Sidekick 3 Reviewed


Sidekick 3

The first reviews of the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 are starting to hit the net, as tech heads give the most recent iteration of the device that helped start the mobile email craze a thorough going over. We’ve compiled some of the more interesting bits after the jump.

Service Provider: T-Mobile
Network: GSM
High-Speed Data: GPRS, EDGE
Bands: triband
Bluetooth: Yes
Flash Memory Type: Mini-Secure Digital
Screen: 2.6 inches, 65k-color 240×160 TFT displa
Camera: 1.3 megapixels

Think of it as the Sidekick 2 ½. After an 18-month wait, the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 slims down the hip handheld, bumps up the camera resolution, and adds an MP3 player. Although there are no breathtaking new features, the SK3 continues the Sidekick reign as the most usable, cuddly e-mail device around—truly, wireless e-mail and IM for dummies.

T-Mobile has a lot of Wi-Fi hotspots out there. How about making voice calls over those hotspots, something T-Mobile has been mumbling about for at least six months? How about folding in Outlook Web Access (like Blackberry does) so hipsters with day jobs can get their work e-mail on the sly while they’re at da club, without their bosses knowing it’s been transferred to a Sidekick? How about voice dialing so you don’t have to flip the darn thing open? Or heck, how about receiving POP3 email without a 15-minute delay?

The device measures 130 x 59 x 21.8mm, weighs approximately 6.7 ounces and packs a disapprovingly substandard display with 240×160 pixel resolution and 65k colors. Resolution on portable audio players and PMPs are increasing at a rapid pace. While Sidekick 3 is no comparison to either of these devices, it’s important for T-Mobile to stay in tune with trends and offer competitive features. Those of us who may use the Sidekick 3 as a productivity and entertainment tool (rather a pure cell phone) will be left wanting more.

To those basic messaging functions, the Sidekick 3 adds a calendar, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and a music player. The music player, like so many things Sidekick, is beautiful, tremendously usable, and frustratingly low on features. You can play MP3s off the miniSD card by artist, album, or genre, but only MP3s—no AAC, WMA, or protected music files. The built-in speakers are plenty loud enough, and you can also listen on a wired headset, but you can’t rock out with Bluetooth.