T-Mobile Announces Sidekick 4G

This evening T-Mobile announced their relaunch of the Sidekick brand with the Sidekick 4G, an Android powered device produced by Samsung.

This Sidekick will be HSPA+ 21 (Able to deliver theoretical speeds of up to 21mbps.) and will be the first to feature a Touch Screen. In addition this Sidekick will feature a 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU, and a VGA front facing camera for video calls through Qik. No mention of the rear cameras specifications however. It will also be running Android 2.2 and features a five row keyboard just as previous devices have.

It’s expected to ship later this spring in 2 colors. Matte Black and Pearl Magenta. No pricing information is available, or if T-Mobile will extend discounts to previous Sidekick Customers.

Full press release below.

Source TMoNews

T-Mobile Sidekick Is Reborn

New Sidekick 4G is a Lightning-Fast and Stylish Communication Hub, Delivering Evolved Messaging and Entertainment at 4G Speeds

BELLEVUE, Wash., and DALLAS — March 15, 2011 — T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S.,1 today unveiled the new T-Mobile Sidekick® 4GTM by Samsung. The new AndroidTM-powered smartphone pays tribute to its heritage with its stylish good looks and a killer keyboard while redefining messaging and upgrading to 4G speeds. One of T-Mobile’s fastest smartphones running on America’s Largest 4G NetworkTM, the new Sidekick 4G is capable of delivering theoretical peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps.

The T-Mobile Sidekick has long been known for its innovative and distinctive design, and the Sidekick 4G does not disappoint. The 3.5-inch display marks the first Sidekick to feature a touch screen and its sturdy “pop-tilt” hinge reveals the previously acclaimed, five-row QWERTY keyboard that has long been a Sidekick hallmark and the reason behind its status as an exceptional messaging device.

The new Sidekick 4G leverages its quality keyboard along with Sidekick Group TextTM and Cloud TextTM to redefine messaging. Sidekick’s Group Text feature lets customers create, name, manage and participate in reply-all group text conversations, enabling them to lead their network in conversation and social planning. Group Text breathes new life into one of the most popular forms of messaging allowing Sidekick 4G customers to initiate and share the benefit of the application with SMS-capable devices from flip phones to smartphones. In addition, Cloud Text provides the option to text with friends or groups across platforms, whether from the comfort of their PC’s large screen and keyboard, or from their new Sidekick 4G.

“Backed by the faster speeds on T-Mobile’s 4G network, the new Sidekick 4G offers customers both speed and style,” said Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president, product management, T-Mobile USA. “We’ve reinvented the messaging experience that made the Sidekick such an iconic device, and supercharged it with communication and entertainment experiences that take full advantage of our 4G network.”

Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile, said, “We are proud that T-Mobile selected Samsung to help create the next-generation Sidekick and carry the iconic Sidekick brand and device to the next level. Samsung redesigned the new Sidekick 4G with our best-in-class hardware, combined with T-Mobile’s 4G network speeds, the Android operating system, and unique messaging and entertainment features, to make this a perfect match for both loyal Sidekick fans and new Sidekick owners.”The new Sidekick 4G also comes preloaded with Facebook® and TwitterTM applications, and provides easy interaction with customers’ social networks by allowing them to update their status from the notification pane and browse their feeds from the home screen. They have the ability to sync their social network contacts to the phone’s address book, which lets them post to their friends’ walls or comment on their status. And multitasking is easier than ever with the Sidekick 4G’s jump key, an easy-to-access physical button that enables customers to quickly switch between active applications, even during a phone call, or assign keyboard shortcuts to their favorite functions or applications.

In addition to a communication hub, the new Sidekick 4G is now an entertainment hub. With speeds as fast as home broadband, enjoying a favorite TV show or surfing the Web on the go is a breeze. Sidekick’s Media Room features one place to enjoy music, videos, movies, YouTube®, T-Mobile TV® and Slacker Radio, and to search for content regardless of the source. The integrated media player, also accessible through the Media Room, spans across all media including music, video and Internet radio. Customers also have the option to rent or purchase their favorite movies and TV programs directly from the Samsung Media Hub, which offers a robust collection of movie and next-day TV show titles from CBS, Fox, MTV Networks, NBC Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. Customers now have the option to place Media Hub charges directly to their monthly T-Mobile service bill.

Complementing the messaging communication features, the new Sidekick 4G is equipped with a VGA front-facing camera and pre-installed T-Mobile Video Chat powered by QikTM, to ensure you are always present with your social circle. Powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) and a speedy 1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, so consumers can keep up with their favorite blogs while on the move, search for the must-try dinner spots and map the way to their next destination — all at blazing fast speeds. The new smartphone will also offer dynamic media features and integrated GoogleTM services, including GmailTM, Google MapsTM and access to thousands of applications on Android MarketTM.

The new Sidekick 4G also comes equipped with DriveSmartTM from T-Mobile, a first-of-its kind service from a U.S. carrier, that helps prevent distracted driving. When initiated, DriveSmart Basic provides automatic incoming call and message management, sending a customizable note to callers and senders, letting them know that the recipient is driving and will respond when it’s safe. DriveSmart Plus offers the same functionality, with the added capability to automatically activate when the handset is in a moving vehicle, as well as advanced parental controls for enhanced peace of mind when teen drivers are behind the wheel.

Offered exclusively to T-Mobile customers, the new T-Mobile Sidekick 4G is expected to be available later this spring in two stylish colors — matte black or pearl magenta. Customers can visit http://sidekick.t-mobile.com/ for more information.

1 No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S claim for Samsung Mobile based upon reported shipment data, according to Strategy Analytics Q4 2010 U.S. Market Share Handset Shipments Report.

T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 4G network not available everywhere; see coverage details at T-Mobile.com. 4G used in connection with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G product name refers to the fact that the new Sidekick 4G is designed with HSPA+ 4G technology (“4G”).

25 Responses to “T-Mobile Announces Sidekick 4G”

  1. Disko Says:

    “CLOUD texting”?! Oy. You would think they’d know by now that “cloud” is not a word we like to hear… or is that just me?

  2. meme Says:

    Stoked!

  3. ncmacasl Says:

    Back in December, when T-Mobile tweeted “What would you like to see happen with Sidekick? Give us your wish list.” (see article here: http://www.tmonews.com/2010/12/will-the-sidekick-ever-make-a-comeback/ )…

    I replied in the comments section:

    “Keep the keyboard and the keyboard shortcuts & the 4 corner buttons. Make it Android. Grandfather old rate plans! Can Slide or Swivel, but Swivel is better. Touchscreen, shoulder buttons, video chat, deaf-friendly apps, 4G! Easily port data from older sidekicks, tmail accounts transfer, Enterprise support (free), Social apps (free), Unlimited Data plans, tethering, Lots of memory, wifi, Google Voice, Same AIM, Threaded Texting, more Tmail MBs, Facebook Chat, Adobe Flash, Netflix-ready, more than 2 choices for case color, same Copy&Paste, same AutoText, updated hidden Snowboard game (including the Christmas Trees in December), TouchPad instead of TrackBall (in addition to TouchScreen)”

    Let’s see what we know so far what they have and don’t have & what is unknown:
    keyboard — YES
    keyboard shortcuts — YES
    4 corner buttons — YES (though modified)
    Make it Android — YES
    Grandfather old rate plans! — YES (if you still have your old Sidekick plan you can talk to the Customer Loyalty Department to get data rates similar to your current sidekick plan; however, if you left your old sidekick, good luck getting old rate plans!)
    Can Slide or Swivel, but Swivel is better — YES (Slide but not swivel – which is good enough, IMHO)
    Touchscreen — YES
    shoulder buttons — YES (rear views seem to show 2 Shoulder buttons on top and power/volume controls on the bottom)
    video chat — YES (via Qik & Front-Facing VGA camera)
    deaf-friendly apps — UNCLEAR (but several Text-Relay apps are already available in Android’s App store)
    4G! — YES (HSPA+ 21 which is top of the line right now!)
    Easily port data from older sidekicks — YES (T-Mobile has already released Backup software that ports all data to standard formats that can be uploaded to google – I have already uploaded mine to my own Google account – Calendar works perfect. Contacts converts everything to a “Notes” filed so you need to go thru each contact and put the data in the right fields. It “works” but not as smoothly as it could have been). Bookmarks, To Do & Notes are also backed up)
    tmail accounts transfer — UNCLEAR (but doubtful),
    Enterprise support (free) — UNCLEAR
    Social apps (free) — YES (Facebook, MySpace, & Twitter integration is standard)
    Unlimited Data plans — YES
    tethering — UNCLEAR
    Lots of memory — UNCLEAR
    wifi — UNCLEAR
    Google Voice — (already in Android App Store)
    Same AIM — NO (only standard IM clients from the Android App Store)
    Threaded Texting — YES++ (2 different Text-Centric apps come standard)
    more Tmail MBs — NO & YES (uses default Gmail apps which have virtually unlimited account sizes)
    Facebook Chat — UNCLEAR
    Adobe Flash — UNCLEAR (but it *is* already available on many, but not all, Android 2.2 devices)
    Netflix-ready — UNCLEAR (but it *is* rumored to be coming on Qualcomm Android chips, no word in Netflix integration with Samsung chips, including Sidekick’s Hummingbird chip)
    more than 2 choices for case color — NO (but TWO choices is better than just ONE)
    same Copy&Paste — UNCLEAR (but there is no Dpad nor are there Arrow Keys, however there *is* an Optical “TrackBall” so it is possible.)
    same AutoText — UNCLEAR (however Smart Keyboard is available for free from the Android App Store and can be configrued to work with a physical keybaord)
    updated hidden Snowboard game (including the Christmas Trees in December) — UNCLEAR (however a similar free App “Mountain Chase” is available from the Android App Store)
    TouchPad instead of TrackBall (in addition to TouchScreen) — YES & YES

    Hopefully TmoNews & AllDeaf will soon clear these issues up as more details becomes available

  4. ncmacasl Says:

    Formal Spec Sheet Released! http://www.gsmarena.com/t_mobile_sidekick_4g-3874.php

    GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
    3G Network HSDPA 1700 / 2100
    Announced 2011, March
    Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2011, Q2
    SIZE Dimensions –
    Weight –
    DISPLAY Type TFT capacitive touchscreen
    Size 480 x 800 pixels, 3.5 inches
    – QWERTY keyboard
    – Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
    – Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
    – Multi-touch input method
    SOUND Alert types Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
    Loudspeaker Yes
    3.5mm jack Yes
    MEMORY Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
    Call records Practically unlimited
    Card slot microSD
    DATA GPRS Yes
    EDGE Yes
    3G HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 2.0 Mbps
    WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
    Bluetooth Yes v2.1 with A2DP
    Infrared port No
    USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
    CAMERA Primary 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus
    Features Geo-tagging
    Video Yes
    Secondary Yes, VGA
    FEATURES OS Android OS, v2.2 (Froyo)
    CPU 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, PowerVR SGX540 GPU, Hummingbird chipset
    Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
    Browser HTML
    Radio N?
    Games Yes
    Colors Matte black, Pearl magenta
    GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
    Java Via third party application
    – MP4/H.264/H.263 player
    – MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
    – Organizer
    – Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
    – Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
    YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa integration
    – Voice memo
    – Predictive text input
    BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion

  5. quikk312 Says:

    According to pcmag.com interview with T-Mobile USA product manager, Hernandez, he said that due to the declining usage of IM… the AIM app is gone on the Sidekick 4G. It will only come pre-installed with Google Chat and Google Talk.

    That truly sucks in my opinion. People still AIM, Yahoo!, and Live message til this day… especially the deaf community. T-Mobile/Samsung really have faith in this cloud text thing in which I experienced with the Palm Treo on Sprint YEARS AGO!! And why the FFC gots to be a VGA camera… why not at least a 1.3 megapixel? The back camera is only a 3.0 megapixel (Sidekick LX 2009 had a 3.2 mp camera). The camera should come equipped with a 5.0 mp instead, since it has all these media upgrades. And they still have not said any details about what will happen with the Tmail accounts.

    SMDH!!

  6. Disko Says:

    But you get all the android apps & there’s several different AIM apps to choose from. None as as good as the sidekick app but you win some you lose some…

  7. quikk312 Says:

    I still think the LX ’09 looks a lot better. Either way, I still wished Samsung would’ve kept the Epic 4G for T-Mobile and they could’ve slapped the Sidekick brand on THAT device instead. I don’t think I would be buying this piece of sh*t. MyTouch 4G…. here I come!!

  8. sb Says:

    quikk312, like Disko said, you’ll still have access to IM apps like Trillion, Meebo, and others. That article was focused on what will/won’t be pre-installed in their little interface/skin.

    Regarding the camera, you can’t judge quality based just on pixel count. It’s easy to have a 3mp camera be of better quality than a 5mp camera. The type of sensor used, etc. is more important than pixel count.

  9. quikk312 Says:

    Disko on March 15, 2011 at 9:20 am said:

    But you get all the android apps & there’s several different AIM apps to choose from. None as as good as the sidekick app but you win some you lose some…

    I only had Sidekicks & Blackberry’s… never had an android device. But my friends who owned G1, MT3G, and other Android phones always told me how their AIM app and other IM clients thats NOT Google related, always froze up/ logged them out especially when a phone call comes in. They’d have to reboot the phone to get AIM working again properly. I’m not saying that this will be the issue with this device because I don’t know yet.

  10. quikk312 Says:

    sb on March 15, 2011 at 9:27 am said:

    quikk312, like Disko said, you’ll still have access to IM apps like Trillion, Meebo, and others. That article was focused on what will/won’t be pre-installed in their little interface/skin.

    Regarding the camera, you can’t judge quality based just on pixel count. It’s easy to have a 3mp camera be of better quality than a 5mp camera. The type of sensor used, etc. is more important than pixel count.

    Never used those other apps before. So you would have to purchase the other IM apps or are they free in the Android Market?

  11. quikk312 Says:

    Oh never mind. I just asked my lil bro who has a myTouch slide what the hell was Meebo and he said its a app that simultaneously connects you to all of your other IM accounts. Sounds cool. But still a TRUE Sidekick will have all of this pre-installed anyway. And I think the camera pixel count and resolution does matter.

    So will the new Sidekick have a no-contract $1 a day data option like my current Sidekick LX ’09 (which awfully ends on 5/31)?

  12. quikk312 Says:

    This was MY Sidekick 4G wish list:

    Keep the keyboard and the keyboard shortcuts & the 4 corner buttons. Make it Android. Grandfather old rate plans! Can Slide or Swivel, but Swivel is better. Touchscreen, shoulder buttons, video chat, deaf-friendly apps, 4G! Easily port data from older sidekicks, tmail accounts transfer, Enterprise support (free), Social apps (free), Unlimited Data plans, tethering, Lots of memory, wifi, Google Voice, Same AIM, Threaded Texting, more Tmail MBs, Facebook Chat, Adobe Flash, Netflix-ready, more than 2 choices for case color, same Copy&Paste, same AutoText, updated hidden Snowboard game (including
    the Christmas Trees in December), TouchPad instead of TrackBall (in addition to TouchScreen)

    Let’s see what we know so far what they have and don’t have & what is unknown:

    keyboard — YES
    keyboard shortcuts — YES
    4 corner buttons — YES (though modified)
    Make it Android — YES
    Grandfather old rate plans! — YES (if you still have your old Sidekick plan you can talk to the Customer Loyalty Department to get data rates similar to your current sidekick plan; however, if you left your old sidekick, good luck getting old rate plans!)
    Can Slide or Swivel, but Swivel is better — YES (Slide but not swivel – which is good enough, IMHO)
    Touchscreen — YES
    shoulder buttons — YES (rear views seem to show 2 Shoulder buttons on top and power/volume controls on the bottom)
    video chat — YES (via Qik & Front-Facing VGA camera)
    deaf-friendly apps — UNCLEAR (but several Text-Relay apps are already available in Android’s App store)
    4G! — YES (HSPA+ 21 which is top of the line right now!)
    Easily port data from older sidekicks — YES (T-Mobile has already released Backup software that ports all data to standard formats that can be uploaded to google – I have already uploaded mine to my own Google account – Calendar works perfect. Contacts converts everything to a “Notes” filed so you need to go thru each contact and put the data in the right fields. It “works” but not as smoothly as it could have been). Bookmarks, To Do & Notes are also backed up)
    tmail accounts transfer — UNCLEAR (but doubtful),
    Enterprise support (free) — UNCLEAR
    Social apps (free) — YES (Facebook, MySpace, & Twitter integration is standard)
    Unlimited Data plans — YES
    tethering — UNCLEAR
    Lots of memory — UNCLEAR
    wifi — UNCLEAR
    Google Voice — (already in Android App Store)
    Same AIM — NO (only standard IM clients from the Android App Store)
    Threaded Texting — YES++ (2 different Text-Centric apps come standard)
    more Tmail MBs — NO & YES (uses default Gmail apps which have virtually unlimited account sizes)
    Facebook Chat — UNCLEAR
    Adobe Flash — UNCLEAR (but it *is* already available on many, but not all, Android 2.2 devices)
    Netflix-ready — UNCLEAR (but it *is* rumored to be coming on Qualcomm Android chips, no word in Netflix integration with Samsung chips, including Sidekick’s Hummingbird chip)
    more than 2 choices for case color — NO (but TWO choices is better than just ONE)
    same Copy&Paste — UNCLEAR (but there is no Dpad nor are there Arrow Keys, however there *is* an Optical “TrackBall” so it is possible.)
    same AutoText — UNCLEAR (however Smart Keyboard is available for free from the Android App Store and can be configrued to work with a physical keybaord)
    updated hidden Snowboard game (including the Christmas Trees in December) — UNCLEAR (however a similar free App “Mountain Chase” is available from the Android App Store)
    TouchPad instead of TrackBall (in addition to TouchScreen) — YES & YES

    SMH… Assh*les!!

  13. Anonymous Says:

    If it has the Legendary $1 a day plan, count me in. On top of that, I take back EVERYTHING I said about this phone. The interface is so damn sweet, its like eye cavities 😀 It says “Nine Sixteen”. C’mon, thats gonna make ALOT of ppl look at this phone instead of their clocks!

    ….ONLY ead scratcher here…..how fast will the overall UI be? Multitasking?

  14. AceKannon Says:

    If it has the Legendary $1 a day plan, count me in. On top of that, I take back EVERYTHING I said about this phone. The interface is so damn sweet, its like eye cavities 😀 It says “Nine Sixteen”. C’mon, thats gonna make ALOT of ppl look at this phone instead of their clocks!

    ….ONLY ead scratcher here…..how fast will the overall UI be? Multitasking?

  15. robert Barrett Says:

    Well, looks like Hiptop3.com got another breath of life to stay in business. I was wondering when you were going to close down but T-Mo saved the day for you guys.

  16. Nikki Says:

    I gotta say as dissapointed as I am about a few of the features going away… I am still way happy that the sk lives on.. Its not the same but its the closest thing to it… and as long as I get 50% off on it.. Im game otherwise tmo is still getting hell from me.

  17. Fuck T-Screwyouover Says:

    robert Barrett on March 15, 2011 at 8:05 pm said:

    Well, looks like Hiptop3.com got another breath of life to stay in business. I was wondering when you were going to close down but T-Mo saved the day for you guys.

    Why would you think some stupid sh*t like that, try to be a little more goddamn positive, instead of thinking negative all the time, and T-Mo did save sh*t they just got they hand out.

  18. Fuck T-Screwyouover Says:

    robert Barrett on March 15, 2011 at 8:05 pm said:

    Well, looks like Hiptop3.com got another breath of life to stay in business. I was wondering when you were going to close down but T-Mo saved the day for you guys.

    Why would you think some stupid sh*t like that, try to be a little more goddamn positive, instead of thinking negative all the time, and T-Mo didn’t save sh*t they just got they hand out.

  19. meme Says:

    quikk312 on March 15, 2011 at 9:29 am said:

    Disko on March 15, 2011 at 9:20 am said:

    But you get all the android apps & there’s several different AIM apps to choose from. None as as good as the sidekick app but you win some you lose some…

    I only had Sidekicks & Blackberry’s… never had an android device. But my friends who owned G1, MT3G, and other Android phones always told me how their AIM app and other IM clients thats NOT Google related, always froze up/ logged them out especially when a phone call comes in. They’d have to reboot the phone to get AIM working again properly. I’m not saying that this will be the issue with this device because I don’t know yet.

    These types of comments make me laugh. Seriously you guys have never owned an iPhone or an Adroid device. The kinks have been worked out and the phone’s technology has advanced since the original G1 and Mytouch 3G. <–those are ancient Android phones.
    Since I've stopped using my Sidekick last August I have used an iPhone, MyTouch 3G slide, and now I'm currently using a Galaxy S. Android phones are great. Samsung makes great phones as well. It's why the Samsung Vibrants have been incredibly successful. I don't think this Sidekick will let any of you down. I myself will not buy it for numerous reasons but I do think those of you that plan on buying it will be satisfied beyond belief.

    I am thoroughly surprised to hear that people continue to use AIM, Yahoo, and MSN messenger.

  20. klb Says:

    with a 3mp camera…they better not price this thing at 250 like the mytouch….that would just b crazy

  21. LoSo Says:

    there’s a video on tmo news…you guys should check it out…

  22. Fuck T-Screwyouover Says:

    LoSo on March 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm said:

    there’s a video on tmo news…you guys should check it out…

    Damn, you could have at least posted the link.

  23. Anthony Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgnMrnEkX0g

    He just shows off a bit of the Android platform, and how the screen opens/closes.

    To me, this is the best Sidekick yet. It may not have a swivel screen, but the opening mechanism is similar to that on the G2, which is also very unique.

    Plus, Android is a huge step up from Danger OS, which was really far behind in terms of technology.

  24. Some Guy Says:

    I wonder how AT&T buying T-Mobile USA will affect things (at least longer term)…

  25. Kara Says:

    Promo vids are nothing when they have not given us a firm date on this dropping but a firm date on when our old kicks will stop.



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