As tech writers we get to play with a ton of phones, but nothing really takes us back to our high school days like playing with a Sidekick — and we just had a chance to sit down with the first one powered by Android. Built by Samsung, the Sidekick 4G features Android 2.2 (Froyo) and, despite our initial fears that it would be a lackluster device compared to the high-end beauties recently announced, we were pretty pleased with what the Sidekick 4G offers. It includes a horizontal-slider form factor, a throwback QWERTY keyboard with rounded keys, and more power under the hood than any Sidekick before it. Hit the jump for our hands-on with the Sidekick 4G, and some initial impressions.
The Sidekick 4G is powered by a 1Ghz Cortex A8 Samsung Hummingbird processor, so unlike previous models that had a feature phone feel, the Sidekick 4G has enough kick to keep up with T-Mobile’s high-end smartphones. It felt well built and its display hinge felt very sturdy when we popped it open to reveal the keyboard. Moving around the custom user interface was fluid and fun, but we think tweens and teens will probably enjoy the colorful UI a bit more than we did. The Sidekick 4G has a 3-megapixel camera but sadly, it lacks a flash. For those up on video-chatting, however, there’s also a front-facing camera.
Overall, the Sidekick 4G felt light in the hand and well built, but it also reminds us a bit more of a feature phone than a smartphone. That’s OK, though, given that it has the power of a smartphone with the features users expect from a Sidekick: Easy and quick messaging with a great keyboard and a fun user interface.