We’ve known for a while now that the Sidekick was on its way back, and at the stroke of midnight we got official word on the new device. T-Mobile and Samsung have announced the newest Sidekick, and it is pretty clearly the best of the bunch at this point. Not only does it have the same messaging appeal of the original Sidekick, but it adds a ton of Android-based features that take the handset to the next level. The changes are wholesale, and it should lead to a device that hits its target teenage audience. The original Sidekick devices were all about messaging. There wasn’t much room for app storage or anything of that kind, so the focus was clear. The new version cops to the Sidekick’s nature by adding two messaging options. Cloud Text allows users to text message from a computer. That will make for some happy high school kids who are sitting in computer labs and can’t easily sneak peaks at their phones. The automatic syncing to the handset is the icing on this feature’s cake. There is also Group Text, an interface that allows for easy reply-all group conversations. There are Android apps that accomplish this — I wrote about GroupMe recently — but having it natively available on the Sidekick is a huge plus for the target demographic. From there, it’s all Android. The new Sidekick, with its 1GHz Hummingbird processor, runs laps around previous models. It also has something that previous models did not: internal storage. I’m not sure how much, as T-Mobile hasn’t made it clear and I haven’t come across any unofficial information to that effect. But there has to be some, since the promo material specifically mentions access to Android apps on the market. We do know that media can be stored on an SD card. A 2GB card comes with the device, and you can always get a bigger one. The question, then, is of whether the target teenage demographic will go for Android. Back in January David from TmoNews wondered whether the Sidekick would disappoint, because it ran Android and not a unique OS. I don’t think that’s an issue. Yes, Android is Android, but the skinning can give it a different feel than other devices running the same OS. The Sidekick will run 2.2, and presumably it will have a Sidekick-specific skin. I imagine they put some work into it, so that it plays well with the new Sidekick messaging features. That, I think, will keep it in its own class. If you’re interested in the full gamut of Sidekick 4G features, you can check out T-Mobile’s page. I have to say, I’m finding little to dislike about this. I’m not sure I would get it myself — the flippy, slidy style just isn’t my bag. But I imagine that many teenagers will feel quite cool flipping open the screen and tapping out a message on what looks like a nice, spacious QWERTY keyboard. There is no word on pricing or availability, though T-Mobile says later this spring. When the device does drop I think they’ll find it a winner. It is basically a teenager’s mobile haven. This device does everything they want, and allows them to take it even further if they wish. Android is definitely the most logical integration on this device.
Sidekick makes a comeback with Sidekick 4G
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