(Updated Gallery!) T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Unboxing Gallery, Early Thoughts

This is a magical day for me and TmoNews as we have finally, after three years of hoping, trying and waiting received our first review unit from the mothership herself. That’s right, the Sidekick 4G is in the house! We’ve have a full review coming in the next few days and I’m even going to try my hand at some videos.

In the meantime, here are some early thoughts on the Sidekick 4G which we’ve briefly touched on before. As for the hardware there is no question the Sidekick 4G is slightly heavier and bulkier than phones I’ve typically carried around and that’s of course due to the addition of the QWERTY keyboard. Even so, I love everything about this keyboard I want to adopt it. It’s just that good. The overall feel of the keyboard just makes typing a breeze and it absolutely conjures up feelings of the Sidekicks of old. As for the camera, the lack of flash makes for a little bit of a disappointment. The combination of the touchscreen and the keyboard makes for an enjoyable if confusing experience for me. This is of course a personal problem as I am just not used to have an off screen option to type but its become less troublesome since earlier in the day.

The jump keys are really great and one of the best additions to the Sidekick 4G.  What are “jump keys” you ask? If you press the jump key + a corresponding letter of the alphabet it’ll “jump” to that application. For example, the jump key + b goes to the browser and the jump key + c goes to the calendar.

The real question is whether or not Sidekick fans will love the addition of Android or loathe it. There is no question T-Mobile and Samsung have made attempts to add in the best of both worlds and it’s going to take me a couple of days to decide if thats a good thing or a bad thing.

Stay tuned for our full review in a few days but in the meantime check out the gallery below!

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  • Jaredjordan15

    awesome :)

  • Holy gross watermarks.

    • I’m going to redo the beginning part of it and put them all back in.

  • CrimsonFog

    I can’t wait to get one. I am hoping that the keyboard really does feel like the SK’s of old. If so, I’ll jump the Blackberry ship and get on Android.

  • remister

    What’s the IM service they are using for AIM/MSN/Yahoo/Gtalk?

    • Randyr


    • remister

      I mean, when Danger had the Sidekick name. It had an AWESOME IM expierience. I mean that what the keyboard was made for, IMing and texting. I am not a fan of Android gist on IM since the G1 came out. That is why I asked how the IM service was.

  • Anonymous

    I feel like taking a crowbar to this sidekick too.

  • Bimmerz

    Congrats David! You’ve definitely earned it – and it’s about time T-Mobile (the “mother-ship”) showed you some love by sending you something!

    Now, when they send you the HTC Sensation and the SGS2 (if Tmobile gets it) for review, after you’re done with reviewing both of these – let me know, and I’ll send you my address so that you can send them to me. Ya know, for a consumer review…? ;o)

    • remister

      Don’t forget about G-slate and G2x!

  • TrollSeason

    Lmao this GIRL PHONE looks like a rape victim laying next to the Galaxy S 4G

  • Cliquser

    I’m just going to get the g2x and accept that the sidekick is a thing of the past. The cameras and screen and speed has me on the g2x. I’ve watched a few videos of this and the sidekick seems to lag a little bit, and I’m tired of that with my cliq now. They always release a new sidekick with features that are outdated, it really pisses me off lol because I love the keyboard. O well.

    • TrollSeason

      Its OVER for Sidekicks!!!

    • remister

      It isn’t anything, unless Danger OS is in it, not to shun Android on Sidekicks!

      • Dewey Cox

        Danger OS was THE problem with the old line

  • Anonymous

    Good looking phone, the hinge and hardware looks just like the Nokia 7. I am very impressed, thought it was going to be just a piece of junk but T-Mobile has put together the best messaging device out there. Anyone who ever enjoyed the old sidekick is going to just be absolutely in love with this device.

  • remister

    To tell you guys the truth, it looks like G1 all over again. SHARP, why are you not creating Sidekicks anymore?

    • Funnykid300

      They got bought by Microsoft and they made the Epic Fail kin 1 & kin 2.. Correct me if i am wrong.

      • Anonymous

        Wrong. Danger got bought by Microsoft, not sharp.

    • Dewey Cox

      They just kept repeating the same thing over and over with little changes each time.The brand just got old and needed to go away for awhile.Android is a nice addition.The entire old Sidekick line had massive software issues. We would hate to have one come back in the store, difficult to fix the problem. The hardware of the phones used to be pretty good.There is a market for this phone.Good job on bringing it back and at a decent price point.
      BigMixxx is correct…..if marketed correctly, this will be a huge hit.

  • I’ll wait for the full review to really say something. I just wonder with the lack of flash, is the camera bad. Like in just ordinary situations where you take pictures with the Sidekick 4G in good natural lighting is it good? Hopefully, good ole David can answer me.

    • remister

      Its Samsung, so look at how Samsung did with the Vibrant series on Tmobile.
      It isn’t THAT bad.

      All I gotta say, Nexus S is a pretty good phone, that has a FLASH :P

      • True. I kinda feel bad imma most likely pass on the Sidekick for the G2x. It’s rather unfortunate, but hey… Sidekick was a little to late on features this time around with this super-phone rush we’re getting.

        • remister

          We need more phones with hardware keyboards, NO LIE!

        • True that.

        • ghostnik

          I wished tmobile had more phones that were high end phones with physical keyboards.

  • Nexus guy

    Looks great. But one thing I’ve learned when it comes to these smartphones, speed test mean very little. Nice phone.

  • Trollhater

    Samsung makes really great televisions, but their cellphones lack in a few areas. Plastic builds, no flash, no updates. But what do i know. There galaxy s line has sold well over ten million units and i’m sure the teen set will buy the sidekick as if it were never discontinued.

  • Your Wifes favorite Plumber

    Said it before and I’ll say it again….What was the point of killing off the sidekick line in the first place if this is what you call a COMEBACK. 4G + Android = Nothing new……Just saying, I personally think this is a flop.

    • BigMixxx

      When I told my teenager the sidekick was coming back, this time with a camera, screams of happiness came through. This was big amongst the younger teenagers and if it has good Facebook integration, T mobile will sell the shit out of these. The Marketing campaign has to be on point. Flop, no, good seller, yes. Flop was the behold II…Order of magnitude shitty as a matter of fact.

      if marketed properly, and directly to the teens…MAJOR HIT!


    T-mo has a lot of customer preferences to satisfy. this one will satisfy many.

    it’s really good that t-mo is still dropping great devices that ATT will have to grandfather for a couple of years.

  • T^T its so awesomme!! i was so mad when i had to move on from my sk but now its bacck!! woot!

  • i hope the speaker and mic is good..

  • Maybe they read that you broke your iPhone. :) Or maybe it is a parting gift.
    I can’t believe this is the first one they have sent in 3 years. It truly shows how non-biased you are.

  • Trollhater

    I agree with u completely. However u know that there are plenty of adults that can’t wait to get their hands on one of these. Personally i’m interesteded the sensation, but there is most definitely is a market for the sidekick.

    • BigMixxx

      I had my eye on the G2X and am ready to pull the trigger then that announcement. I’m keeping my HD2 for another couple of months…

    • iFartWell

      Yeah, I guess you will be buying the PINK one!

      • Trollhater

        Pink is very close to red which i’m sure is color of your neck.

  • Anonymous

    Where’s the optimus g2x review lol. That’s all I care about. It comes out next week and no review yet. :(

    • This is the only review unit they’ve gotten so good luck getting a G2x review here, try engadget they had one up a couple days ago

  • JoeBagofDonuts

    its ugly, its still thick, its basically plastic

  • Funnykid300

    Going to get the G2x the day it comes out, but i want to see a full review first..

  • iFartWell

    This phone is for IDIOTS!!

    • Taylormon

      Does it make you feel better to be beligerant, and type something facetious, or are you just flaunting intelligence?

    • Deaf girl

      I’m deaf and the sidekick line has been great for my friends and I only because of the full qwerty keyboard and how it’s easy to use so I WILL BE GETTING THIS PHONE that is for IDIOTS… U should be getting one to! Thanks T-mobile for bringing this phone back to life :-)

  • Alvin B.

    As a former tmo tech support rep, I know there are 3 things that will appeal to the Sidekick crowd, and I’m not sure how this version fits in.

    1) Cloud. Android is cloud, but not as much as Sidekick. The data debacle notwithstanding, Sidekick owners expect EVERYTHING to be backed up online. This includes photos and music. Android currently doesn’t do that out of the box, does this version? This is important because Sidekick owners usually leave their phones in taxi cabs or get them stolen, and thus have to replace them often. Kinda like a Google CR-48.

    2) Prepay. Sidekick owners love them some prepaid data, especially the pay by day plan. Has to be there.

    3) Deaf support. A large portion of Sidekick owners are deaf. A big part of the reason, of course, is the awesome keyboard, which looks to have been cloned here. But what about voice barred data only plans – are those available for Android?

  • Blah

    …no earbuds in the box? Sheesh.

  • Anonymous

    Please try and answer the floowing Qs I still have about the device:

    LED Notification Light/Lights – where Is it? can you show a screen shot or video of this??
    What games are built-in to the device?
    Facebook Chat?
    Adobe Flash?
    is there a similar hidden Snowboard game or other “Easter Eggs” in the device?
    AutoText like Older SKs?
    Will the Phone app work in landscape mode?
    Google Voice Integration?
    AIM within gchat?
    Any hope 4 Netflix?
    create/upload own skins/themes?
    hinge sounds?
    deaf-friendly apps?
    Video Relay App that works?
    Closed Captions/English Subtitles on videos/TV apps?

    • Deff

      Why do hinge sounds matter to you if you are also concerned about deaf friendly apps and english subtitles? Are you deaf, or just in denial? LOL.

    • pantlesspenguin

      Facebook Chat? – yes, in the facebook app

      Adobe Flash? – yes

      Google Voice Integration? – yes

      AIM within gchat? – You can download apps that combine gtalk & AIM, but it doesn’t have AIM w/in the native gtalk app.

      Copy/Paste? – yes, a LOT better than previous sidekick’s copy & paste

      create/upload own skins/themes? – yes

      The rest I don’t know.

    • You do know this is an Android handset, right? If the feature is available for that specific OS version, then that answers your question. If you are not aware of what Android is then maybe you should look elsewhere.

  • I wonder how long until it’s rooted… tomorrow?

  • Davechlan

    In your full review I would like to see comparisons drawn against T-Mo’s other QWERTY Android phone the G2.

  • Where are you getting those speeds? Hahaha

    • DatNizzle

      I get speeds like that in Cary, NC. It’s not even listed as a 4g city. Raleigh/Durham is though and i get 4-5mbs, go figure.

  • Reinzane

    The original Sidekicks were perfect for teens from 2006, but kids nowadays are jerks. They want whatever cool junk their friends have.(Enter every sassy troll here telling me that it’s always been this way, except now we see that the current youth’s choice in entertainment has proven its ignorance.)

    I hope this phone survives. 4G for 80 bucks? COME ON.

    Hideously bulky keyboard or not, I really hope teenagers stop being total d-bags.

  • no headphones????
    i love Samsung head phones :(

    • Anonymous

      ME TOO!

  • Mark

    David, congrats on getting an actual review phone! I’m pulling for this thing even though I’m a year away from upgrading and am NOT going to pop for it ahead of time. I think the thing that brought me to Tmo in the first place was seeing the Sidekick Color (I think that’s what it was) on The Amazing Race… and then I didn’t get one when I came over. Also, so far as the G2 being Magenta’s other QWERTY phone to compare the SK to, there’s also the Cliq and Cliq 2 with physical keyboards.

  • Anonymous

    BIG QUESTION: Why did they keep the stylized version of the Sidekick name: “Sidek!ck” with the second “i” upside-down?? That was to signify the flipout screen!! Now it is a slider!!!

    • Ex-SKLX09 User

      they kept it with the sidekick slide.

    • Janwolf7

      I think it is just a trademark name, no biggie.

  • Your Wifes favorite Plumber

    I think not….

  • Ex-SKLX09 User

    one question, is screen orientation locked to whether or not it is opened or closed? (besides apps that are one orientation only of course.)

    if it is that is a fail right there.

    • Yooivansterr

      No. It has an accelerometer.

  • wow im not liking that charger.. :o

  • Omg, I want this so bad. If it had the 5MP camera of the other galaxy s class phones, I’d be in the pre-order queue right now!

  • JM

    those speeds are way higher than my g2

  • viahiptop

    I get spotty T-Mobile coverage here & the specs of this phone aren’t that great but I’ll still be picking one of these up the moment they’re out for the simple fact that Sidekicks are the only line of phones that have ever managed to get a keyboard right. I love touchscreen for everything except typing — no matter how much I use the touch screen keyboards the slowness and typos are unbearably aggravating. I can average 65 – 75 words per minute on my Sidekick LX 2009 but I’m lucky to average 20 – 30 WPM on any touch screen keyboard and, as someone that sends thousands of texts and IMs a month, a physical keyboard is a necessity. More importantly, it’s necessary to have a GOOD physical keyboard, not one of the awful completely flat 4-row keyboards with the keys all crammed together with no spacing but something that you could actually type a paragraph like this with WITHOUT spending a half hour on it and without getting a migraine.

    It would be perfect if any of the leading top quality smartphones had a physical keyboard even remotely akin to the Sidekick’s, but alas, physical keyboards and high end smartphones do not seem to go hand in hand. I’ll get this phone for all texting and IM purposes (as well as for anything requiring any significant amount of typing) but will also be getting either the iPhone 4 or Droid Incredible 2 with Verizon at the end of the month for their vastly superior coverage and for handling calls and everything else. If only the two could be combined…

    • sajj

      learn how to use swype. i can do 80wpm

    • I agree, but try Keypurr. They GET IT RIGHT! As well as Swype, & FlexT9. The Android Alternative keyboard options have gotten tremendously better over the last year.

  • Mario

    can you you also tell us a little more on your thoughts on the nokia astound, im considering that fone or the G2X

    • Dangcucu

      try the demo at a tmobile store. i did & quickly too a dislike towards the nokia astound. though it’s amoled the resolution looked cheap. luckily the phone had demo of items & i tried the fruit slicing game. you can tell from that game about the graphics & processing power. it’s like a good cheap phone. the motorola defy was more impressive. i say if you got the money get the G2X as both require web service thru contract. tmobile is having lots of sales lately. they still got a free mytouch 4g on now. im thinking about it to save money yet have a fancy phone.

      • Mario

        i dont do do contracts me and my girl always buy our phones outright. i have the defy right now without launcher pro its a lagfest. i guess ill play with both phones and figure it out.

    • The G2x is a very nice phone. I’m currently using it now. I work for T-Mobile so I received one from LG directly. I have been using it for about 1 week now. So far so good.

  • iFartWell

    Ooooohh its a Sidekick SLIDE 2011

  • Frigadroid

    I knew you would get a free sidekick.

  • Rawrzellers

    This doesn’t have a place for phone straps does it?

  • Ajlen94

    how do i copy and paste on sidekick 4g ?