Form feet and legs. Form arms and body.

And I’ll form the head.

Review: Sidekick 2008

Posted by rapaleeman on August 11, 2008

So over the weekend my Sidekick iD finally took a crap on me.  It had been on its last leg for a while and a final drop caused it to shut off and then never turn back on.  RIP.  In its wake comes a new dawn.  A new era of the almighty Sidekick.

Ok enough with the drama.  I went to the T-Mob to buy a new phone and based on the monthly plan, decided to stick with the kick.  I really wanted the Tony Hawk one, but for $450 bucks it wasn’t worth it.  Same with the LX.  I really wanted the LX in terms of form, but an extra hundred for a phone with a screen that looked distorted (though bigger) wasn’t worth it.  So I bought the new Sidekick 2008 (or just Sidekick I think).

Well after a day with it I can tell you that the upgrade is definately noticable.  I now have a camera, music player, bluetooth, hi-res screen and just and overall awesome device.  In the store I was a tad worried about it being cheap since it is a) a replacement for the iD and b) had a weird cheap feeling plastic shell.  Well it isn’t.

The phone feels solid though really light weight.  It is thinner, and smaller than the LX and definately smaller than the iD or the Sidekick 3.  It is on-par with the thickness of the slide, but it feels overall smaller.  The screen actually locks into place and I don’t think it will pop open in my pocket which the iD and 3 did (and reportedly the LX does as well).

The big feature besides the technical side is the exchangable and customizable shells.  The feel smooth and actually lock into place.  It came with a really nasty green one and a sweet black one.  I am currently pimping the black one.  You can make your own or buy a pre-made one on the Sidekick site and I think it is really cool.  My only complaint is that they are smooth so it feels kinda slippery, yet I don’t think I’ll drop it.  Weird.

Now to the phone itself.  Sharp and Danger have finally made it to the year 2008 (well 2005 at least).  The new Sidekick has all the same features of the top-of-the-line Sidekick LX and more.  It has a better camera (2.0 megapixels) and a sharper screen, even though the screen is smaller.  Also it has more RAM and despite a slight pause when doing a lot of things (I mean like 5 tasks) it is quite speedy for such a little phone.

Stereo bluetooth works well and the music sounds pretty sweet over the airwaves.  The player is barebones, but it works.  No complaints.  The video is pretty bad though (30 seconds, 15 FPS), but it is on all the Sidekicks now so I can forgive it.  The pictures are slightly better than the LX.  Overall it is on average in that department with most of the midrange phones in the T-Mob and even the AT&T line-ups.  I did find the stills to look better than the Shadow I use to have which is good to me.

So I haven’t mentioned some things, but honestly the things that a Sidekick are good at no longer need to be given front row anymore.  IM/Texting/E-Mails are all great and work well.  The keyboard is a little different though.  A tad smaller, yet still plenty of room to type.  The buttons on the outside though (volume, jump keys, call/end) are a tad small.  Still easy to use, but still small and since they don’t light up can be a little hard to press/find at night.  Overall though still good and easy to use.

This is a messenger/text machine first.  Then a phone.  With that said the actual phone portion is pretty good.  Earpiece volume is good and loud without a lot of distortion.  Speakerphone is a little low, but I was still able to use it in the car without much problems.  Overall it beats the iD and what little I’ve used of the LX.

The catalog is still there and the Edge data speeds are better than the iD but not 3G which is sorely missed.  Edge does suffice though for checking funds at the bank or quick browsing.  It was pretty quick at dinner last night.  I’m not unhappy.  Also you don’t have to shut off the phone to install apps (thank you Danger).

Finally, the battery seemed good.  Not sure on the life total, but it seems to hold its own.  As long as it lasts a day, I’m good.  With heavy use it was only down to 74% after 8 hours, with about an hour of calls.  Not bad.

Ok, so here’s the bottom line.  If you want a messenger/texting machine first, then the new Sidekick is the way to go.  It is worth every penny and despite my initial reservations, it is a solid phone.  The usual shortfalls still apply (ringtones, and purchasing catalog) but the phone is so stable it makes up for it.  No crashes at all.  The size is just right and the customizations in terms of shells and themes is pretty sweet.  I added the Tony Hawk theme from the limited edition.  I feel cool now.  The camera is pretty good as is the MP3 player but the video is pathetic.

Still, if you want a phone to type on without the stupid Windows crap, and an alternative to the ultra business Blackberry, then the Sidekick is the way to go.  Plus $20 for unlimited internet/texts is a steal.



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