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T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Camera:

With a majority of its specs floating near the upper echelon of things, the Sidekick 4G’s 3.2-megapixel auto-focus camera is really a letdown – both in capacity and quality. Generally, photos shot outdoors appear to look a tad bit dull and over-exposed. In addition, it produces some cooler looking colors which doesn’t help in exposing fine details in the scenery. Oppositely, indoor shots under low lighting come out with an abundance of digital noise that’s further drowned by its blurry appearance. Truth be told, it’s worth it for some in the moment photo opportunities, but not something you’d want to frame in an album.

Camera interface - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Camera interface - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Camera interface - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Camera interface - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

Camera interface


Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

Sample images shot with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G


Strong - Indoor samples - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Medium - Indoor samples - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Low light - Indoor samples - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

Indoor samples


Needless to say that the 0.3-megapixel front facing camera is best reserved for the occasional video call, and rightfully so, it gets the job done as we used it with Fring’s video chat service.

As much as we’d come to expect 720p video recording with most top shelf devices, we only find the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G supporting a maximum capture resolution of 720 x 480. Although we accept its smooth capture rate of 29 frames per second, we’re not particularly fans of the hazy results with its recording.

T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Sample Video:




Multimedia:

Not surprisingly, we find the typical gallery app with the Sidekick 4G which lays out all of your photos and videos. Being an Android smartphone and all, there’s a ton of sharing options to get content to specific services – like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Picasa. Lastly, there are some basic editing functions, like cropping and rotating that are available with photos.

The gallery app of the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
The gallery app of the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
The gallery app of the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

The gallery app of the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G


Gladly accepting the refreshing look of its music player interface, we dig the in-your-face attitude it exudes with its presentation. Not only does it complement the handset’s youthful vigor, but we like the usefulness of the mini-player that’s displayed on the unlock screen – it quickly provides control at an instant. However, it would’ve been nice to see better eye catching animations when flicking through albums – as opposed to its monotonous look. Producing some blaring tones from its speaker, it definitely comes off as being screechy and irritating when it’s placed on the highest volume setting.

Interface of the music player - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Interface of the music player - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Interface of the music player - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

Interface of the music player


Combining its brilliant looking display and speedy processor, the Sidekick 4G is no doubt one engaging handset for all your video watching needs. In fact, it didn’t have any problems in smoothly playing a video encoded in DivX 1280 x 720 resolution. Of course, the sheer amount of iridescent colors produced by the display is enough to keep our eyes fixed on it at all times.

Video playback - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

Video playback


Imagining that most of today’s youths are constantly snapping photos and videos, its included 2GB microSD card might seem insufficient. But of course, you can always replace it with something as high as a 32GB microSD card.


Internet and Connectivity:

Global trotters will unanimously find the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G fitting for their needs since it’s a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) GSM and dual-band (1700/2100 MHz) UMTS smartphone. With that, you’ll be able to place phone calls just about anywhere, but we’re even more in love with its Wi-Fi calling functionality – which is undoubtedly an asset where connection is rather low or non-existent. And of course, it has support for T-Mobile's 21 Mbit/s network speeds. Finally, its 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth 3.0 gladly complete its list of arsenal.

Considering that this is a “4G” branded smartphone capable of delivering blazing speeds with T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network, one would sense that the web browsing experience would be fantastic. Sure it’s fast in loading up complex web sites, but we’re appalled by the jittery nature of scrolling through Flash heavy web sites. Even though it handles most web sites with little to no problem, it’s seemingly affected adversely whenever it comes across Flash content. For a respectable device like this, we were expecting nothing less than an exhilarating web browsing experience, but instead, it’s marred by some finicky and stutter navigation.

Web browsing - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Web browsing - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Web browsing - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
Web browsing - T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

Web browsing



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: 3034; 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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