T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Professional review

Old-school Sidekick devotees and jaded Android users take heed: The Sidekick continues to be reborn, stronger and much more advanced than in the past. Outfitted with hardware crafted by Samsung and powered by Android 2.2, the Sidekick 4G for T-Mobile has the innovative messaging features we have seen inside a smartphone.

Dispose of anything you have found that about the Sidekick. The old Sidekicks were generally of Sharp; they ran an exclusive OS created by Danger that mirrored anything you did onto the Web. Plus they had their unique service plans. The new Sidekick is from Samsung, which is an Android smartphone that uses the standard T-Mobile smartphone service plans. The Sidekick 4G is usually an unusual Android phone whose design attempts to balance current Android technology with the classic Sidekick look. Closed, the 5.0 by 2.4 by 0.6 inches (HWD), 5.7-ounce phone has the traditional, somewhat boat-shaped Sidekick look with four buttons surrounding a 3.5-inch, 800-by-480 LCD screen, as well as a tiny little optical mouse replacing the Sidekick's track ball. The four buttons are Android's Home, Menu and Back buttons, along with a special Jump key which you'll want to configure to generate keyboard shortcuts for many different apps.

Turn the Sidekick sideways, push up on the screen, don't fret, it's a little balky, and 'pow' it's a landscape-format phone with the best five-row QWERTY keyboard you've ever seen. The design dilemma is, if you find yourself holding the phone sideways, the Power and Volume buttons are right where you'd naturally rest your thumbs, and they are generally very sensitive. Which means you find yourself accidentally hitting them often, before you can condition yourself never to. Could possibly dedicated "@" key, as well as a dedicated emoticon key and 2 shift keys. The keys are common well-spaced enough it is almost impossible to mistype. It's only terrific.

Managing a 1-GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird CPU along with 512MB of internal storage, the Sidekick 4G felt responsive but certainly a lot slower as dual-core handsets for instance the G2x. Whether moving through menus, opening apps, or scrolling through contacts, the Sidekick 4G exhibited a little bit lag, which could have connected with the software overlay.

The Sidekick 4G comes with a 3-megapixel camera. It doesn't have a very flash but offers a quantity of editing tools, including white-balance controls, exposure settings, metering, and effects. Frankly, we weren't expecting much, but display quality was surprisingly good. Colors could have been slightly brighter in indoor shots, but the images were nice sharp, and the result was actually as good as other smartphones with higher-pixel cameras. The camera might also record 720p HD video, and again the quality was impressive. The Sidekick 4G offers around 350MB of internal storage, which isn't much, but it ships with a 2GB microSD card which enable it to accept nearly 32GB cards.

Web Surfing and Connectivity
The Sidekick 4G loaded webpages quickly, too, with the phone loading mobile sites for the New york city Times and ESPN in 7.6 and 6.3 seconds respectively. The full desktop version of Laptopmag.com page took around 15.6 seconds to fire up. The Galaxy S 4G performed slightly better, loading mobile sites in 4 to 7 seconds and Laptopmag.com inside a short 12 seconds. The Sidekick 4G will also support mobile hotspot functionality which enable it to supply connectivity for about five devices.

Call Quality
The Sidekick is usually an acceptable voice phone. Reception is average. The earpiece is loud, while it distorts slightly with loud inputs. On the other end, transmissions from the phone sound loud as well as a bit harsh or scratchy. A little background noise came through, but my voice was much louder that it didn't matter. The speakerphone is wonderful loud and sharp, with clear transmissions.

Battery life
Battery life must have been a minor concern I received five hours, 20 minutes hours of talk time on the 1500 mAh battery while T-Mobile advertises 6.5 hours.


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