T-Mobile's Kickin' Sidekick3
The Sidekick 3 is the latest iteration of the wildly popular Sidekick gaming phone carried by T-Mobile networks. The previous model, the Sidekick2 made by Danger INC, has been boosted by celebs. Paris Hilton swears by hers as a way to constantly stay in touch and play games to periodically escape from reality - err… wherever it is she resides.
The Sidekick 3 is made by Sharp this time, and features a tri-band (850, 1800, 1900MHz) phone with web browser and Instant Messenger. But it's also a mobile gamer with a slide out QWERTY keyboard and a thumbwheel for mousing. Among the key improvements in version three are a removable battery, miniSD card slot, synchronization through USB cable, stereo headset, improved carrying case design, Bluetooth 1.2, a built in 1.3 megpixel camera and a 65K color 240 x 160 pixel SXVGA display. One major oversight on this version is that it doesn't include wi-fi, but Bluetooth should probably also have been 2.0. Of course if Sharp / T-Mobile wanted to make a Smartphone media player that's really off the hook (get it, Smartphone – off the hook? Forget it!) they could have tossed in a GPS and DRM compatible music player. The ability to download music directly from an online music service is definitely the future of these kinds of devices. It might have been nice if they'd thrown in an espresso maker with a milk frothing attachment while they were at it - but maybe that's a little over the top.
Judging by the form factor for the entire Sidekick line including 2 and 3, it's built with text messaging (email or IM) in mind. It certainly makes for an oversized and somewhat clumsy phone that'll remind you of the earliest mobile phones (you know, the kind that came with a carrying case). Using the slide out keypad makes it at least as easy as sending messages with a Blackberry. The Sidekick 3 is compatible with AIM, MSN and Yahoo. Connect to your IMAP and POP3 email account, and you're downloading and sending emails through T-Mobile's network. The miniSD card is nice for extra storage, for files with lots of attachments.
If you've been a fan of the Sidekick in the past, the upgrade looks like a worthwhile option. If you're interested in a lot more play than work, keep this mobile phone in mind for gaming. It's certainly not going to do anything for career advancement - whipping out a Sidekick 3 in a boardroom full of Blackberry toting suits, your coworkers will just be jealous.