T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.