The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G, an upcoming device from Samsung, brings both style and innovation and meshes it perfectly with an awesome Android experience. Whether you are a previous Sidekick user or just simply a T-Mobile user who is in need of a device with a physical QWERTY that will allow for excellent messaging, this device is definitely one you will want to check out.
We have spent the past few hours getting to know the device quite well, checking out all the various options, and playing with the applications, so join us after the break to take a deeper look into this device.
This device is a first of its kind, and if you are an experienced Android user it may comes as a bit of a shock when you first pick it up. It is built extremely solid, the sliding mechanism appears to be very firm and does not appear to be able to just slide open without effort. The back of the device is covered with a single piece battery door, which is plastic and has a rubberized style cover over it, with cut outs for the speaker and camera. The keyboard has a slightly rubberized feel to it, and is surrounded by a brushed metallic back plate, providing great contrast and making it easy to view and use. The keys of the keyboard are all separated, making them extremely easy to be used, especially by those with larger fingers.
Under the hood of the device you will find a 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor powering a 3.5-inch display running Android 2.2.1. Samsung has added another custom launcher to this device, a bit different then the Touchwiz we are used to, but it brings with it some great style, along with maximum functionality from any of the seven home screens. Switching between the screens is rather fluent, and with a quick access bar at the top users can click any of the seven slots to move directly to that screen.
In addition to the new launcher, the device brings a couple other new features which are both practical, and fun to have. For example, the device offers cloud texting, a free service which is signed up for and will allow users to then read and respond to their text messages from anything with a web browser or their device. In addition to this users can custom define their LED color for SMS/MMS, Emails, Calls, and for while the device is charging.
Having custom LED colors by activity will allow users to easily identify what is going on with their device, without having to wake the screen to check. Samsung has built in the capability to change up the themes of the device, which is definitely not what you are thinking initially, but a great feature none the less. Changing the themes on the device will change the color of the backdrop for the launcher, as well as the selector that identifies which screen you are on. Another notable thing that sets this device apart from the others is the lock screen, and the dual direction unlock, each of which can perform a different action when used. Swiping down will unlock the device as usual, but users can define the action that is performed upon unlocking the device.
While we are only a few hours into playing with the device, and there is still much more to be explored, it is safe to say that this device is going to appeal to many users. With the various levels of customization Samsung has added to this device, along with the Android experience we are used to, shaken a bit by the Sidekick flavor, the device all meshes very well, and sits nicely in the hand. Be sure to keep your eyes on the site for a full review and more to come.