Upcoming T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Hands On

March 24, 2011 - Written By Tal Schechter

Sidekick 4G news from CTIA.  T-Mobile’s upcoming Samsung Sidekick 4G is an Android 2.2 Froyo messaging-centric phone.  Samsung and T-Mobile worked together in designing this phone so that it would retain styling of the older Sidekick-branded phones, but still be contemporary.

You will soon be able to grab this phone for $99.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate) on a two-year contract if you get an unlimited data plan.  However, this phone will come to $149.99 if you get a two-year but don’t opt for the unlimited data option.  This is the first step in the US toward the mobile pricing schedule found in most of Europe.  In much of Europe, your upfront cost of the phone is based on how much you are spending per month.  If you get the most expensive plan, often you can get the most expensive phones for free or very close to it.  This is a very exciting possibility for US carriers (and their subscribers), and I hope that it becomes a popular trend.

Engadget got to have some hands-on time with the device, and they had some pretty good things to say.  It looks good, and feels good in the hand.  The keyboard (one of the most envied aspects of prior Sidekicks) is very good, with great spacing.  The keys are a little clicky, so “there’s going to be no covert texting in class with this one.”  The slider mechanism is smooth but does not have the iconic 180-degree swivel of previous Sidekicks.  The hardware quality is a bit above what one would expect from a mid-range phone.  The software was nothing particularly special, but it is heavily skinned.  There is a new lockscreen and music player.  With the lockscreen you can swipe up, and it will launch a custom app.

I think it looks HUGE but solidly built.  Your thoughts?  Let us know below.