Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

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.


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.


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.


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…

Sidekick 2008/Gekko vs Sidekick 3

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Sidekick 3 vs Sidekick 2008

There are quite a few of you out there still hanging onto the Sidekick 3, and wondering if it’s time to upgrade to the Sidekick 2008. Well, here’s our opinion, toss yours in the comments:

If you’ve been sticking with a Sidekick 3 (or one of the older devices) then it’s time to upgrade. Take our word for it, you’ll love the higher resolution screen and won’t be able to go back. There’s video playback and recording. The new features in the browser (full page mode) and some new OS tweaks (Quickfind, new address book behavior, etc) are very handy to have. The keyboard may take some getting used to, but in our opinion it’s better than both the 3 and the II keyboards. And at $150, chances are you’ll be able to score a deal somewhere and get it super cheap. There’s no official word from T-Mobile, but we won’t be surprised to see this device eventually offered for $50 (or even maybe free) with a 2 year contract.

Sidekick 2008 Review

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Sidekick 2008 (aka Sidekick Gekko, Sidekick Gecko, Sidekick Gecco, Sidekick Aspen, Sidekick Style 2....)

We’ve been waiting for months and months for this device. It’s been quite the cornucopia of rumors, codenames, and speculation. What once was thought to be the Style 2, then the Sidekick Aspen, or maybe the Sidekick Gekko, is officially here, and it’s going by the name of the Sidekick 2008. Yeah, we realize that 2008 is already half over too. We’re not sure why T-Mobile decided to go with an annual naming scheme this time, but as history shows, they can’t decide on a naming convention. Regardless, we’re here today to talk about the Sidekick 2008 *coughgekkocough*. We’re pretty impressed with a device that we had low expectations for. Sure, it’s not a major jump, but it certainly is a nice little device with all the familiar features that Danger does well. It’s a good upgrade candidate for anyone not yet carrying an LX or Slide, as it’s not a ridiculously expensive phone. That being said, let’s jump into the details.

(If you’re not much of a reader, check out our Sidekick 2008 Video Hands-On as well as the 2 full pages of our Sidekick 2008 Unboxing Gallery)

The Bad News
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. The Sidekick 2008 is not 3G. It’s on the slower EDGE network like the other recent Sidekicks. Those of you still waiting for a super fast Sidekick 3G will just have to keep waiting. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, then you may not want to waste your time with the rest of this review.

One of the most important aspects of the Sidekick is the screen and its familiar flip. It’s still here. The screen on the Sidekick 2008 is the same high resolution (400×240 WQVGA) as the Sidekick LX, but it is a bit smaller in size (2.6″ instead of 3″). This actually results in crisper images and much nicer web browsing and picture viewing on the device. You don’t have as big of a picture, but for most of the things you use a Sidekick for, you won’t even notice. Plus you shave off a tiny bit of weight and size. Screen gets a thumbs up.

Keyboard & Buttons
The keyboard on the Sidekick 2008 is very similar to the Sidekick LX. However the keys are ever so slightly smaller, but typing on it is still as easy as ever. That’s one thing that no phone on the market has been able to compete with, the Sidekick’s keyboard. I was a bit concerned with the keyboard size at first, but it hasn’t been too much of an issue. It just might take some getting used to.

One of the things I noticed about the 2008 instantly was that it was significantly lighter than the other Sidekicks. As I was carrying it around I sometimes completely forgot that it was in my pocket. I broke out the scale to get some real world measurements and found that it weighed 4.8oz, the same as the new iPhone 3G. Compare this with 5.7oz for the LX, 6.4oz for the Sidekick 3, 6.49oz for the Sidekick II, and a whopping 7.0oz for a Color Sidekick. If you’re still using a Color Sidekick, it’s time to upgrade.

One of the biggest selling points of the Sidekick 2008 is shells. These simple pieces of plastic are what can turn your phone from ordinary into something flashy and fashionable. T-Mobile will be selling all sorts of standard shells, in a typical range of colors. The device we got our hands on came with a yellow-green shell (like we’ve been seeing in all the Sidekick Gekko graphics) as well as a more subtle black one. The small parts of the device that aren’t covered by the shell (the screen frame, keyboard, and buttons) are a nice simple black as well. Yes, that’s right, right out of the box all you goth kids can finally have a black Sidekick without having to customize it. T-Mobile is also going to have a site where you can create your own shells, share them with others, and buy these custom shells. The shells are going to be created by and we hope they’ll be as nice of quality as the shells that come with the device. We’re also eager to see what sort of shell + custom theme combos people do with their devices. Maybe if T-Mobile doesn’t have a contest, we’ll throw one. Pricing for the shells from T-Mobile is $14.99 apiece or two for $9.99 each.

The camera is not a huge jump in quality, but it’s something. It’s a new 2.0 megapixel camera and it seems to get pretty good quality photos in good light. The camera takes images at a resolution as high as 1600×1200, but does’nt have a flash like the LX. Here are a few pics we snapped with the 2008:

Photo taken with the Sidekick 2008Photo taken with the Sidekick 2008Photo taken with the Sidekick 2008

The camera is slightly better, but you’re still stuck recording video in postage-stamp size 176×144 pixels. It’s handy for sending a quick video message to a friend, but don’t expect to record the championship basketball game you went to with the Sidekick. We took a quick little video: Video taken with the Sidekick 2008

Operating System
The Sidekick 2008 ships with Danger OS 4.7, a slight bump up from the current OS for the Sidekick LX. The OS is virtually identical (we haven’t found any differences yet) to what is on the Sideick LX after the long-awaited video OTA update brings you to v4.6. Just like the Sidekick LX, the Sidekick 2008 also has video playback as well as recording. The Sidekick 2008 has the newer browser that has full page mode as well as a device-optimized mode for viewing web pages. You’ll want to use the full page mode if you want a more “true to original design” web browsing experience, and the device-optimized mode for stripped down and quick web browsing. Oh, and remember that annoying flying icons bug if you had a custom theme and the MySpace app installed? It’s finally fixed. A huge thank you to the developer at Danger/Microsoft that took the time to fix a tiny, yet annoying detail like this. There’s some debate over whether it’s fixed or not.

We’re hearing from T-Mobile that the Sidekick 2008 isn’t going to break the bank and will be available for $149.99 with a 2 year contract. This isn’t the cheapest phone out there, but it’s definitely appealing to get the Sidekick LX features without paying several hundred dollars. The price for the phone without a contract extension will be a bit more for those that don’t want to lock into another 2 years. No official word on this price, but the leaked info from Best Buy makes us think $299.

In the box you’ll get the typical array of accessories. The new charger is well designed, with a plug that flips out when needed. You’ll also get a stereo wired headset/mic, but we bet almost everyone will be picking up Bluetooth headsets since you can now listen to music over them with A2DP now. Two shells are included, a yellow-green one and a plain black one. Once T-Mobile gets the shells site up and running we should see the available options for shells explode.

I like the Sidekick Gekko. It’s not a groundbreaking phone, but it’s a nice daily-use communication device. I’ve been recommending it to friends who are still limping along with a Sidekick II, or an older device. Danger still owns the mobile device instant messaging trophy, as well as the “Best Keyboard” award. If you have any questions, please drop them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them in one post in the near future. Also, we’re curious to see who’s going to pick up this phone:
[poll id=3]

Sidekick 2008/Gekko Hands-On Video Review

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

We got our hands on one of the new Sidekick 2008 (Gekko) devices to check out. Here’s a hands-on video with it:

Gizmodo Gets Intimate With the Sidekick Slide

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Looks like someone at Gizmodo got to play with a Sidekick Slide a little bit early.

They mention in the hands on…

…but having held it and played with it, I do believe it has the best build quality of any sidekick.

Also they mention that the keys on the keyboard are lined with “velvecron a fuzzyish paint for gadgets.”

And that’s pretty much it, hopefully they do a full review of it soon.

Two Sidekick LX Reviews

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Still unsure if you want to make the 3-400 dollar dent in your wallet with the Sidekick LX?

CNet and Yahoo! Tech have you covered with reviews of the Sidekick LX. None of the reviews go as deep as I would like, they seem to be more like “First Looks”, but they might help you make the decision.

Yahoo! Tech’s Review
CNet’s Review

Thanks to everyone who sent these in

Sidekick iD – Worst Tech #5 of 2007

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

sidekick id (not sure why a laptop mag is reviewing phones *shrug*) has apparently given the thumbs down to the Sidekick iD in their latest feature, Best & Worst: First Half of 2007. They cite the lack of features as the main reason, with the pain in the neck of replacing bumpers and lack of EDGE as additional downsides. While the Sidekick iD does have less features than the Sidekick 3, you’ll find quite a bit of argument on the forums over whether or not this is truly a downgrade. Needless to say, the Sidekick iD definitely hits a niche in the market and has been doing well, regardless of what the laptop dorks say. What do you guys think? Is the Sidekick iD really the “worst tech” of the first half of 2007?

Sidekick iD Video

Friday, April 13th, 2007

John Biggs over at CrunchGear has a video showing off the swappable bumper covers on the new Sidekick iD.

Sidekick iD is here officially

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

Sidekick iD

T-Mobile went ahead and announced the Sidekick iD officially and the embargo has been lifted on the device. The Sidekick iD reviews are already starting to hit the web, with a flurry of photos as well. T-Mobile posted a press release on their wiki and Crunchgear has the first full review. Their review can basically be summed up with the following paragraph:

If you have an SK3, you won’t want the SK ID. It’s not for you. At $99, this phone is priced for the same folks who might get a RAZR, but instead pick up a hot little messaging phone. The UI is exactly the same as the SK3’s. The only real difference is there is no camera or MP3 playback options. Instead, Danger has added a photo album feature that lets you move emailed photos to your album. It is also MyFaves compatible. There is also no memory-card slot nor is there a USB port.

Pics from Gizmodo:
  Sidekick iD Sidekick iD

Pics from Crunchgear:
Sidekick iD Sidekick iD Sidekick iD Sidekick iD Sidekick iD Sidekick iD Sidekick iD

T-Mobile’s news release below:

T-Mobile Sidekick iD Makes A Statement
Personalization and Affordable Style Drive T-Mobile Sidekick iD

BELLEVUE, Wash. – April 13, 2007 – T-Mobile USA, Inc. today announces the new T-Mobile® Sidekick® iD, offering the latest in personalization on a communication device at an accessible price of $99.1 Designed to include the spontaneous communication features synonymous with the iconic brand, the T-Mobile Sidekick iD also offers spur-of-the-moment personalization with easily removable and replaceable exterior panels.

The customizable exterior of the T-Mobile Sidekick iD provides quick modification of the outside of the device with fashionable colors to match anyone’s style, mood or that evening’s outfit. Inside the device, customers will feast on the famous buffet of communications capabilities that make it simple to stay directly connected with family and friends, or stay on top of their favorite social networks and other Web sites.2

The T-Mobile Sidekick iD is designed for virtually anytime, anywhere communication through voice calling and a robust variety of options for messaging-based communication. The signature swivel screen is designed to be a large, color window into one’s own personal life. The screen moves to reveal the full QWERTY keyboard providing the luxury of staying connected through the always-on access to e-mail, instant messaging (AIM®, Yahoo!® and Windows Live Messenger), and text messaging.

“The T-Mobile Sidekick has always been about freedom of expression and communicating with style,” said Greg Andrews, director, marketing, T-Mobile USA. “With the T-Mobile Sidekick iD, we’re expanding on the theme of individuality by increasing the personalization aspect and providing pricing that is accessible to a wide range of consumers.”

The T-Mobile Sidekick iD will have T-Mobile’s myFavesSM available out of the box. The unique myFaves experience provides additional customization as the home screen contains images of the five people that matter most or are called the most often. The myFaves interface also enables access to a straightforward communications menu for effortless calling, texting, multimedia messaging and e-mail. Customers can choose from a range of myFaves plans to get unlimited calling to those five designated people — to any number in the U.S., even land lines (excluding toll-free and 900 numbers) — that make up their personal network.3

Key features of T-Mobile Sidekick iD include the easily personalized hardware to express individuality and style as well as the following:

* T-Mobile Sidekick’s signature swivel screen with a large landscape color display (2.4-inch screen with 65K colors and 240X160 pixels) for improved viewing of Web pages and contacts
* A full HMTL Web browser with enhancements for faster downloading and optimized viewing2
* Beneath the screen, a full QWERTY keyboard ideal for speedy instant messaging and other text-based communication
* Dedicated support for three major instant messaging clients (AIM, Yahoo! and Windows Live Messenger) with the ability to hold up to 10 IM conversations at one time to stay constantly connected to a social circle
* Support for personal e-mail with a dedicated “t-mail” account or use of an already existing personal e-mail account
* Inclusion of myFaves for additional personalization and the benefit of unlimited calling to any number on any network, including landlines, to stay connected to the five people who matter most
* A convenient trackball for one-handed navigation and an improved gaming experience
* A speedy ARM9 processor to handle the massively multitasking communicators
* Replaceable battery with up to 5.3 hours of talk time and 6 days of standby
* Dimensions: 5.12 x 2.48 x 0.87 inches; 6.2 ounces with standard battery
* Accessories available in black, yellow, blue, white, purple and glow-in-the-dark

The T-Mobile Sidekick iD will be available for $99.99 (with a qualifying two-year contract and mail-in rebate) at T-Mobile retail locations and online at beginning April 25. For more information on T-Mobile Sidekick, please visit

[1] Taxes additional; requires activation of a qualifying two-year service plan and Sidekick data plan. 2 Separate charges may apply to some features. Not all Web sites optimized for mobile browsers. 3 Nationwide plan; myFaves contacts limited to total of five U.S. phone numbers (certain exceptions apply); minimum one-year service agreement required.