Archive for the '3G' Category

OTA for the Sidekick LX 2009 to Improve 3G

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

This one is for all the Sidekick LX 2009 users out there. There’s an OTA update that will be rolling out shortly to help improve 3G connectivity. Personally I haven’t really noticed any bad 3G connectivity, but maybe some of you guys have.

Same old OTA procedure: it’ll download, install and reboot your device. Figured I’d let everyone know so people can stop emailing me about it!

Thanks to everyone that sent this in.

More info on T-Mobile.com

Sidekick LX 2009 Community App Reviews

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Even though a lot of people have purchased their Sidekick LX 2009’s, there are still quite a few people waiting to see if it is worth upgrading. One of the main thing that the device boasts is having powerful “Social-Networking” applications, such as Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. We’ve gone ahead and went into the depths of these three, free applications, to bring you the pros and cons of them. We’ll give you all that you need to know, including functionality, issues we’ve encountered, and much more. Remember, we love the applications, but we are providing the most neutral review possible. Let’s dive into it.

Myspace

The Myspace application is basically a port of their version from the older OS. We see much of the same functionality, and the 3G service just makes it run a bit smoother and faster for us. Since a lot of this application is the same as the old version, we won’t be commenting much on it, just giving features.

You have the ability to view all aspects of your profile, including photos, blogs, comments, and your main profile. The profile editor is very nice, as you can place html code in the sections you wish; you may not be able to view these changes in the application, but you can still edit it all. Definitely a very desktop-like editor for your profile. Not only can you upload your photos straight from the album, but you can also upload videos to your profile. In addition, you can set alerts to just about anything that you would need to be notified about in the application. Most of these won’t need to be set, but still nice to have.

Some of the things we wish that existed are the ability to view profile videos and listen to profile music. We understand that this would require a complete update on Myspace’s side, but using RTSP streams, they could have tried to make this possible. Otherwise, the application is pretty complete. There is yet to be a fully powerful mobile Myspace application on any device, but this application is pretty great for an avid user. Overall, it’s pretty stable, and the application auto-reconnects if there is ever an abrupt log out.

Facebook

The Facebook application is a very nice and intuitive app that gives us the best of Facebook. The application pretty much takes the standard mobile edition of Facebook, and turns it into an updating app.

The splash screen is very nice, showing you not only that you have an alert, but actually gives you a newsfeed preview of the latest friend status and Facebook activity. We also like that you can refresh the home, which will give you the latest activity. The image icons and previews come up pretty fast, even just on EDGE.

Viewing a friends profile, you can easily comment, poke, or even message them. Composing a message is much like the email application, but it’s still within the app. You can also comment on statuses, and upload photos directly from your photo album. You can update your status with no problem, and view all messages, friend statuses, and search Facebook; all of these options reside in their own tab.

The ability to “Like” a status does not exist in the application, which is somewhat of a downer, considering we sometimes don’t always like to comment on a status. It also would have been nice to see the ability to upload videos to your profile, or watch videos from other friends profiles. We would have like to have seen a version of Facebook chat as well; we’ve seen it on other devices, and it would have been a great addition to the app if you could use this feature.

Aside from a few flaws, it a pretty great application, and saves you from having to keep using the browser. An app built in keeps everything Facebook related very organized; Facebook users will spend a lot of time in this app.

Twitter

Finally, you can have a Twitter application on your Sidekick, that interacts with the site just the way you want it to; the mobile website doesn’t always have the ability to perform certain tasks, but this application definitely performs.

The splash screen gives you a preview of one or two tweets, and tells you when it was posted. Inside of the app, you can see A LOT of tweets that have been posted by people that you follow. In addition, you can easily update your status, with a text field that has a ticker counting down your 140 characters. Scrolling over a person’s tweet, you can send then an “@ reply”, send them a direct message, see their timeline, and view their profile. You can also choose to stop following that person, or mark the tweet as a favorite. You can delete a tweet you made, follow new people, and update your location.

The problem with this app is that you are forced to choose between intervals of automatic updating, which tend to be either too fast and burn battery, or too slow and not update enough. We wish there was a manual update action, that could force an update. Also, we wanted to see the tweets to be updated after you send a tweet, showing your message and updating the timeline. Another feature that we find missing is Twitpic, or photo posting functionality in general. This is one of the very popular trends when adding something to view in a tweet. Sure, you can go ahead and post it to Photobucket and drag the link in, but direct Twitpic functionality would be ideal. Also, updating your location is more of a manual process; it would have been nice to see it fetch your current location upon request.

 
Hopefully these reviews give you a great idea of what to expect with these social applications. Here are some additional screenshots of all of the apps in action.

Sidekick LX 2009 Questions Answered

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Over the past few months most of our Sidekick LX 2009 questions have been answered in one way or another. But now that the device is here and actually in the hands of people it’s time to fill in the holes of the questions that haven’t been answered. Exiva was one of the lucky ones who got his Sidekick LX 2009 early. Because he’s awesome, he has agreed to answer whatever questions you have about the device.  This is your chance to ask someone who is actually holding the new Sidekick in their hands.  Here we go!

How does the keyboard feel?
-It’s a harder rubber than the LX. Same style, feels nice. There’s definitely a difference though.

How does the OS look/perform?
-It looks gorgeous on the new LCD (everything does though.) It performs really well. I haven’t noticed any slowdowns yet.

How does it compare to other sidekicks in all areas?
-It’s much lighter than the LX was, It feels more sturdy than the 08 in the few times I played with it. I haven’t tested battery life yet, so I can’t comment on that. The speaker is significantly louder than the LX’s, which is nice.

If you had ringtones on a previous sidekick, were they transferred over?
-Not sure, I never bought any ringtones.

Can we use sounds as ringtones saved from emails?
-Yes, as long as they are 100kb or less. So to get any length in the mp3 the quality will be pretty crummy. You can record on the device up to 20seconds.
Click through for more questions…

High Quality Video of the Sidekick LX 2009 In Action

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Want to watch a video of the Sidekick LX 2009 that’s totally in focus? Here’s T-Mobile’s official press release video:

There’s also the video of this guy using it:

If you’re one for soundbites too, then there’s also these videos from Emily Blair, the T-Mobile Sidekick Manager talking about the features of the Sidekick LX 2009:

Sidekick LX09 – Update on Specs/Features

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Thanks to the folks at the official Danger Device Forums, there are a lot more specifics on features thanks to the moderators who actually have been test-driving the devices for several weeks.  Here is the rundown so far (with some more pics!):

  • No Shells like the 2008
  • 3 mood lights – new locations: 1 on top and bottom of the keyboard

http://www.poweredbydanger.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1332&d=1240058761

and 1 long one on the top edge of the screen when opened (bottom of screen when closed)

http://www.poweredbydanger.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1333&d=1240058814

  • Actual Screen Shot (click for full size)

Sidekick LX 2009 Screenshot

  • no animated gifs
  • SDHC Memory – no limit – just what is available on the market (16gb – OK!!)
  • Speaker is louder than before
  • Video Mode – Low Res is a 176×144 resolution meant for sending via email/mms. This resolution is limited to something like 4 minutes.
  • Video taken from an SK09 (Hi-Res Mode – no recording limit!!):

http://s581.photobucket.com/albums/ss259/appletech_pbd/?action=view&current=VID00002.flv

  • Photo App  Max size: 2,048 x 1,536

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/8283/img00061h.jpg
http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/2281/img00062l.jpg
http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/7992/img00064l.jpg

  • You can Geotag photos with your GPS location.
  • It’s a 3.2MP camera with Auto Focus and flash (no zooming).
  • There’s an auto focus mode with options distant and macro mode. There’s white balance controls, and B&W, Sepia, Negative effect options.
  • Available resolution options are:
    • 2048 x 1536
    • 1600 x 1200
    • 1280 x 960
    • 800 x 600
    • 640 x 480
  • YouTube videos work.
  • m.break.com videos work (but not smooth)
  • Seesmic does not work
  • Facebook app seems to be a souped-up mobile version. No videos, apps, etc.
  • Internet Radio Works!! (Ex: ShoutCast):
    http://poweredbydanger.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1342&d=1240089939
  • Yahoo Messenger supports animated buddy icons.
  • AIM and Yahoo Messenger now support photo sharing
  • You can also upload videos to youtube (or photobucket or myspace) directly
  • Web Browser still does not support Flash
  • You cannot roam on AT&Ts 3G Network due to the ranges being different:
    The LX09 supports UMTS Bands 2100, 1700, 850.
    T-Mobile uses 1700 and 2100 for 3G, while AT&T uses 1900. So you won’t be able to roam on AT&T 3G.
    As for “Other networks”, it depends on what 3G band they are using.
  • Still has chrome around the USB/Charger, but appears to be more sratch-resistant:
    http://poweredbydanger.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1338&d=1240087896
  • Data plans are grandfathered. T-Mobile will not raise your rates
  • When GPS is on, the battery drains faster. (there is an option to turn it on/off)
  • Browser is overall the same as the last OTA on the LX. But you have a LOT more room:
    http://poweredbydanger.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1319&d=1239974010
  • Still 6MB limit on email/ 100+30 limit on SMS (both same as before)
  • No confirmation as to “Free Ringtone downloads” still basing it on info already published.
  • Themes can still be user-generated like before
  • Social apps (Twitter, Myspace, Photobucket, and Facebook) are all FREE – no monthly charges!!!!

Pre order your Sidekick LX (2009) Now!

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

T-Mobile is launching the new Sidekick LX (2009) on May 13th, but if you Pre Order yours now online you’ll get it earlier (When, is unknown.)

Here’s the featureset:
3G Enabled
Social Networking apps (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter) built in
GPS Live Search and Geotagging photos
3.2″ TFT LCD (F-WQVGA 854×480 pixels)
Thinnest Sidekick Ever
3.2MP Camera with AutoFocus
Record your own Ringtones
Carbon (Black) or Orchard Finish

Pre order with 2year contract for $199.99 (Plus taxes and fees, and a 50 dollar Mail In Rebate) at Sidekick.com or buy without contract for 449.99.

*Note: When we spoke with T-Mobile we were told we would NOT have to change the old 19.99 plan to use the 3G on the new devices.

The Sidekick 2009 in the wild

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
Sidekick 2009

We knew it was coming. We knew they were visiting and they answered the call. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the photo we’ve all been waiting for. May we present to you, the Sidekick 2009 aka the Sidekick Blade.

Sidekick LX 2009

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

We got the above image in our inbox. The reader sending it in danielle says she was taking a survey about smart phones on QuizPoints and was presented with this one. Here are the specs it lists in the photo:

Social Networking Suite of Apps
– Facebook
– MySpace w/ video upload
– Twitter
– YouTube Mobile Access via browser

GPS Location Based Search
– Turn by Turn Navigation
– Microsoft Live Local Search and Maps

Content Creation
– Blog publishing, editing, and management client
– Photobucket Upload and Management
– Video recorder and upload to MySpace/Photobucket

Communications
– Signature Sidekick IM/SMS/E-mail Experience
– Microsoft Outlook/Exchange synchronization

Hardware
– Large (3.2 inch WVGA) screen with sharp 854×480 resolution
– Thin design
– 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus, flash and video recording
– Large QWERTY keyboard
– Expandable memory up to 8GB via MicroSD

Everything seems to match up with what a Sidekick LX 2009 would have. It mentions 3G, which is pretty much a given at this point. The introduction of Microsoft Live Search and maps makes a lot of sense since Microsoft now owns Danger. The addition of GPS (finally!) is also a nice complement to the maps and helps the Sidekick compete a little bit with the iPhone and other location-enabled devices. But I’m sure the thing that everyone is freaking out over now is the mention of YouTube mobile access. It’s probably the #1 request for the Sidekick by the majority of the users. It doesn’t seem that out of reach since the Sidekick can play video already, it just needs a way to get it from YouTube. None of the apps are groundbreaking, but they’re things that a lot of us would agree it would be nice to have on our Sidekick.

The hardware looks about right too. A 3.2MP camera isn’t the 5mp camera we hoped for, but it is a god bump up from the 2MP camera in the Sidekick 2008 (not to mention the 1.3MP in the LX). The screen is higher resolution (too early to start working on those new themes?) and of course the familiar keyboard is still there.

Is this the Sidekick Blade that we’ve been hearing whispers about? Hard to tell. We know that “Blade” is a codename and that internally (in software) it’s know as the “m3“. The “m2” was the Sidekick 3, so one would guess the “m3” would correlate to the elusive Sidekick 4 and a “large” upgrade in device. (FWIW, the Sidekick LX was the “m2-hd”) Could MSDanger be working on two devices? It’s very possible, but we don’t have anything to back this up or refute it yet.

So is this for real? We think so. At least we think it’s specs drawn up by someone official that is testing the water with consumers to see what they think. Whether it’s what we actually see in a device in the future, I’m not 100% sure. I think it definitely sounds like the next revision of the Sidekick LX. It’s not too ambitious, but does add a few of the most requested features. Seems to be the way that T-Mobile/MSDanger like to do things with the Sidekick.

Hiptop/Sidekick m3-Blade

Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Hiptop/Sidekick m3 blade

Tired of hearing about all your friends bragging about their 3G speeds? Well us Sidekick users won’t have to wait forever. We’ve heard from sources about the next Sidekick. We don’t have a release date yet, so start making your guesses, but we can almost guarantee you that it won’t be out this year. It’s Danger codename is “m3 Blade” and we hear that it will cut closer than ever before! For those that don’t remember, the Sidekick II was codenamed “m1” and the Sidekick 3 was “m2” so if you wanted to, you could call this the Sidekick 4 I guess. It’s also going to be 3G, which is no big surprise considering the enormous rollout of 3G coverage that T-Mobile has been doing. Other than that we’re speculating that it will have a better camera since we saw Sharp put out a 5MP camera awhile back. Last we heard there wasn’t GPS on it, but we’re hoping that will change. If you had your wishes, what do you want to see on the next Sidekick? (Other than YouTube support of course)

T-Mobile 3G Roll-Out Plans

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
Cell Tower

T-Mobile is continuing their 3G network rollout. With rumors of an Android device coming this fall, it only makes sense to have the high speed network deployed in major urban areas before the device launches. This also means that the doors are more open for Danger/Microsoft to put out a 3G Sidekick. Want to know when your city will be enjoying 3G speeds? Here’s the list of rumored dates for when the network will go live in each city:

Baltimore – Aug 18th
Houston – Aug 19th
Minneapolis – Aug 20th
San Diego – Sept 15th
Los Angeles – Sept 16th
Phoenix – Sept 16th
Sacramento – Sept 17th
Portland – Sept 18th
Seattle – Sept 23rd
San Francisco – Sept 24th

Don’t see your city? Don’t worry, there are other cities that are slated for 3G by the end of 2008:
Atlanta
Birmingham
Chicago
Dallas
Denver
Detroit
Kansas City
Memphis
Miami
New England
Orlando
Philadelphia
Tampa
Washington, D.C.

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