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T-Mobile Sidekick 3 Review

30 July 2006

The original Sidekick was released over 3 years ago, and was a hugely popular device. It’s successor followed the same path, and for that reason, I have no doubt that the Sidekick 3 will be very very successful. I’ll be the first to admit that this device isn’t for me, but that doesn’t make it a bad device. Let’s go into some details :

T-Mobile Sidekick 3 Specs

240×160 screen – still a little low-res for me
Ability to configure 3 email accounts
Use 3 separate IM accounts
Bluetooth
EDGE wireless support
1.3 Megapixel digital camera

T-Mobile Sidekick 3 Reviews

PDAStreet reviews the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and tells about their difficulty with the included headset – ‘Talk quality wasn’t good, however, when we used the included stereo headphones. Calls sounded fine to us, but the people we spoke to complained about an echo on the line. Results were almost as bad when using the speakerphone. Again, calls sounded good to us, but the people we spoke to complained that they had trouble hearing.’

MobileBurn reviews the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and writes – ‘In my view, the Sidekick 3 has finally come of age. It now is phone enough for me to use on a day to day basis, while still offering most all of the advantages of a smartphone or PDA – including the best QWERTY keyboard available today. It isn’t small or light, but it is now fully capable of taking on the likes of Motorola’s Q or the Palm Treo line. As such, I give it a “Highly Recommended” rating.’

PC Mag reviews the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and is not very impressed with the phone capabilities – ‘As a phone, the Sidekick 3 will do the job, but it won’t win any awards. The earpiece is loud enough, and voices are well rounded and clear, but background noise comes through very noticeably. The scratchy speakerphone is too quiet to use outdoors and barely acceptable indoors. There’s no voice dialing. Reception is average, not great.’

The Washington Post reviews the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and laments the lack of third party apps available – ‘Probably the biggest drawback is the dearth of third-party applications for the Danger OS on which the Sidekick is based. Palm and Windows Mobile users can choose from thousands of applications–games, productivity software, utilities–available from a variety of Web sites; Sidekick owners have several dozen (accessible as over-the-air downloads via a Sidekick icon).’

Laptop Mag reviews the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and writes – ‘The Sidekick 3 uses T-Mobile’s EDGE service, and even while loading Web page images, this generation doubles the speed of the previous version. Better use of on-board memory also allows pages to load with fewer errors. Java-heavy pages stymied the Sidekick II, but this model was able to load more sites without fail. Fully zoomed-in maps were (barely) usable on Yahoo, and Google Maps proved too much to handle.’


Phonescoop
reviews the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and has this to say – ‘By the measurements alone, the Sidekick 3 doesn’t seem that much smaller than the previous version. But looking at the devices side-by-side, it’s obvious the new version is much smaller. It is narrower, which makes it more comfortable to hold as a phone than the previous version. It is also slightly thinner at the edges and more sleekly shaped, which helps it to slide into pockets better.’

Engadget reviews the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and writes – ‘Just as the Sidekick II was with the original Sidekick, the Sidekick is at heart just an evolution and enhancement of its predecessor. The big improvements? Bluetooth, a memory card slot, a better camera, more memory, a music player, and a trackball. There haven’t been any major changes in the UI (mainly a few tweaks here and there), and you may or may not like the new keyboard (we liked it, but you’ll just have to try it yourself and see), but the biggest disappointment is the display, which is still a paltry 240 x 160 pixels and still looks sorta washed out to our eyes.’

Cnet reviews the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and writes – ‘Surfing the Web on the Sidekick was a great experience. Load times for even graphics-intensive sites were fast, although there was a bit of scrolling involved. Listening to MP3s on the Sidekick’s speakers left much to be desired. The sound was weak and tinny, and any outside noise drowned out the volume, even at its highest level. However, quality improved when we plugged in the included earbuds. The Sidekick’s 1.3-megapixel camera didn’t produce the sharpest pictures. Instead, lines were a bit blurry and colors were faded–definitely not printworthy but OK for the fun snapshot.’

Gizmodo reviews the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and writes – ‘The trackball is a real winner. It lights up with all the colors of the rainbow—actually about 10—and is one of the best user interface tools I’ve seen on a phone. Phone manufacturers take note: Please let this be a rule, not an exception. Use the trackball, if you can. It is very important.’

Smartphone Today reviews the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and writes – ‘The Sidekick now works with Bluetooth, although only with mono Bluetooth earpieces. The phone doesn’t support stereo Bluetooth, which shows a lack of commitment to the music market, and you can’t use Bluetooth to transfer files to and from a PC. You’ll need to use the included online account to transfer information to your Sidekick, which is a hassle.
The Sidekick 3’s battery is rated for 4.5 hours of talk or 3 days of standby. Use the various communications features frequently, as we did during testing, and jack up the backlight and those numbers fall. We had to charge the phone every day or two while testing. ‘

It sounds like one of the common themes is the display – almost every wishes the Sidekick had a higher resolution display. 240×160 was probably fine when the first Sidekick was introduced, but it’s really not acceptable anymore. It’s 2006 T-Mobile and Danger, Inc. When will we see an upgraded screen on a Sidekick device?

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