that this doesn’t pack some horsepower under the hood to make it contend with some of the great ones out there. Impressively, the same usual 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor used by many of Samsung’s Galaxy S devices is employed by the Sidekick 4G, and fittingly, it provides a sensual experience. Actually, we’re gladly accepting of the peppy response exhibited by the device – and it’s evident in almost everything you do from loading apps to scrolling smoothly between its homescreens.

Naturally, one of the other beloved aspects of the Sidekick line is the heavily animated and flashy looking interface employed by the handsets, and of course, we’re treated with a customized Android 2.2 Froyo experience with the Sidekick 4G. In fact, it’s vastly different from what’s currently found with other Android smartphones since it flaunts an edgy look to its guise, and at the same time, it’s more in line to attract the youthful crowd out there. From the all caps fonts in use with the handset to the spelled out clock with its unlock screen, there’s plenty attention to detail with the Sidekick 4G which drastically differentiates it from its Android siblings – and that’s the kind of thing this device needs to stand out on its own.

Packing a total of 7 homescreens, it shares the same set of useful Samsung widgets that are found with Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphones. However, it manages to carry along a few other ones specific to it, like the sticky messaging and group texting widgets, which profoundly showcase its affinity to its messaging roots. Also, it borrows the same helicopter view used by other handsets and displays all homescreens simultaneously by executing a pinch gesture on the homescreen.

The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G packs a total of 7 homescreens - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G packs a total of 7 homescreens - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G packs a total of 7 homescreens - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Main menu - The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G packs a total of 7 homescreens - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
   

Main menu

The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G packs a total of 7 homescreens


T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review


Organizer & Messaging:

Continuing to flaunt its unique spin on things, there are many organizer apps that have been given a makeover to better expand the handset’s edgy style. Tapping on the “Contacts” button on the homescreen, we’re transported to our typical address book, but we find it very handy in quickly calling or messaging someone by executing a left or right swipe gesture. Moreover, it’s integrated well with social networking aspects since it aggregates content from our respective accounts all at one place – while tastefully providing some basic functions like replying to Facebook posts or retweeting.

The address book is well integrated with social networking - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
The address book is well integrated with social networking - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
The address book is well integrated with social networking - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
The address book is well integrated with social networking - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
The address book is well integrated with social networking - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
The address book is well integrated with social networking - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

The address book is well integrated with social networking


Meanwhile, the Feeds and Updates widget is the centralized hub for all your social networking needs seeing that it works with Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Not only can you post messages to all three services at the same time, but you can even attach and upload photos simultaneously – which beats having to run separate apps for that. All in all, it might not utilize anything new that we’ve haven’t seen before with other devices, but it’s nice nonetheless to see that it caters to the inner most desires of social networking conscious individuals.

The Feeds and Updates widget - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
The Feeds and Updates widget - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

The Feeds and Updates widget


Increasing its messaging focus, the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G hosts a bevy of messaging apps that are sure to keep anyone conversing all through the night. First, the Group Texting app provides a linear and organized experience seeing that you can carry on a conversation with multiple people. Meaning, if someone replies to you, it’ll be seen by everyone else included in the group so that they’re constantly in the loop. Secondly, the Cloud Texting service will allow you to manage and track your text messages online through a computer. However, it’s not yet available and will go live once the device is commercially launched. Finally, there are tertiary things like the sticky message feature, which basically allows you to pin some of your favorite messages to the homescreen. That increasingly shows off the Sidekick 4G’s focal attention to messaging.

Group Texting app - Messaging apps - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Messaging apps - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Cloud Texting - Messaging apps - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sticky message - Messaging apps - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

Group Texting app

 

Cloud Texting

Sticky message

Messaging apps


Even though we’ve seen a great deal of transformation with the messaging aspects of the device, we’re simply presented with the traditional Gmail experience – which isn’t bad at all since it functions perfectly.

We’re presented with the traditional Gmail experience - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
We’re presented with the traditional Gmail experience - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

We’re presented with the traditional Gmail experience


Strangely enough, one of the most sought out feature with prior Sidekicks is omitted with this one. Although you’ve got the Android Market for all your app needs, it would’ve been nice to see some sort of preloaded instant messaging app on board, but sadly, it’s completely missing in action. Sure it’s not a complete bummer, but considering the Sidekick name, this is one area that should’ve gotten some face time.

7 Comments
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posted on 18 Apr 2011, 10:36

1. Speardj (unregistered)


So 10 hours of heavy 4g usage is poor battery life? Maybe I'm just used to the poor battery life I get with my G1, but that seems pretty fantastic to me. Considering this phone, even though I'm not the target demographic

posted on 18 Apr 2011, 22:05

2. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2870; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Yea that seems kinda odd considering. I wish my TB got 10 hours of battery life PERIOD. 3G DOESNT.

posted on 25 Apr 2011, 11:43

3. 2bits (unregistered)


I'm curious if flash 10.2 was installed by an upgrade? If not then that's why you got the jitters because you really need Flash 10.2!!

10 hours of battery life is outstanding from any 4G phone. I get only 3 hours on my Samsung Epic 4G!!

I had to purchase a 3000 mAH battery and now it's .8 inches thick!

So do your homework reivews and compare apples to apples like the Samsung Epic 4G to this phone!

posted on 25 Apr 2011, 11:50

4. TechNado (unregistered)


It may not be able to compete with the top tier phones out there, but the Sidekick 4G is still an excellent choice for heavy messaging and/or social networking users. Hey we are going to aggregate your review and bring more people directly this link. Come check us outwww.technado.com

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 13:54

6. bowlski (unregistered)


i don't understand why just because the sidekick 4g has the android platform, it needs to compete with top tier phones. i honestly think it's targeting a different market than that. this is a very differently designed phone compared to the top tier, so why should it have to compete in all other aspects?

posted on 05 Sep 2011, 08:29

7. Erika (unregistered)


is this phone available here in the Philippines? is it openline already?

posted on 04 Oct 2011, 15:04

8. rpm (unregistered)


This phone is still the only choice for me. TMobile is the only carrier that works in my house. Even considering other carriers, there is not too many side-sliders with a 5-row hardware keyboard, and I won't live without that. This is the only one that has raised edges when open (like the G1) and that makes it way easier to hold. It also has hardware buttons which I greatly prefer. I get ~30hours of normal-use battery, and >10 with very heavy 4G use. If it were dual-core, had a better camera with flash, and had a bigger/better display, it would be the ultimate phone!

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Display3.5 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (267 ppi) TFT
Camera3 megapixels
Hardware
Samsung Exynos 3, Single core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A8 processor
512 MB RAM
Size5.00 x 2.42 x 0.60 inches
(127 x 61 x 15 mm)
5.70 oz  (162 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 6.5 hours talk time

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