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We’re coming to you CTIA 2011 in Orlando and we just had an opportunity to go hands on with the Sidekick 4G. First impressions of the phone are pretty positive especially in terms of the hardware which just feels awesome. There is a definite Sidekick feel to the device and that’s a great thing. To be totally honest, the Sidekick 4G by Samsung feels a little sturdier or well constructed than the Sidekicks of old.
Unfortunately diehard Sidekick fans might be a little displeased the Sidekick 4G doesn’t swing open like the Sidekicks of yesteryear. Instead it just pops up, almost in the same motion as the current T-Mobile G2. Still, the phone feels completely sturdy and while I only spent a few minutes with it, I had zero concerns about the long term viability of the spring motion.
Perhaps the best part of the device itself is the keyboard and it’s just good, like really good. I haven’t owned a phone with a full QWERTY keyboard in I don’t even know how long but within 20 seconds I was kicking out paragraphs on the Sidekick 4G.
The part of the Sidekick 4G I was less impressed with was the Android software and not specifically Android itself, but the skin that Samsung has applied. There is a diagonal menu that acts as a “jump menu” and it’s sharp looking, but less functional. It feels as though they’ve tried to adopt both the Sidekick of old on top of the Android of now and the results will take some getting used to.
The bottom line from my initial moments with the device and we’ll have more picture and video tonight and tomorrow are that the device will appeal to both Sidekick lovers of old and Android fans. The phone does take some getting used to especially with the skin over Android but it’s nothing so terrible that we couldn’t recommend the device. Final thought is that Sidekick fans should definitely try before they buy but the hardware will certainly make them feel right at home.
We should mention the unit we played with wasn’t a finalized version therefore changes in both software stability and hardware enhancements could take place before launch.