By Ed Oswald | Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm
After T-Mobile discontined sales of the iconic Sidekick smartphone last July, some wondered if the company had plans to keep the brand alive. There had been some rumors that the company was planning on a new Android-based version of the device — that appears to be true. The Sidekick 4G will hit the shelves later this spring, sporting a familiar design but fast HSPA+ data and manufactured by Samsung.
While the device will certainly look like a Sidekick, it willl have some key changes. The 3.5-inch display is now a touchscreen, and it will be tightly integrated with social media with built in Facebook and Twitter applications. Since it’s now a Android device, users will now have access to the thousands of apps from the Android Market.
The Samsung Sidekick will still feature the pop out screen with keyboard underneath, as well as the jump key to switch quickly between applications. Gone though is the multi-colored scroll wheel, replaced by a more traditional home button.
T-Mobile is introducing two new texting features with this new Sidekick: Group Text and Cloud Text. Group text would allow the Sidekick user to engage in group text conversations easily on their device, while Cloud Text would allow the user to text from outside their Sidekick yet still have those texts synced with their device. The company will also feature the T-Mobile Video Chat application developed by Qik preinstalled — video chatting has become a prominent feature of their 4G advertisements.
Overall it appears that the Sidekick is more an Android device than it is a Sidekick. Most of the services available are not “from the cloud” — but then again all the issues the carrier experienced in 2009 with the service may have given it a bit of pause from depending too heavily on the cloud again.
More information on the device can be found in the official press release from T-Mobile. We haven’t heard any announcement on price, but we’ll let you know when we do.