We told you a while back that the Sidekick LX was one of the best phones for texting. Now T-Mobile has taken it several steps further and launched an upgraded version of this popular phone. It’s difficult to call the Sidekick LX just a cell phone, though. With its 3G capability, built-in GPS, camera, and most notably, its application bundle, it’s the first mobile phone with a strong focus on social networking. Over the last few years, social networking sites have become a major avenue of communication for friends, families, and even businesses. Facebook recently passed the 200 million user mark, and Twitter users continue to set the Internet on fire with their microblogging messages, or tweets. Long lost friends find each other on Facebook, bands gain exposure on MySpace, and businesses are discovering the beauty of marketing with just 140 characters. Social networking is a booming business that shows no signs of slowing down, and wireless providers are starting to take notice. In addition to a long list of new features, the Sidekick LX’s social networking application bundle includes Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, allowing users to stay connected in ways that only independent applications did before. No other phone currently on the market comes preloaded with applications for these three main social networking sites. The upgrades don’t stop there. The new Sidekick LX also has a music player with streaming audio and real time streaming protocol (RTSP) video, Bluetooth, and SMS. It makes instant messaging easier with the inclusion of three major clients—AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live, and Yahoo Messenger. While the iPhone has gained a reputation as the wireless device to beat, especially when it comes to available applications and networking, this upgrade gives the Sidekick LX some interesting advantages over the iPhone. It has the ability to record and share video, something that is only accomplished on the iPhone through the use of apps. The Sidekick not only has a 3.2 megapixel camera, as opposed to the iPhone’s paltry 2 megapixels, the camera has an autofocus feature, and something sorely lacking on the iPhone—an LED flash. The one area where the iPhone comes out ahead is in, believe it or not, battery life. For all the complaints iPhone users have about this issue, the iPhone 3G battery outlasts the Sidekick’s by a couple of hours for talk time, and several days for standby. Right now, the Sidekick LX only offers support for personal e-mail, but T-Mobile is already thinking ahead. They have plans to make Exchange Active Sync available so customers can also use the Sidekick to stay connected to work. It’s truly an impressive networking device.