The reincarnation of the Sidekick brand didn't quite come as a complete surprise after T-Mobile teased its return back in January, followed by a nice photo leak that showed the latest thumb-killer, this time made by Samsung, in its full glory. However, it's always nice to get official confirmations and specs from the carrier itself, and that's exactly what T-Mobile is gracing us with today.
The new Sidekick comes with a 3.5" touchscreen display, a 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, HSPA+21 4G capabilities, a front-facing VGA camera, and, of course, a signature "pop-tilt" 5-row QWERTY keyboard.
On the software side, we have Android 2.2 "Froyo," Qik for video chatting, DriveSmart to prevent distracted driving, Samsung Media Hub, and something called the Sidekick Media Room, consisting of T-Mobile TV, Slacker Radio, and a whole array of other media apps. For the heavy messengers among you, T-Mobile is also highlighting Group Text and Cloud Text features, which should make bombarding your friends with hundreds of text messages that much easier.
Look for the new Sidekick 4G in 2 colors, matte black and pearl magenta, later this Spring - unfortunately, T-Mobile didn't specify more exact dates.
BELLEVUE, Wash., and DALLAS — March 15, 2011 — T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S.,1 today unveiled the new T-Mobile Sidekick® 4G™ by Samsung. The new Android™-powered smartphone pays tribute to its heritage with its stylish good looks and a killer keyboard while redefining messaging and upgrading to 4G speeds. One of T-Mobile’s fastest smartphones running on America’s Largest 4G Network™, the new Sidekick 4G is capable of delivering theoretical peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps.
The T-Mobile Sidekick has long been known for its innovative and distinctive design, and the Sidekick 4G does not disappoint. The 3.5-inch display marks the first Sidekick to feature a touch screen and its sturdy “pop-tilt” hinge reveals the previously acclaimed, five-row QWERTY keyboard that has long been a Sidekick hallmark and the reason behind its status as an exceptional messaging device.
The new Sidekick 4G leverages its quality keyboard along with Sidekick Group Text™ and Cloud Text™ to redefine messaging. Sidekick’s Group Text feature lets customers create, name, manage and participate in reply-all group text conversations, enabling them to lead their network in conversation and social planning. Group Text breathes new life into one of the most popular forms of messaging allowing Sidekick 4G customers to initiate and share the benefit of the application with SMS-capable devices from flip phones to smartphones. In addition, Cloud Text provides the option to text with friends or groups across platforms, whether from the comfort of their PC’s large screen and keyboard, or from their new Sidekick 4G.
“Backed by the faster speeds on T-Mobile’s 4G network, the new Sidekick 4G offers customers both speed and style,” said Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president, product management, T-Mobile USA. “We’ve reinvented the messaging experience that made the Sidekick such an iconic device, and supercharged it with communication and entertainment experiences that take full advantage of our 4G network.”
Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile, said, “We are proud that T-Mobile selected Samsung to help create the next-generation Sidekick and carry the iconic Sidekick brand and device to the next level. Samsung redesigned the new Sidekick 4G with our best-in-class hardware, combined with T-Mobile’s 4G network speeds, the Android operating system, and unique messaging and entertainment features, to make this a perfect match for both loyal Sidekick fans and new Sidekick owners.”
The new Sidekick 4G also comes preloaded with Facebook® and Twitter™ applications, and provides easy interaction with customers’ social networks by allowing them to update their status from the notification pane and browse their feeds from the home screen. They have the ability to sync their social network contacts to the phone’s address book, which lets them post to their friends’ walls or comment on their status. And multitasking is easier than ever with the Sidekick 4G’s jump key, an easy-to-access physical button that enables customers to quickly switch between active applications, even during a phone call, or assign keyboard shortcuts to their favorite functions or applications.
In addition to a communication hub, the new Sidekick 4G is now an entertainment hub. With speeds as fast as home broadband, enjoying a favorite TV show or surfing the Web on the go is a breeze. Sidekick’s Media Room features one place to enjoy music, videos, movies, YouTube®, T-Mobile TV® and Slacker Radio, and to search for content regardless of the source. The integrated media player, also accessible through the Media Room, spans across all media including music, video and Internet radio. Customers also have the option to rent or purchase their favorite movies and TV programs directly from the Samsung Media Hub, which offers a robust collection of movie and next-day TV show titles from CBS, Fox, MTV Networks, NBC Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. Customers now have the option to place Media Hub charges directly to their monthly T-Mobile service bill.
Complementing the messaging communication features, the new Sidekick 4G is equipped with a VGA front-facing camera and pre-installed T-Mobile Video Chat powered by Qik™, to ensure you are always present with your social circle. Powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) and a speedy 1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, so consumers can keep up with their favorite blogs while on the move, search for the must-try dinner spots and map the way to their next destination — all at blazing fast speeds. The new smartphone will also offer dynamic media features and integrated Google™ services, including Gmail™, Google Maps™ and access to thousands of applications on Android Market™.
The new Sidekick 4G also comes equipped with DriveSmart™ from T-Mobile, a first-of-its kind service from a U.S. carrier, that helps prevent distracted driving. When initiated, DriveSmart Basic provides automatic incoming call and message management, sending a customizable note to callers and senders, letting them know that the recipient is driving and will respond when it’s safe. DriveSmart Plus offers the same functionality, with the added capability to automatically activate when the handset is in a moving vehicle, as well as advanced parental controls for enhanced peace of mind when teen drivers are behind the wheel.
Offered exclusively to T‑Mobile customers, the new T-Mobile Sidekick 4G is expected to be available later this spring in two stylish colors — matte black or pearl magenta. Customers can visit http://sidekick.t-mobile.com/ for more information.