Introduction

A multitude of celebrities and consumers have indulged themselves in T-Mobile’s Sidekick premier. The Sidekick III deemed the ‘personal communication device’ is perfect for keeping in touch with friends & family, as well as e-mailing and web browsing. Although the Sidekick II was immensely popular and set trends within urban culture, it was lacking some much-needed features such as Bluetooth and EDGE. With the introduction of T-Mobile’s Sidekick 3 in July, 2006 many of these problems and missing features was addressed. Overall the Sidekick III offers plenty of fun features that are bound to keep users happy and busy until Sidekick IV comes out.

What’s In The Box

What’s in the box? The box includes a Danger’s T-Mobile Sidekick III / Sharp Hiptop 3 cell phone, a travel charger, a Lilon battery, a 64 MB SD Card, a carrying case, a handsfree headset, a wrist strap, a USB cable, a user guide, quick start guide, and any warranty information that comes with the phone. I personally would recommend that you charge your phone fully prior to use and read the operating directions with detail. A full charge will ensure that your cellular phone has not immediate technical issues like battery problems, which may cause bad reception in the near future after purchase. A full charge will also enable you to play around with the phone, which I recommend if you wish to learn the features on the T-Mobile Sidekick III prior to taking it for a full ride.

Features / Design flashlight

The new version of the Sidekick II, the T-Mobile Sidekick III has obviously gotten a facelift. From the elegant black design, to thinner dimensions, to the smaller buttons and better trackball maneuverability enables the Sidekick III to have a more comfortable feel when using the phone. The Sidekick III buttons are bit smaller though easier to use, plus the improved trackball enables improved navigation for quicker and easier browsing capabilities. The Danger-based OS platform the Sidekick 3 uses is quite similar to the Sidekick II’s. The Danger-based OS though a bit different is still user friendly and now features a music player application for playing MP3 files. The headphones and USB cable that comes with the phone allows easy loading of various music onto your Sidekick 3. It’s so user-friendly that it’s as easy as dragging and dropping music files onto your Sidekick III cell phone. Were you fed up with not being able to carry an extra battery? Well for those of you who are fed up you will be ecstatic over the new easy-to-remove, removable battery! Removing the battery reveals an easy to reach SIM-card slot and mini-SD card slot. I know what you are thinking. Why do I have to remove the battery to access the mini-SD card slot? Well you do not have to remove the battery to access the SD card. Please refer to your manual for further instructions. Also, Bluetooth 1.2 is included for use with Bluetooth enabled headsets. Although version 2.0 would have been awesome, most people should be happy that they can use a wireless headset with their Sidekick III. Anyone who was hoping the 1.3 megapixel camera on the Sidekick III would be an improvement over its predecessor is in for bit of a disappointment. Though the 1.3 megapixel digital camera is technically better than the Sidekick II’s, the picture quality produced was horrible. Sharp had the nerve to promote their 1.3 megapixel camera as an improvement in the Sidekick III, but they may have exaggerated the camera’s picture quality or designed a camera that is technically sound, but did not do enough tests to back their word on the camera issue. So, don’t plan on taking too many pictures with the Sidekick 3. However, a decent LCD screen is included and works great for your chatting, texting, and e-mailing features in the Sidekick III. The QWERTY keyboard felt sturdy and is great for fast typing, though you may practice a bit to get better at it. The keyboard is about the same as on the Sidekick II’s, but works better than any Blackberry out there. You can opt to purchase a T-Mobile Sidekick III for $349.99 (Green & Black Versions) after a $50.00 mail-in-rebate or choose the Sliver T-Mobile Sidekick III for $299.99 after a $50.00 mail-in-rebate at T-Mobile today. Though the price may be a bit high for some, with a contract or upgrade you can always find the deal you were looking for.

Specifications

The T-Mobile Sidekick III has a GSM mode with band frequencies of 850 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900. Though the dimensions of 5.1 x 2.3 x 0.9 inches is relatively thinner and smaller than its predecessors, though the is still a bit big compared to the Motorola Q & Palm Treo 700. The Sidekick III weighs in at only 7 ounces and includes a Lithium Ion battery, which has a capacity talk-time of up to 4.5 hours and a stand-by time of up to 3 days. The SIM card slot is located behind the battery on the Sidekick III as well as the mini-SD slot. The ‘transflective’ LCD on the Sidekick III produces a 16-bit 65,536 color output and has a size of 240 x 160 pixels. The cool thing about the Sidekick III’s LCD is its transflective nature. A “transflective LCD” is “a type of LCD screen in which the pixels are illuminated from both the front of the monitor’s screen and from behind the screen, combining the illumination characteristics of both transmissive and reflective technologies. Transflective LCDs work under any lighting condition, from complete darkness to bright sunlight, which will make the LCD on the Sidekick III very popular and addicting. Unfortunately when using the phone for what it is actually supposed to do ‘call people’, the Sidekick III outputted ‘mediocre’ results. Hey it may be the phone or it may be the area or carrier issues. Sorry but I just cannot give you the real answer to that question, but I know that the phone will give you weary problems with reception at certain spots. So if you want to avoid this problem in the future, you should opt to purchase a signal enhancer if you have further issues.

Conclusion

The Sidekick 3 is a great step up from the older Sidekick II. Users will enjoy the added features. The redesign to the Sidekick III alone is enough to consider selling your older Sidekick to buy the Sidekick III. Unfortunately, the 1.3 megapixel camera still needs some work and the UI remains basically the same as the old one. In addition you will also find yourself with a dead battery if you use it heavily throughout the day. So I recommend that you carry an additional battery for all you heavy users out there. Keep in mind that this phone is targeted at a younger demographic. The inclusion of easy-to-use programs that feature IM, e-mail, texting, and web browsing are perfect for most teens/young adults. The T-mobile Sidekick III will not run Windows Mobile, so anyone who considers themselves a “power user”, would be better off with something like an MDA from T-Mobile or a Palm Treo 700. That way you can run applications like SlingPlayer Mobile. But even though, the Sidekick 3 dose not have Windows Mobile the phone is definitely a success and is worth the upgrade for most non-price conscious consumers, but if you are conscious of the price than wait a bit and take it from there.