The Tmobile Sidekick was one of my very first phones. I stopped using it about 3 years ago but while I had it I loved it. The phone is great for performing simple tasks such as phone calls and texting. It has a flip open screen which allows you easy access to a pretty good size keyboard. I have to say that having the tangible keyboard was probably my favorite part about the phone.. So if your looking for a cheap phone thats great for texting then this phone is definitely the way to go. Although, as far as online capabilities and anything of that sort its not exactly the top of the line. I''ve never actually had the chance to use this phone for internet purposes but I remember it being really slow and laggy when it was given too many tasks to handle at one time. Also, a huge downside is that it doesn''t have wifi capabilities. Therefore, that means you would have to use your data plan all of the time and depending on your plan, all of that money could definitely add up to be a lot. Therefore, if you want a phone for just texting and calling and you can find the right plan for the right price then the Tmobile Sidekick would suit you perfectly. I give it a 3 out of 5 because it is an older phone and it definitely can''t compete with some of the newer stuff. But, like I said, if you have simple needs then this is a simple phone that would most certainly work.
Today I am writing a little "in memoriam" review for my Sidekick II which I actually stopped using a year ago in first place. A friend got me the Sidekick 3, but it broke, so I used my old one for the last two months again. Two days ago I ordered a new phone and now I want to tell you all about my experiences with my old phone before I put it away for good.
A few years ago, the Sidekick was the must-have phone. When I got it about two and a half years it was already outdated, but I wanted it so badly.
It Girls like Paris Hilton and lots of models used it and always had their pictures taken with that phone in their hands. Even the girl in "The devils wears prada" had a Sidekick taped to her ear all the time! No surprise it was very popular.
But of course there are some serious reasons for buying a Sidekick as well. It has a keyboard were the letters are in the same order as on a computer's keyboard and you can also access the internet with a Sidekick. If you buy this phone from T-Mobile, you get your own Sidekick email address and can use popular messengers on the phone as well. You get your emails right when they come in and not every 15 or 30 minutes, like on other internet mobiles-.
This phone is probably very convenient for business people as you get all your messages very quick and because you have lots of organizing tools as well.
The Sidekick II comes in a nice carton with a happy girl on it that seems to party. The included manual is very helpful and easy to understand, but I didn't really need it because the menu and the whole handling of the Sidekick is so easy and intuitive.
There were no other extras in the carton but that always depends on where you buy your phone. Some people give you free cases or headphones, but I got this one on Ebay, so I didn't get any special deals.
The phone is about 13cm long, 6,5 wide and 2,2cm thick. You can imagine it's pretty huge that way, but I like it - I think very small mobiles are harder to handle.
On each side of the screen their are two big buttons with which you can navigate without opening the phone. On the left side there is also a bigger, clear plastic button that shines in various colours when there's an incomming call and on the right there is a scroll wheel with which you can scroll through the menu. There are also two buttons on the right side with which you can pick the phone up and end a call.
With the four buttons I mentioned before you can access the menu, make calls and read text messages without folding out the screen or using the keyboard. For example, the button on the lower right is a return-button that enables you to always go back a step at a time within the menu.
The phone is light grey with a silvery shine. The screen has black lines around it. When I folded out the screen in front of others, they were always fascinated because you don't just push it up but nudge it on the left side until it flips all the way round. It then clicks into place upside down and the menu goes along with it very quickly!
The keyboard is made of black, rubber-like material that feels comfortable to the touch and is easy to use. Where the letters are the mat is transparent so you can see the
keyboard in the dark.On the top and the bottom of the phone there are also rubberparts that hide yet another yet of buttons. Some of these are hotkeys - if you push the one on the top right, the camera starts and you can take pictures right away. On the lower left there are also two buttons under the rubber with which you can control the volume.
On the back of the phone there's the camera lens and there's also a speaker from which ringtones and the speeaker phone sound come.
On the top left you can raise the rubber up and insert your SIM card. I found this a bit scary at first because I was afraid of breaking it when I did it the first time. I thought it would be the first bit of the phone that would break but it worked out fine.
On he left side of the phone you can plug in the charging cable and headphones, but plugging in headphones would be useless since there is no MP3-player integrated.
I quite liked the design. It might sound like a lot of buttons, but they are all practical and you quickly figure out how to use them. Handling the phone is easy and intuitive, which is really important to me when I buy and use a mobile.
The menu, the features and my experiences with them
- Webbrowser: Here you can access the internet when you're on the go. I find this to be quite useful when you're stuck somewhere and need train timetables or the number for a cab!
I couldn't use this feature because I didn't use my Sidekick II with a T-Mobile card, but bought it from someone who did. That's why the phone will only work with a T-Mobile card and will not let you access the internet without one - but my friend who got to try the Sidekick out for work allowed me to test the feature and I found it to be working well.
- AOL Instant Messenger: Here you can log in with your AIM-Screenname and use the messenger on the go. You can chat with your friends if they use AIM as well. The fact that AIM is pre-installed on the phone reminds me of the fact that the Sidekick is an American phone because AIM used to be the main chat porgramme over here while in Europe, ICQ and MSN are more famous.
When you log in, you can stay logged in even while you make calls, text or play games.
- E-Mail: When you buy the Sidekick from T-Mobile, you can get a Sidekick E-mail address. E-mails sent to this e-mail address will arrive on your Sidekick in an instant and can be read and answered straight away. Writing the mails works just like writing a text message. You don't pay extra for e-mails because you can get your Sidekick with an internet contract were you pay for an internet flatrate.
- Text messages: Texting with this phone is pure joy! You can type text messages on this phone at a speed that can't be beat! With they keyboard, texting becomes so fast and easy, I was able to text under my table during class tests at school back then. ;)
- MMS: You can also write MMS messages with this phone, but I've never done it. MMS are basicly really expensive text messages where you can include little emoticons and low quality photographs. I always found them too be to pricey.
- Phone book: In the phone book you can save up to 200 contacts, including nake and all kinds of telephone numbers belonging to the person. When you access this phone book, you can view the numbers as a list with the names on the left and the numbers on the right which comes handy when you want to read out a number to someone. With the phone's scroll wheel you can easily skip through the phone book.
- Calendar: Here you can save all kinds of dates including the exact time and okace. I often used the calendar as an alarm clock as you can also set up a ringtone sound that will remind you of your date and how many minutes beforehand you want to be reminded of it.
- Task list : A very useful feature is the task list. here you can save things like a checklist and once you've done them, you can tick a box next to them. That can be very satisfying. ;)
- Notes: Here you can create notes and save them!
- Camera: Here you can take pictures with the VGA Megapixel camera that is integrated into the phone. You can save about 40 pictures which come at 640 x 480 Pixels. That might sound like very few, small pictures, but if you have a T-Mobile contract with your phone, your Sidekick can synchronize with the internet and upload your pictures to a webspace only you can access. So you can actually delete pictures from your phone after you take them and can later download them from your Sidekick webspace.
To be honest, the quality of the photos is rather bad. The pictures are very "snowy" and you rarely get lucky and get s anice picture although the camera even has a flash.
- Calculator: Pretty self explainatory - here's a calculator.
- Games: There are lots of games you can buy on the phone which you can order through the integrated catalogue - but once again, only if you use the phone with a T-Mobile card. On my sidekick there were four games installed already - "Ace it!", "Bob's Journey", "It's Mr. Pants" and "Gem Jam". "Gem Jam" is lots of phone - you have to get colourful precious stones lines up to make rows disappear. It's a bit like Tetris.
- Catalogue: Here you can download games and applications which are paid frm your mobile phone bill.
Positive and negative erperiences
My positive experiences
Like I mentioned before, I really liked the keyboard and learned to value it. You can type on it so quick and easy that it makes writing e-mails on your phone realistic. I was quickly able to type on it without looking.
Although the sound of the speakers isn't fabulous, it is nice and loud - louder than on any other phone I've had so far. When i was making a call my friends should here, it was always easy for everyone to listen.
Although the many online features that can be ordered via catalogue might sound like a danger for the phone bill, the phone already has lots of featurs when you buy it. You don't really need to buy anything since all I mentioned above is already on the Sidekick when you buy it.
The look of the phone also appealed to me and although the phone is glued together (and not screwed because it was a mass production), it never broke. I dropped it various time and not even the screen got any scratches although it is always turned outside. Only one button on the keyboard has started to come off after a while because it's all made of rubber, but after a year of hanging a bit loose it still has not come off completely.
In the end the intuitive handling has won my heart. Although there was an easy to understand manual in the box, I never needed it. I took the phone out and simply tried eveything out. I got accostumed to it very quickly!
The reception quality was almost always satisfying!
My negative experiences
Sadly, the phone has quite a few negative sides to it.
If you buy the phone just like that and but in your own SIM card, you will find out the phone isn't of much use to you. Sure you can phone, text and game, but there will be more disadvantages that you first thought of.
Although you can not access the internet with a non-T-Mobile card, your Sidekick will try to go online again and again. I only discovered this when I got my first phone bill after I aquired it. Tiny amounts of money were booked off about every thirty minutes, as if someone went on- and offline again and again. That's exactly what the phone did. What also doesn't work without a T-Mobile card is the online synchronizing, so your photos don't get uploaded and since you can't insert another SD card into the phone, 40 pictures is all you will ever be able to save on the phone.
Another thing that got me upset was the short battery talktime. In the beginning it will last you 60s days, which isn't much when you think about it. 60 hours aren't even three days, so even if you go on a short trip somewhere, you always have to take your charger with you. As time goes by, the battery becomes weaker and now my phone want last me more than day if I make a few calls.
After this I have to list a problem that annoyed me a lot.
When you forget to charge your phone in times and it switched itself off, everything is gone! You can save your phone numbers on your SIM card and load them onto the Sidekick again in under a minute, but your photos, saved dates and notes are all gone! Again you won't have the problem when you register online because yur data will be backed up there, but like Paris Hilton experienced with her hacked Sidekick photographs, data that is saved online is never really safe.
A negative aspect that has nothing to do with what card you use annoyed me the most and helped me make my finally decision to ditch the phone now.
On the lower side of the phone, there are two buttons under the rubber that turn the volume up and done. Even if you lock the keys and buttons, these buttons will turn the volume up and down when the Sidekick is in your bag or your pocket. These buttons constantly turned my phone to mute mode and I never noticed it when I got calls and text messages! This got terribly annoying because even tho my phone was charged and turned on, my friends and family couldn't reach me. Once my dock was ill and my parents called me about ten times so I would come home and I didn't notice the calls until after three hours.
It's a shame that the phone doesn't have an MP3 player and can't play MP3 ringtones, but I can't really liist this as a negative aspect since this can easily be found out before purchase.
Display solution: 240 x 160 Pixel
Camera type: VGA Megapixel mit Blitz
Camera solution: 640 x 480 Pixel
No video recording
Polyphonci ringtones and MIDI
No MP3-player, no MP3-ringtines
The Sidekick II isn't sold anymore since 2010.
If you really want one, look for one on Ebay - you can get them for less than 50 pounds. There's even a Designer version by Juicy Couture.
When the Sidekick II came out, it was revolutionary. It has a great intuitive handling and if you buy it from T-Mobile, you can use all the communication tools and have your data accessible from every computer, too.
The most annoying problems to me were the short battery talktime and the problem with the volume controls. It can really cause problems if your phone always turns itself to mute.
If you're interested in getting a Sidekick, I would recommend getting the latest version as some mistakes have been corrected. On the Sidekick 3, the track wheel has been changed into a glowing ball and you an also insert a Micro SD card for more saving options. The camera is better and you can copy your pictures onto the card, so it is more fun to use even with another SIM card.Despite all the problems and negative sides, I loved my Sidekick II - so, goodbye and thank you, my phone! :)
I had this phone a couple of years ago and it was amazing for the time. I was using it until a couple of months ago when it finally crapped out on me. The durability is great, with it lasting me as much time as it did, but it is also as big as a brick. It was very cumbersome to carry around and it was a bit on the heavy side. As far as features go, like I said, it was great for its time. In the time it was released its e-mail, instant messenger, and web browsing capabilities were ahead of most of the phones in its time. As smartphones have pretty much become a staple in the recent years however, the Sidekick 2 has become very outdated. The resolution is low, the camera is of terrible quality and the features are lacking for a phone of today so if seeking a new phone, this may be one to pass up. One thing I do miss however? The soft and comfortable keypad.
The phone of choice. With the T-Mobile sidekick's being so popular, this is perfect for anyone; kids and adults! All of the features are very useful. Probably the most popular part of the sidekick's are the swivel-screen, revealing a full qwerty keyboard. This allows you to type faster, weather you are sending a text message, writing an email, surfing the web, and many more!
With the built in 2 megapixel camera, you can take pictures and send them via email while on the go! Its lightweight design makes it so easy to carry in your pocket. With the very easy setup, you can easily and quickly take out your phone and text/IM someone when on the go.
The scroll wheel is very easy to use, and for backup, you can use the directional pad on the other side of the phone. There is a jump button, which takes you to the home screen. From there, you can do anything with your phone.
The sidekick 2 has a built in internet browser and AIM instant messenger service. The battery lasts about 60 hours of standby time. After the sidekick 3 was made, and people used that keyboard, most people would rather use the sidekick 2's keyboard because there are rubber keys. That makes the grip better. For only about $200, the sidekick 2 is a good enough phone for people of all ages!
the review is mine in the same name on ciao.
I would not recommend this phone! I was nagging my partner for ages that I HAD to have this phone and my life wouldn't be complete unless I had one... Then to my great surprise (and having a lovely boyfriend!) I woke up and a courier delivered it to my house and with the anticipation of what it was i was quickly ripping open the parcel. When I see that it was the sidekick I so desperately wanted I nearly passed out with excitement.
I started browsing the phones features and wasn't overly impressed but I wasn't too bothered as the way it flipped open was enough for me!
As i was using this phone everyday the features started to become a problem. The phone was very hard to navigate and I just couldn't get on with the whole layout of the phone.
Another major thing was when the phone would be turned off, when turned back on it would delete all my contact details and messages! So as you can imagine... very frustrating!!
txting on the phone was very quick and easy because of the qwerty keyboard... the keys could have been better being a tad bigger as they are tiny and sometimes would end up pressing the wrong letter.
I also kept finding that a certain time of the day my phone would turn itself on silent... an application that can be adjusted, but whenever i tried to turn this feature off it would never do it!
The quality of the photos are very poor, quite blury and just about make them out.
So after all my wanting I was very disappointed and had to deal with the 'i told you so' from my partner.
The phone does look great but thats about as far as it goes!
Entirely over-rated. Made popular by young americanophiles. Good for keeping conversations over AIM & the qwerty keyboard is great for texting but the camera is nothing to write home about, the bulky shape and size of the phone is very 90s and it's easy to break due to the flip style screen. I had a few problems with my sidekick 2, first the plastic casing would crack and fall off which was easy to fix with glue, but that should not be needed for the price charged for this phone. The second thing was that the screen burst. The problem with it is that the carry case provided is entirely too big to put in an pocket & too fiddly to get out of ones bag to then try answer the phone. The call ends before you get it out of the case, this means a lot of people carry it in their pockets & if you sit down in just the RIGHT (wrong) way, there's too much pressure on the phone & the screen either cracks or bursts under the strain. Definately not recommended.