I’ve always been a closet gadget geek, and occasionally I brave the foray into technology and take a plunge. A gadget that caught my eye was T-Mobile‘s launch of the Sidekick 3. Being a forum admin has impacted several areas of my personal life. Primarily resulting in a hyper state of social awareness, which sounds bad… but has actually been quite useful.
Now what does having a heightened sense of social etiquette and awareness have to do with gadgets and T-Mobile? Quite simply, the Sidekick is the ultimate personal social connectivity tool. Appealing to a “younger”, “hipper” demographic the sidekick sets itself apart from it’s PDA counterparts with Danger‘s OS. Arraying itself with the likes of MSN, AOL, and Yahoo!, seamlessly and with visual appeal, integrating chat programs, texting, email, and real internet browsing into one dynamic hip top package.
Unable to resist the lure of the phone, I sat in my car for a bit acquainting myself with the phone and general operations. Underneath the screen there exists a spacious full QWERTY keyboard, replete with space bar and handy staple internet buttons. Located directly above the keyboard is also a complete set of numerical keys. Once initially powered on the phone walks you through a set of mini-tutorial crash courses on basic topics such as how to open and close the screen properly & a brief overview of navigational buttons. During this initial process your phone will also walk you through setting up your My T-Mobile account and @tmail.com email address. Within moments the phone felt comfortable within my palm, and the thumbs fell in a natural way on the keyboard.
T-mobile provides a 14 day trial period during which, at any time, you can return the phone and not be obligated to your contract. There were drawbacks that made me consider this option during the first weeks of ownership. Primary being the phones sometimes complicated and fumbly use of the phone feature while the screen is closed. You can use your trackball to navigate a numerical menu on the screen, but if you’re lucky the person you need to call is either on your recent list or in your address book. Flipping the phone open and using the numerical keys is sometimes sluggish and complicated if you are trying to use your cell to check account balances or pay bills using an automated service.’
Another nag, which from what I understand has carried itself into this version of the sidekick from previous models, is a somewhat inferior speakerphone. The volume at maximum is satisfyingly loud, but by no means crisp and has a fair amount of speaker “crackle” even when in non-speakerphone mode. The phone features a removable miniSD card that you can store music on, and actually functions quite well as a MP3 player. The box comes packed with wired stereo headphones to enjoy music on your sidekick. The phone also now features Bluetooth capability. Outfitting your sidekick with a Bluetooth earpiece is highly recommended and in my opinion, essential.
The phone itself is stylish though a bit large, it has heft but it’s not presented in a bulky way and only adds to the phone overall sense of quality. I have found the silver casing around the front of the phone to be scratch and chip resistant except at one joint on the lower right hand corner where the screen regularly makes contact with the body when opened and closed. Be careful when choosing a case for your phone, the screen is large and easily scratched. Purchase the wrong case and run the potential of scratching your screen while you think you’re protecting it.
Quick research on the internet proves that not only is it possible to customize the background images, sounds, and themes on your sidekick… but it’s also incredibly simple. This opens the device up to visual customization though any alterations performed will jeopardize your phones warrantee through the service provider and manufacturer.
Overall the phone is appealing
and surprisingly easy to become addicted to… I meant effortless and intuitive to use. So if you’re interested in a device that not only connects you with your social network, but is able to google map an address; order movie tickets; chat with friend on AIM; text your hunnie a shopping list; and buy a DVD online… ALL AT THE SAME TIME (a la Chuck Norris) then the sidekick might be a good choice for you!