First look: A 15-year old's perspective of the T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009

First look: A 15-year old's perspective of the T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009

Summary: It looks like my fellow mobile enthusiasts all received the new T-Mobile Sidekick LX on Friday when my two-week eval unit arrived. I decided to start with a slightly different method of providing you with a first impressions since the T-Mobile Sidekick lineup is more appealing to teenagers than the enterprise crowd. My first converged device was the original T-Mobile Sidekick back in 2002, but I haven't used one since then. My oldest daughter is 15 and loves her Sidekick 3 device so I gave the Sidekick LX to her to use for the last 3 days and then conducted a Q&A with her to find out what she thought about it. I will spend some time with it over the next week or two and plan to provide my thoughts then.

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It looks like my fellow mobile enthusiasts all received the new T-Mobile Sidekick LX on Friday when my two-week eval unit arrived. I decided to start with a slightly different method of providing you with a first impressions since the T-Mobile Sidekick lineup is more appealing to teenagers than the enterprise crowd. My first converged device was the original T-Mobile Sidekick back in 2002, but I haven't used one since then. My oldest daughter is 15 and loves her Sidekick 3 device so I gave the Sidekick LX to her to use for the last 3 days and then conducted a Q&A with her to find out what she thought about it. I will spend some time with it over the next week or two and plan to provide my thoughts then. Check out some product images and basic screenshots in my image gallery and my short walk-around video below.


  Image Gallery:Check out screenshots of Quickoffice for the iPhone.   Image Gallery: Sidekick LX keyboard   Image Gallery: LX 2009 and SK3  

Even thought there are several smartphone choices for people today, the T-Mobile Sidekick devices have a certain level of appeal to the heavy messaging crowd and T-Mobile keeps on rolling out new devices. The latest device, the T-Mobile Sidekick LX adds some functions and features not seen before on Sidekick devices including 3G, GPS, and an extremely high resolution display. The device also maintains much of what people love on the Sidekick devices, including the very functional QWERTY keyboard, flip and twist display, and numerous hardware buttons.

T-Mobile plans to add Exchange ActiveSync support into the Sidekick Download Catalog shortly after launch and I may be able to keep the loaner for a week or so after EAS availability so I can test it out and see how it works for those of use relying on Exchange for our data needs.

In the box: The Sidekick LX comes with a slip case to protect the device when you carry it in your pocket or bag, along with an A/C adapter, 1GB microSD card, USB cable, stereo headset, Quick Start Guide, and full manual on CD.

Specs: Specifications of the T-Mobile Sidekick LX include:

  • 3.2 inch F-WVGA 854x480 pixels high resolution display
  • Quad-band GSM and dual-band UMTS (1700/2100 MHz) support for 3G data
  • Integrated Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP stereo support
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • Integrated GPS receiver and Windows Live Search application
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • Available in Carbon (black) or Orchid (burgundy)
  • 1250 mAh Lithium ion battery
  • Weight of 5.82 ounces
  • Size of 5.20 x 2.40 x 0.64 inches

Q&A with a 15-year old Sidekick user: As I stated earlier, my daughter is a T-Mobile Sidekick fan who has been using her Sidekick 3 for several months, after spending a couple of years asking me to pick one up for her. She spent the last three days with the Sidekick LX and I asked her the following questions about her experiences.

  1. What were your first, out-of-the box impressions?
  2. The device was much thinner than I thought it would be and a bit longer than my Sidekick 3. The screen clarity is fantastic. I love the awesome new themes you get to choose from to change the backgrounds and colors. It is nice to see the same buttons being used. It is also a bit harder to flip open than my SK3.
  3. What did you spend the most time doing with the Sidekick LX this weekend? What was your experience with this functionality?
  4. I spent most of my time sending and receiving text messages and using the MySpace client. MySpace is good, but is missing music support and background layouts. I was able to view photos and lots of other information, but it was harder to see everything on the display.
  5. What other functions/services did you use and what were your thoughts on those experiences?
  6. I used Twitter a whole lot more than I ever do on a computer. I thought the included Bob's Journey game was pretty fun too. I tried to use the web browser, but it was very slow and full versions of websites were shown rather than mobile ones. Sites like Fandango and your ZDNet site took a while to load up and scroll around.

    I made a couple of calls with it and it sounded fine, but I spent much more time with the keyboard and text messaging.

  7. Would you like a Sidekick LX? What do you like compared to your existing Sidekick 3?
  8. I would love one because the display is awesome, the button redesign works well, and the backgrounds are very cool. I think the display resolution is the main difference I saw in a couple days over my SK3.
  9. What didn’t you like about the Sidekick LX? Anything you think could be improved upon?
  10. The internet was too slow. I also think the MySpace application could be improved.
  11. Would you receommend the Sidekick LX to others? Why?
  12. I would recommend it for those who text a lot and use the social networking sites they included.

T-Mobile 3G support is extremely limited and only works in one county here in Washington State so she was browsing via the EDGE network. She also never tried out the GPS functionality because that is something she does not have now and never thought to use it. I plan to spend time with the Sidekick LX in a 3G area, check out how Facebook and Twitter work, and take photos and video too.

There is still just over a week until the Sidekick LX will be available nationally (13 May to be exact) for $199.99 with a two-year agreement and mail-in rebate. Existing T-Mobile customers can order the Sidekick LX from now until 12 May.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Smartphones, Wi-Fi

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2 comments
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  • SInce this is more expensive than a G1

    wouldn't it be fair to compare it to a G1 to see what this gives you that a G1 does not?
    Michael Kelly
    • That is the plan

      Since I am a G1 user on T-Mobile, my current
      strategy is to use the Sidekick LX 2009 and
      compare it to the G1. Keep in mind though that
      the audience/market for these is a bit
      different with the G1 more for the geekier,
      smartphone crowd while the Sidekicks are
      targeted to the messaging crowd.

      So far, I actually like the G1 keyboard better
      than the Sidekick LX keyboard, but will have
      more to say in a week or so.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)