T-Mobile Sidekick II review: T-Mobile Sidekick II

3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Lovely swivel-screen action; good keyboard; Web-based backup and email are included.

The Bad Bulky; not ideal for voice calls; awkward to share information with desktop; not enough built-in memory.

The Bottom Line The Sidekick II isn't exactly shy and retiring -- it's big, heavy and it looks unusual. Voice calls are not its strong suit. But it does have some interesting features, such as automatically storing all your data on the Web. If you can't be bothered with a proper PDA, but want to run your life from your mobile, it could be what you're looking for

7.5 Overall

Forget everything you know about mobile phones, because the Sidekick II isn't like any mobile you have ever seen. It doesn't look like one, and it doesn't behave like one. It's big, it's got a wildly clever design feature that lets it hide a keyboard away, and it's more about messaging than about phone calls.

There's a lot the Sidekick II can't do, like share information directly with a desktop computer or play music. But it has one potentially indispensable trick -- it automatically makes backups to a rather neatly designed Web site, which you can use from anywhere.

The Sidekick II is exclusive to T-Mobile and costs up to £49.99, though it is free on some Web 'n' walk tariffs.

Design
The Sidekick II is an unusual-looking mobile phone, even putting aside the fact that it is larger than any handset we've seen for a very long time. At first glance it actually looks more like a games console than a phone, because each of the short edges houses three controllers, while in the middle is a fairly large 66mm (2.6-inch) screen.

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