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Sidekick 3 now available but is it as good as the 8125 Windows Mobile Phone?

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Mobile Devices | Posted on 29-06-2006

Remember 2002 in terms of what was available for Smart Phones? Not a whole lot to be honest. Palm was just starting to add phones to their PDA line up and about the only other phones available were Java based. I bought one of the first Sidekicks and used it for awhile. I loved the flip around keyboard and the ability to check email on it and surf the web but I ultimately gave it up for the T68i because I wanted to use Bluetooth with my new Mac. The Sidekick was a fun device but it didn’t take me long to outgrow it and get frustrated. I think I had it what, 2 months? Today the Sidekick 3 was introduced to T-Mobile subscribers and will be available officially on July 10th. The new Sidekick offers a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, color screen and a built-in MP3 player. It also comes with a mini SD memory slot. You can checkout a video of the Sidekick on YouTube. Is it just me or does this device make too much freanking noise? There are tons of blurps, bleeps, wangs and ticks in the video. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean. Obviously the Sidekick has gotten better over time but my big beefs with it were

  • battery life
  • had a weird proxy system for checking email that wasn’t secure
  • locked up a lot
  • didn’t support good integration with various contact and calendar programs ( I remember having to login to a web site to add contacts for example)
  • no touch screen
  • lack of API support for developers

Anyway, it is kinda cool to see it survive and the really weird thing is the phone I have today pretty much has the exact same form factor. Talking about coming back full circle! I still prefer my 8125 over the Sidekick. The 8125 is just capable of much more. Plus I can write my own apps for it by just firing up Visual Studio. I am in the process of writing an RSS Reader for it in my spare time. In terms of form factor the Sidekick still spins out as the 8125 slides out but they are very similar. Here they are side beside: Cingular 8125
Sidekick 3 A few comparative thoughts So what’s the bottom line? Well for starters the Sidekick doesn’t have Wifi and you can’t touch the screen. For me this is hugh. I love navigating with a stylus. I do like the jog wheel on the Sidekick but the Sidekick suffers on the software side of the house. I don’t see any companies rushing out to buy 1,000 devices and deploy them to their sales force. The Sidekick is just not an enterprise device. More of a teeny bopper device. The 8125 also supports direct push email with Exchange which is a huge plus. Both have 1.3 mega pixel cameras and MP3 players. Big difference here is the 8125 syncs automatically with Media Player and can also play videos. Have a Media Center PC? With a third party tool you can save a show you recorded to your phone and watch it whenever. Another big difference is the Office tools bundled with the 8125. Reading word, excel and watching power point slides on windows mobile 5 is now native. In other words however the document looks and renders on the desktop, it will appear the same on the phone (even power point transitions). I guess the bottom line is this: Teen who wants to look cool: Sidekick Power User, Professional, Enterprise Customer: 8125

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