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T-Mobile Brings Back Sidekick Handset

T-Mobile US has brought back an old favourite, the Sidekick, and updated it with a number of new features to make it competitive with the growing number of smartphones with QWERTY keyboards.

The new Sidekick looks a lot like the old one; it sticks to the same design with its signature slide out keyboard that converts it into a device akin of a gaming console.

Built by Samsung, it has a Hummingbird system on chip clocked at 1GHz, 21Mbps HSPA+ internet access, a 3.5-inch 800x480 pixels screen, a 3-megapixel rear camera (no flash) and a front facing VGA one.

It runs on Android 2.2, not on the latest Gingerbread version and the fact that it is very heavily customised with a proprietary user interface based on Samsung's TouchWiz, makes it a challenge to upgrade at a later stage.

Like for most handsets, there are a number of built-in apps that make the most of the hardware capabilities of the handset; these include Facebook, Twitter, a Qik video chat, Samsung's own media hub and T-Mobile TV.

Old-school Sidekickers may be disappointed to find out that the original AIM application is gone because IM has apparently been replaced by SMS (T-Mobile provides with a web-based SMS app).

Unfortunately, T-Mobile or Samsung haven't yet confirmed whether the handset will be available outside the US. The Sidekick 4G will be launched there this summer and pricing has yet to be revealed.