Am I too old to own a Sidekick? As someone in his early 30s (okay, mid-30s) I've always thought that the T-Mobile Sidekick belonged more in the hands of a twentysomething, My Space addict than it did in my very uncool hands. But after Bonnie Cha lent me the Sidekick LX, I discovered I liked it using it. The spacious QWERTY keyboard is one of the best I've seen on a phone and the display resoultion is top-notch. Yes, it's missing a lot of high-end data and multimedia features but as a messaging device it's hard to beat. On the other hand, I didn't love using it to make calls, which if course is the whole point of a cell phone. As Bonnie noted in her review, the audio quality isn't spectacular and it felt strange to hold such an enormous handset next to my ear. So up until Monday I decided that the Sidekick was nice for some but not so much for me.
But then when Bonnie and I met with T-Mobile yesterday at CTIA I got to examine the Sidekick Slide for the first time. And I can say I liked what I saw. To begin with, it's noticeably smaller than the Sidekick LX, which I think is a good thing. It's a tad heavier but I thought it was much more comfortable to hold and the keyboard remained user-friendly. On the other hand, the navigation on the toggle was inferior to the one on the LX. Not only did it have a somewhat cheap feel, but also it's just about flush with the surface of the phone so it wasn't as easy to manipulate.
I also like the sliding design on the equally vibrant display. While I get that the swivel action on the previous Sidekick models was one the device's hallmarks, it always made me feel I was going to break it. I tend to be very rough on my cell phones and even though T-Mobile said it subjected the swivel hinge to torture tests I still don't trust myself. Unfortunately, the Slide's feature set still lacks some fancy options, and we haven't yet tested the call quality, but I think it remains an appealing device. T-Mobile said the Slide was designed to attract new, and slightly different, Sidekick users. Maybe I'll be one of them. Stay tuned for a full review of the Slide in the next few weeks.