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Everyone's got to have a Sidekick

Written by Subject: Techno Gadgets
December’s product under review is the Danger created Sidekick II available from T-Mobile. The Sidekick II is more than a cell phone. It’s an internet appliance. You can login to AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo Messenger; you can access the internet, check your email, schedule appointments, keep track of your to-do items and even take photos of your friends to share online. It’s a great device if you want to be able to Blog on the go and there are several other applications that you can purchase and download from the catalog to add expense tracking, different ring toes and alerts.

Fun and functionality are blended together in an easy to use interface that will make you feel like you are playing with a Gameboy but technically it’s a Hiptop. I’ve been following the evolution of the Sidekick since its black and white days but didn’t get my hands on one until I picked up the II edition. As a phone it can sometimes be awkward because it’s a bit bulky compared to the other cell phones in the market but again this is much more than your typical cell phone. Swivel the screen of the Sidekick II and you’ll understand why it’s the size it is. While most cell phones have similar features they don’t have the QWERTY keyboard hidden under the screen which is really what makes the applications worth using. Have you ever tried to add something to the calendar in your standard cell phone?

After two weeks of using the Sidekick II I have become addicted. More cell phones should have some of the Sidekick’s features as a standard. One of the best of which is that the phone is completely synced with my T-Mobile account. So should something happen to the phone, I won’t loose any of my data. It also means that any pictures I take with the built in camera are automatically there for me to pull off later. Alternatively I can take a picture, and then email it to my blog and have virtually unlimited picture taking capabilities.

While the Sidekick II excels in most areas there are a couple of short comings. No Bluetooth means that you have to use a corded Headset which is a real bummer and the lack of Java means you are limited to what websites are fully functional. However I’m able to login to my bank account, check out movie times and access driving directions via Yahoo Maps so it’s not bad just could be better. Adding a Flash player or MP3 support would be nice as well and you’d think they could do that via software upgrades depending on if the processor can handle it.

It’s great that if someone sends a Word document because I can read it right on my Sidekick but if someone sends me an Excel file I have to wait until I can get to my laptop. And while the Sidekick II does have a flash it’s not very powerful and really only lets you know that you’ve taking a picture.

On the wish list for the next version starts with Bluetooth, the ability to view Excel files. And if they really want to impress me they will add PowerPoint support but to me Excel is a must. Add in MP3 support, expandable memory and for the browser Java and Flash. Heck through in Video and streaming support to make it the ultimate Hiptop Online experience.

The Danger Sidekick II provided by T-Mobile raises the bar. Lets hope the other phone manufactures pay attention to what makes the Sidekick II so cool. It’s easy to use interface, it’s functionality and it’s style all make the Sidekick worth getting. Easily gets 9.5 out of 10.

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