Things have turned into the right direction with this Sidekick 4G, and a lot of time has passed since we have last reviewed the previous T-Mobile Sidekick. At that time it was designed by Danger, and developed by Sharp, and for a lot of time were the messaging mobile of choice for many users.
Now at this point the Sidekick empire is bankrupt, but as we all know good ideas survive the time and some of the brightest men from Danger’s Mountain View, California founded Android and others build Honeycomb or helped develop other popular apps like Helio Ocean and webOS for Palm.
The only thing that remains now in this world of Android devices is to see if this Sidekick 4G is able to stand out from the line.
Based on its looks alone we are tempted to say yes, as this Sidekick 4G mobile device is not short of landscape QWERTY sliders, and many brings some great builds, while the device’s matte touch plastic frame brings a stylish and handy look.
Each part of this mobile handset has been especially build for tactile control, Sidekick 4G is going to be a rising star and for sure will make a name into this world dominated by Xperia Arc and iPhone 4. Samsung has equipped the Sidekick 4G with a great LCD display, and you are looking to a 267 / inch which means that the image is crystal clear, which is great but unfortunately is not very well fit for multimedia. For touchscreen input is great having a smooth and responsive capacitive digitizer.
Sidekick 4G’s most important controls are extremely easy to use and reach, the power button is facile to be pressed, the volume rocker is placed beneath your upper digits. An optical trackpad on the front which is very useful for portrait mode, but unfortunately isn’t sensitive enough to scroll the pages that you want, also there is a two-step camera shutter button which comes handy in taking one hand pics, and on the top there is a 3.5 headphone jack.
Spin the Sidekick 4G at 90 degrees so you can access the handset’s QWERTY keyboard, the landscape mode is where this mobile device was intended to shine. The Sidekick 4G has one of the most innovative and maybe the best sliding hinges that we have ever seen on a handset before. Push the display’s bottom lip upward not more than one centimeter and the mechanism propels forward the slider accompanied by a fulfilling snap. We have to admit that the spinning screen is tremendously cool also.
We also have to admit that the Samsung’s Sidekick 4 QWERTY keyboard is way more better than any other Android device, consisting in a spacious five row keyboard with a dedicated number row, sooth approach to commas, questionmarks and periods. There are emoticon key also, all useful symbols, the domed keys are kinda annoying to use, some extra padding might have been very useful, but Sidekick fans wont complain of some minor disadvantages that can be surpassed in few hors of playing with the device.
A very resourceful design was implied in the Sidekick’s development, even features some textured grips ensuring that you won’t drop the phone while typing, below there is the same 1500mAh battery that Samsung is using in it’s smartphones, so replacements are cheap and easy to be found.
The handset’s interface is Android based and a cool one too, as every part of the Sidekick 4G’s user interface has received an elegant overhaul which is useful and very good looking, the lock screen is able to return you to your content when you slide the lower blade down. Allows you to automatically launch any app or shortcut to any application by flinging the upper blade upwards.
Sidekick 4G allows you to communicate tons of things without leaping to other applications, few taps and you can quickly attach voice recording, GPS location, videos and pics to almost anything the you send. Send Tweets, emails, from the same interface, also there is an Group Text application that enables you to send SMS out to all your friends at once. Sidekick’s contact page also has been enhanced, and in some ways is similar to the one from Galaxy S II, features an alphabetical directory for quick scrolling through family, friends. Features a scrolling list of eight tasks and shows their keyboard shortcuts to make multitasking even better that it was by default.
As I’ve stated before Samsung has overhauled the User Interface, now the contacts and dialer applications are only usable in portrait view. Samsung’s Social Networking syncs maximum once each day which is a major social integration misstep. We do not know why, but occasionally the Sidekick 4G’s user interface is a bit slow, and sometimes loaded pages are rendered slower that we anticipated. On the other hand Gaming performance is very high considering the fact that the PowerVR chip has managed to pomp out 49.9 fps in Nenemark. Also the sound quality is excellent either on speakerphone, earpiece or Bluetooth, the battery life is better than in other smartphone cases.
Sidekick’s battery life after 20 hours of moderate use will hit bottom and has to be recharged, which is a little better than Droid 2 smartphones. Sidekick 4G camera is great and when I say great I really mean it, all due to a very good autofocus optics and state-of-the-art image processing, takes really beautiful pics with a clear exposure. On the edge of the device there is a dedicated two steps shutter key allowing to take accurate night pics, something that every mobile device should have.
The capture video is ok, and resolution level is at 720×480 SD, without autofocus during video recording while the quality of the sound is only average. The Sidekick’s camera interface is typical for the Samsung Galaxy S smartphones. Features panorama and touch-to-focus mode, and is very much easy to use, overall the Samsung Sidekick 4G’s camera ranks a very high score. It is one of the best 3 Megapixel camera that we have tested in the past.
This very nice fully featured Sidekick 4G goes around $100 price tag which is not much for this stable, strong and very chic smartphone. Sidekick 4G has raised the bar for what middle range handset can be.